Top Shelf Vertigo ( BPPV )

Timothy C. Hain, MD

Page last modified: March 27, 2021

BPPV is triggered by changing of the head with respect to gravity. It is sometimes called "top shelf" vertigo. A recent patient with BPPV came in with this history:

“Experienced vertigo episodes over the last 4 months. I have had episodes for the last 8 or 9 years but not often or long lasting. In December I put my head back in the bathtub to wet my hair and I became disoriented. The second episode was when I looked up on the top shelf to find something and it felt like someone hit me on the back of my head, again my focus was disturbed. I just stood and waited until it passed. . Now when I turn from my right side to my left my head feels wierd. I cannot lift my head to high without feeling an odd sensation.”


On the Dix-Hallpike maneuver, she had a very clear Left sided BPPV. This was quickly treated with the Epley maneuver.