Posted , 3 users are following.
Sorry this is long, but I figured details are often good for context...
2 years ago, an ENT in Mexico diagnosed my son with BPPV (he was 7 years old at the time). Interestingly, the ENT had suffered from BPPV as well since the age of 18.
My son was vomiting several times a day and couldn't keep food down - he did not have a fever or diarrhea. The thing that brought me to the ENT was the fact that my son also complained of dizziness and was swaying when he walked, much like a drunk would do (obviously he wasn't drunk though!) - and this didn't seem like a typical case of the stomach flu.
The ENT did the Dix-Hallpike maneuver and showed me the nystagmus. He performed the Epley maneuver after that, and my son felt much improved. We came back for a followup appointment a few days later and the Epley was repeated again... my son was back to 100% normal after that second visit. Everything that ENT told me was 100% consistent with what I've since read about BPPV.
Now my son is 9 years old, and the symptoms have recently come back, although much milder than what he experienced 2 years ago. I took him to his regular pediatrician here in Canada and as soon as I mentioned Mexico his entire demeanor changed... he said it was pure coincidence that my son improved so drastically after the Epley maneuver performed by the ENT in Mexico, and said since BPPV is so rare, it was likely just the flu making him vomit back then and not BPPV. He thought it was highly unlikely that what the ENT showed me was truly nystagmus (I disagree though as I've watched countless videos on it and what they show is exactly what I saw at that ENT visit 2 years ago).
He looked up a condition in his textbook listed as "Benign Paroxysmal Vertigo" (note, the word "Positional" was missing) and told me it's associated with migraines, and that the textbook says it's a recurrent condition so if it's taken 2 years to come back, what my son has is clearly not recurrent and therefore is definitely not "Benign Paroxysmal Vertigo".
Then I researched "Benign Paroxysmal Vertigo" when I got home, only to find out that the pediatrician looked up the wrong condition entirely because "Benign Paroxysmal Vertigo" (aka "Benign Paroxysmal Vertigo in Children", or "BPVC" is completely different from "Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo" (BPPV), despite sounding very similar and being easily confused.
So, since I didn't want my son to suffer longer than necessary, I watched a ton of YouTube videos on how to perform the Dix-Hallpike maneuver, watched a bunch more on what the nystagmus I should be looking for looks like, and did the procedure on him. The result was nystagmus in my son's right eye.
So then I watched a bunch more videos on how to do the Epley maneuver to treat BPPV in the right ear. Did the procedure 2 times with a long break in between. My son didn't feel any better afterwards, in fact, felt a bit worse. Then I bought an app called DizzyFix that uses your smart phone's positional sensors to help you perform the Epley maneuver with the correct positioning of the head... apparently it's purpose is to train medical students on how to do this procedure. Anyhow, I used the app and my son said he felt "80% better" afterwards.
Going forward, does anyone have any advice for me on what kind of specialist to seek a referral to for future? I've read that a neurotologist is a good bet?
Since the pediatrician let me down, I set up an appointment with a physiotherapist who treats people with BPPV... but since physiotherapists aren't covered by our healthcare system and I must pay out of pocket, I'd rather get a referral to an MD specialist since the right specialist should be able to advise us properly and it'll covered by what I pay in taxes already
0 likes, 7 replies