Balance and Vestibular Program
Benign Paroxysmal Vertigo of Childhood (BPVC)
Benign Paroxysmal Vertigo of Childhood (BPVC) typically affects children starting at 4 years of age or younger. It is characterized by recurring episodes of vertigo (sensation that one’s surroundings are spinning) that last from seconds to minutes at a time.
Additional symptoms include:
- abnormal eye movements (nystagmus)
- ear ringing (tinnitus)
During the attacks, there is no loss of consciousness, and a complete recovery usually follows an attack.
How Boston Children's Hospital approaches BPVC
We diagnose BPVC by a series of criteria, based on a child’s symptoms and a number of other important factors in their medical and family background.
There is no specific test for BPVC, but many tests may be needed to rule out other causes of dizziness before your child is diagnosed with BPVC. These tests may include a hearing test and balance tests, which can be done right here at our Balance Program, as well as imaging tests, such as an MRI.
BPVC episodes are typically infrequent and brief, so the disorder does not typically require treatment. However, evaluation of children with suspected BPVC is important to rule out dangerous and/or potentially treatable causes of dizziness.