Fatigue during an episode of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Lea Pollak*, Rafael Stryjer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fatigue is characterized by weariness unrelated to exertion levels. It has been reported in chronic neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease and stroke. Patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) often complain about fatigue during a vertigo attack. No attention has been paid to this symptom in the literature so far. We were interested to evaluate the frequency and factors influencing fatigue in BPPV. Patients treated for idiopathic BPPV during the years 2011–2012 were prospectively evaluated for the presence of fatigue. During the first visit, patients were asked to complete two questionnaires based on their experience during the last week: the Fatigue severity scale and the Hospital anxiety and depression scale. Patients’ demographic data and BPPV characteristics were registered. Among 172 patients treated for BPPV, 40 (23.2 %) reported fatigue. The mean fatigue score was 4.73 ± 1.98 indicating moderate fatigue. No correlation was found between fatigue and anxiety or fatigue and depression. Fatigue scores were inversely related to age (r = −0.36, p = 0.020) and were not dependent on the type of BPPV, its recurrence, background diseases, gender, duration of vertigo or the presence of autonomic symptoms. Moderate fatigue is quite common during an attack of BPPV. It seems to be a genuine symptom of the entity that might worsen patients’ distress. For severe or persistent fatigue treatment with fatigue relieving drugs such as amantadine, methylphenidate or modafinil could be tried in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2129-2133
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 7 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute attack
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
  • Fatigue


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