Crystal Sickness


Crystal sickness, benign position dizziness, is a common form of dizziness caused by the release of small lime crystals in the inner ear. You feel very dizzy, as if you have gone carousel, when you turn your head in certain ways. Crystal sickness does not infect and often goes away by itself, but sometimes you may need treatment.

Symptoms of crystal sickness

Common symptoms of crystal sickness are dizziness that comes when you turn or turn your head, so-called carousel wheeze. If you sit up, you may even feel dizzy as you tilt your head forward or back. The dizziness usually lasts from a few seconds up to half a minute. It will come back when you do the same motion again.

The carousel crowd gives the feeling that the room is spinning even though everything is still. It’s the same feeling you get if you spin around quickly and then suddenly stop. 

Often the eyes move involuntarily when you become dizzy with crystal disease.   

When the feeling of dizziness comes, you may have problems with balance, feeling nauseous, having difficulty walking straight and having difficulty focusing your gaze.

It is common for the symptoms of crystal sickness to begin in the morning. For example, you may notice them when you sit up or if you turn around to turn off the alarm clock.

What can I do for myself?

Crystal sickness is harmless and often goes away by itself after a few weeks. You can try to repeat the main movements that make you dizzy many times. This can cause the crystals to fall back into place. Often, it is enough to make you feel better. 

When and where should I seek care?

If you have dizziness that comes when you turn or turn your head, contact a health center or on-call clinic. If closed, you can wait until the on-call reception or medical center open.


At the health center you will be told how your dizziness feels and when you feel it. Then the doctor examines your blood pressure, your balance, your reflexes and your feeling. Sometimes you also have blood tests that show your blood value and blood sugar. You must do this to let the doctor know that your dizziness is not due to any other illness.  

Often, the doctor tries to trigger your dizziness. It does them by turning your head in different ways to see which movements make you dizzy.

In some cases, you may be able to do a computed tomography of the brain, but this is not so common.

Sometimes the doctor at the health center cannot give the diagnosis. Then you can get a referral to an ear-nose-throat doctor or a neurologist. 

Treatment of crystal sickness

The treatment of crystal sickness is called repositioning and involves you turning and tilting your head in different ways so that the lime crystals in the ear fall back into place. Most often you get a program of movements that you should do at home by a physiotherapist or doctor. You can also receive treatment of crystal sickness at a reception. Then you have to sit or lie on a breeze and the therapist helps you to move your head in a systematic way so that the lime crystals in the ear fall into place. Some physiotherapy clinics, physiotherapy clinics and ear-nose-throat receptions have a special chair for the treatment of crystal disease. Then you sit tight while the chair is turned and spins in all directions.

After the treatment of crystal sickness, most people are free from the hassles, but some may feel a little unsteady. It is not dangerous and goes off by itself after some day. 

What happens in the body

In the inner ear are the archways that are part of the body’s sense of balance. In the archways there are hair cells, which are called so because they have they have thin hair on the surface.

Some of the hair cells have a jelly-like mass on their surface that contains small lime crystals. Since the lime crystals are heavier than the liquid, they move with some inertia. These hair cells record gravity or gravity and therefore convey information about the head’s position. As you move your head, the crystals start to move and affect the hair cells. In this way, the brain receives information about the head position.

The reason for crystal sickness is that limescale crystals in the inner ear have come loose and have gone wrong. This can happen, for example, if you have had a concussion or a blow to the head. But often it is not possible to determine why you get crystal sick. 

You can also get carousel lungs if you have a virus on the balance nerves, called vestibular neuritis.

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