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Tilting your head for the Epley Manoeuvre

The Epley Manoeuvre: What It Is, How to Do It, and Why It Works

The Epley manoeuvre is a technique used to treat a condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which is caused by small particles in the inner ear that disrupt our balance. By doing this simple manoeuvre, we can reposition the particles and restore our balance. I’ll explain what the Epley manoeuvre is, how to do it, and why it works. I’ll also provide helpful links to videos and images to help make the manoeuvre easier to understand. Although primarily geared towards pilots, remote pilots, flight crew, and passengers, anyone can benefit from reading this article which is part of Aviation Medicine.

Understanding the Epley Manoeuvre

The Epley manoeuvre is a technique used to treat BPPV, a condition that can cause vertigo and balance problems. BPPV can be particularly troublesome for frequent flyers, as it can make flying uncomfortable and disorientating. By understanding how the Epley manoeuvre works, individuals can alleviate their symptoms and enjoy a more comfortable flight experience. This manoeuvre involves a series of head movements that help to reposition the small particles in the inner ear, restoring balance and reducing symptoms of vertigo. Understanding this technique is essential for anyone seeking relief from BPPV, especially frequent travellers.

How to do the Epley Manoeuvre step-by-step

To perform the Epley manoeuvre for BPPV relief, follow these steps:

  1. Start by sitting on a bed or a flat surface with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Turn your head 45 degrees to the right and lie down quickly, keeping your head turned.
  3. Wait for 30 to 60 seconds in this position.
  4. Next, turn your head 90 degrees to the left, without raising it, and hold for another 30 seconds.
  5. Slowly roll onto your left side, with your nose pointed towards the floor, and stay in this position for 30 to 60 seconds.
  6. Finally, sit up slowly, with your legs dangling off the edge of the bed, and remain in this position for a few minutes before standing up.
  7. Read the next section on tips for performing a good Epley Maneuvre.

Remember, the Epley manoeuvre is most effective when performed by a healthcare professional. If you’re experiencing BPPV symptoms whilst flying, consult a doctor with an understanding of aviation medicine.

What does it feel like to do the Epley Manoeuvre

When performing the Epley manoeuvre, you may experience a brief sensation of dizziness or vertigo. This is completely normal and is actually a sign that the technique is working. The movement of your head and body helps to reposition the particles in your inner ear, which can temporarily disrupt your balance. However, after completing the manoeuvre, you should feel a significant improvement in your symptoms of BPPV. This can make flying much more comfortable and enjoyable, allowing you to focus on your journey rather than your balance.

Benefits of the Epley Manoeuvre for motion sickness relief
The Epley manoeuvre offers several benefits for individuals who experience motion sickness whilst flying due to BPPV. By repositioning the small particles in the inner ear, this technique helps restore balance and alleviate symptoms of vertigo. By practising the Epley manoeuvre, frequent travellers can find relief from motion sickness and ensure a smoother flight experience. Don’t let BPPV ruin your travels – try the Epley manoeuvre and take control of your motion sickness.

Tips for practising the Epley Manoeuvre

  • First, make sure to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting the manoeuvre on your own. They can provide guidance specific to your condition and help ensure proper technique. Doctors who specialise in aviation medicine count on a team of professionals who can offer more specific management for your condition.
  • Secondly, always wait for the symptoms to resolve before moving to the next position. The room spinning should not last longer than one minute. If this is the case – you should seek medical advice.
  • Thirdly, it’s important to practise the manoeuvre in a safe and comfortable environment, such as your home or a quiet hotel room. If this will be practised during flight, you must have enough space. If your cabin offers a small bed you may be able to complete it.
  • Finally, be patient and give yourself time to adjust to the movements. It may take a few attempts before you start to notice significant relief from your BPPV symptoms whilst flying.
  • Nausea or sickness is normal after and during this procedure. The feeling of room spinning is not. If you still have the feeling of room spinning after this procedure, or you are unsure you should always seek medical advice.

Helpful videos and images demonstrating the Epley Manoeuvre

If you’re looking for helpful videos and images to guide you through the Epley Manoeuvre, there are a variety of resources available online. YouTube offers numerous videos that demonstrate the step-by-step process, allowing you to visually follow along and ensure proper technique. Additionally, medical websites and blogs often provide helpful diagrams and illustrations that can further assist you in understanding the manoeuvre. By accessing these resources, you can enhance your knowledge of the Epley Manoeuvre and confidently perform it to find relief from BPPV symptoms whilst flying.

I have included different resources explaining the same procedure because you may find some of these are easier to understand than others.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo by Patient UK

What is BPPV – by Dizzy Astronaut

Epley Manoeuvre by Fauquier ENT

Epley Manoeuvre With Dix-Hallpike Manoeuvre by Fauquier ENT

Epley Manoeuvre by Ask Doctor Jo

Epley Manoeuvre by Movement Project

Photo by Jenna Anderson on Unsplash

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