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What are the symptoms of and treatment for crystals in the inner ear?

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The most common symptom of loose calcium chloride crystals in the inner ear is dizziness. Treatment for this condition involves a series of head movements to move the crystals from the semicircular canals, according to Michigan Ear Institute. The medical term for the condition is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

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Calcium chloride crystals dislodge inside the inner ear due to injuries involving sudden motion, aging and disease. In many patients with this condition, the doctor labels the cause as idiopathic, or of unknown cause, reports Michigan Ear Institute.

The semicircular canals are fluid-filled structures in the inner ear that are responsible for balance. When loose calcium chloride crystals move into the semicircular canals, they interfere with fluid movement, which causes dizziness upon changes in position, such as turning the head or rising from bed. Keeping the head still for 30 to 60 seconds usually stops the dizzy feeling, indicates Michigan Ear Institute.

While some patients require surgery, most respond to non-surgical medical treatment, notes Mayo Clinic. A doctor leads the patient through the canalith repositioning procedure, a series of slow movements that move the crystals from the semicircular canals to the vestibule of the inner ear for re-absorption. Often, the doctor teaches the patient these movements for use at home.

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