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What is Labyrinthitis?

What is Labyrinthitis

You must have heard about many inner ear disorders that cause a disturbance in the balance and hearing ability. Labyrinthitis is one such inner ear infection that causes disturbance in maintaining balance as sensory signals are sent to the brain through the inner ear that regulates the balance of the body. Labyrinthitis can occur at any stage of life and is likely to hit a person of any age and gender. 

You must be wondering about how signals are sent from the inner ear to the brain? Vestibular nerves present in the inner ear are responsible for sending signals to the brain responsible for controlling the balance of the body. An inflammation or disorder in either of the nerves leads to the onset of labyrinthitis symptoms. 

Common cold, flu, viral infections, ear infection, etc. are some of the common conditions or labyrinthitis causes that can trigger the symptoms of labyrinthitis. If you are having a middle ear infection that spreads in the inner ear, the person is likely to suffer from an ailment known as labyrinthitis. It commonly occurs when a vestibular nerve gets damaged.

The cochlea & the vestibular system are the two main parts of labyrinthitis. The cochlea is responsible for hearing and the Vestibular nerve controls balance. Thus labyrinthitis can lead to both hearing loss and causes disequilibrium or balance issues in a person leading to vertigo.

If you are experiencing sudden bouts of dizziness or feeling nauseated, experiencing a loss of hearing ability, vertigo, etc. it indicates the onset of labyrinthitis. Vertigo conditions can be treated at home with certain vertigo home remedies and repositioning maneuvers. Living with vertigo is quite a tough task as it affects day to day activities of a person starting from walking to driving. Treating vertigo conditions on time helps in reducing the severity of the condition. 

A person suffering from labyrinthitis deals with severe headaches and balance issues. 

It is advised to consult an expert neurologist as soon as you start observing any labyrinthitis symptoms to treat the condition on time. A delay in medical help may lead to a permanent disability of hearing loss.

Your doctor will diagnose the condition by asking you to undergo various tests that help in examining the underlying cause of labyrinthitis.

Some may suffer from labyrinthitis due to bacterial infections while others from virus infections. Both show similar symptoms which make it necessary for doctors to diagnose it before suggesting any labyrinthitis treatment. After the accurate diagnosis of the condition, he would suggest the right labyrinthitis medicines and labyrinthitis exercises for treating labyrinthitis. If medical help is taken on time patients may find relief from labyrinthitis symptoms within a week or two and recover completely from labyrinthitis disease within a month or two.

Here is a list of some common labyrinthitis symptoms. Seek medical help immediately if you experience any of these symptoms listed below. Failure to do so may lead to additional problems and complications which may require the use of hearing aid support.

Common labyrinthitis symptoms

If a person is experiencing Labyrinthitis, some set of symptoms start emerging which can be easily observed by the patients. Labyrinthitis symptoms show its severity within the initial few days and start getting severe. Labyrinthitis symptoms settle with time and can occur again due to sudden movements in the position of the head. Loss of hearing ability and loss of equilibrium are some of the most common signs of Labyrinthitis. Along with it, a person may experience a spinning sensation known as vertigo without any signs of warning.

A list of some common Labyrinthitis symptoms:

  1. Vertigo spells in which a person experiences a spinning sensation.
  2. Impaired or blurry vision
  3. Loss of hearing ability in the affected ear.
  4. Tinnitus (a ringing, buzzing or hissing sound in an affected ear).
  5. Loss of equilibrium or unsteadiness
  6. Nausea or Vomiting
  7. Difficulty in focusing your eyes 
  8. Headaches
  9. Sometimes a permanent hearing loss
  10.  A feeling of lightheadedness

Labyrinthitis symptoms may last for a few weeks, days or months it entirely depends on the severity of the condition. The symptoms can trigger by moving the position of the head suddenly. Labyrinthitis is curable if treated on time with the right Labyrinthitis treatment.  

As we all know by now Labyrinthitis appears without any warning treating it at the right time is necessary. Slight negligence can make the condition worse by causing a permanent disability of hearing loss.

What are some of the common labyrinthitis Causes?

Bacterial and viral infections are the most common cause of Labyrinthitis that can affect a person of any age. Common cold, flu, a middle ear infection that spreads to the inner ear triggers the condition. The inner ear of a person constitutes tubes and sacs known as a labyrinth which consists of hair cells. They are responsible for hearing and controlling balance. Inflammation in the inner ear or either of the vestibular nerve can lead to labyrinthitis. Apart from bacterial and viral infections, there are several other labyrinthitis causes. Patients having a medical history of allergies are at higher risk of suffering from labyrinthitis disease. Here is a list of some common labyrinthitis causes:

  1. Bronchitis, it is a respiratory illness that sometimes leads to Labyrinthitis 
  2. Viral infections in the middle ear that spreads in the inner ear
  3. Stomach Viruses
  4. Herpes Viruses
  5. Head or ear injury
  6. BPPV vertigo
  7. Smoking habits leads to Labyrinthitis  
  8. Excess consumption of alcohol
  9. Family history of such a disease
  10. Extreme stress and anxiety conditions
  11. Side effects of certain medications like aspirin

Diagnosis and labyrinthitis treatment

To identify the underlying cause of labyrinthitis, diagnosis of the condition is a must. Your doctor will ask you to undergo various tests like VNG, CCG, SVV & DVA to examine the condition. Some patients require a complete physical examination along with a neurological evaluation to diagnose labyrinthitis for suggesting the right labyrinthitis treatment and prescribe right labyrinthitis medicine. Desloratadine (Clarinex), meclizine (Antivert), diazepam (Valium), Corticosteroids, etc. are some of the most common labyrinthitis medicines prescribed by doctors to treat the condition. He will prescribe you with certain drugs to reduce stokes of dizziness and prevent anxiety. If the medications don’t show any improvement in the condition of the patient your doctor may suggest Vestibular rehabilitation therapy to get optimum results. Making some alterations in lifestyle habits will be of much help in recovering from the condition. If labyrinthitis is diagnosed at the correct time, it can be treated well and the patient recovers from the condition within a few weeks. 


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