Watching videos on YouTube may be a new way to show the treatment for a common cause of vertigo, which often goes untreated by physicians, according to a study published in the July 24, 2012, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is an inner ear disorder that is a common cause of dizziness.
"This type of vertigo can be treated easily and quickly with a simple maneuver called the Epley maneuver, but too often the maneuver isn't used, and people are told to 'wait it out' or given drugs," said study author Kevin A. Kerber, MD, of the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "We found that accurate video demonstrations of the maneuver that health care providers and people with vertigo can use are readily available on YouTube."
For the study, Kerber and his colleagues searched YouTube for videos showing the Epley maneuver and rated their accuracy. They also reviewed the comments posted regarding the videos to see how the videos were used.
"It was good to see that the video with the most hits was the one developed by the American Academy of Neurology when it published its guideline recommending the use of the Epley maneuver in 2008 and then posted on YouTube by a lay person," Kerber said. "But it was also good that the majority of the videos demonstrated the maneuver accurately."