Imagine living in constant fear that the world can begin spinning around
you at any moment. This was Shirlee Bromley's daily life for more
than five years.
Shirlee was diagnosed with a condition called intermittent benign paroxysmal
positional vertigo, or BPPV. It happens when naturally occurring crystals,
called otoconia, become misplaced in the inner ear canal. This condition
is characterized by dizziness, a whirling or spinning sensation (vertigo),
nausea, lightheadedness, and even loss of balance.
The 78-year-old Claremont resident has struggled with intermittent BPPV
since 2011. Due to her severe anxiety over triggering her symptoms, Shirlee
chose not to seek treatment. As a result, her unpredictable episodes of
vertigo forced her to quit cycling and made it nearly impossible to take
a walk without feeling dizzy.
"It makes you feel out of control," says Shirlee. "I couldn't
even sleep on my back because I was so terrified of my symptoms coming
BPPV often goes undiscovered, but once diagnosed, it can take just a few
treatments by an experienced vestibular professional to get you back to
your daily life.
In late 2016, Shirlee decided to seek treatment through Pomona Valley Hospital
Medical Center's Dizziness and Vestibular Rehabilitation program,
where Lauren Rossman, PT, Senior Therapist and Vestibular Treatment Lead,
evaluated her by assessing her eyes' responses to changes in head
position. Lauren was able to identify which ear and which of its three
semicircular canals were involved. From there, Lauren developed a personalized
treatment plan for Shirlee that moved the crystal back where it belonged
and eliminated the spinning. She then taught Shirlee how to treat herself
should her symptoms return.
"While BPPV is a complex problem, I worked with Shirlee to effectively
treat her BPPV," says Lauren. "The goal of each session is to
eliminate dizziness and provide her and her partner with the tools to
manage her symptoms at home."
Nearly one year later, Shirlee continues to be asymptomatic, and says she
no longer feels debilitated by BPPV. She’s now swimming and takes
regular walks around her neighborhood.
"With this treatment, I got my life back," says Shirlee. "It's
so reassuring to know I can always call on Lauren for professional, compassionate
care, if needed."
here to learn more about the Dizziness and Vestibular Rehabilitation program
at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.