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Labyrinthitis is an inner ear infection that affects a person’s balance & hearing. There are various reasons for this condition; cold, flu, or a middle ear infection that spreads to the inner ear, are all … Read More
Labyrinthitis is an inner ear infection that affects a person’s balance & hearing. There are various reasons for this condition; cold, flu, or a middle ear infection that spreads to the inner ear, are all factors that can cause labyrinthitis.
Labyrinthitis takes its roots in the labyrinth of the inner ear, which is a part of the inner ear that controls balance & hearing.
It consists of the following parts:
● The Cochlea; a small structure in the inner ear that converts sound waves into electrical impulses that travel to the brain. The organ is shaped like a snail & is located inside the inner ear.
● The Vestibular System; The vestibular system maintains the balance of the body. It is an intricate network of nerves & semicircular canals that help maintain a person’s balance & orientation in space.
Both of these above-mentioned systems send balance-related information to the brain with the help of the vestibulocochlear nerve. When a person suffers from labyrinthitis, their labyrinth gets swollen up & inflamed, causing problems with the transfer of balance & hearing-related instructions from the inner ear to the brain.
This leads to the patient experiencing balance issues, hearing problems, & dizziness. It can also cause headaches, nausea, motion sickness, & vertigo symptoms. In most cases, viral infections are the main reason for labyrinthitis, although in some cases bacterial infections can also be the reason.
Although Labyrinthitis can develop anytime for anyone, there are certain risk factors that make a person susceptible to the condition. These risk factors include:
● Common cold, flu, or any other upper respiratory tract infections
● Middle ear infections
● Any head injuries
● Bronchitis or any other respiratory conditions
● Viral infections like herpes &/or measles
● Certain autoimmune diseases
Certain other factors impact a person’s likelihood of developing labyrinthitis. These include:
● Consuming too much alcohol
● Certain medications
For patients, labyrinthitis symptoms can develop quickly & come on pretty suddenly without any warning. For some people, their labyrinthitis symptoms can last for about a few weeks, & can disappear on their own. However, for some people, their labyrinthitis symptoms don’t go away on their own, & may last for quite some time.
Labyrinthitis symptoms can also occur if a patient moves their head suddenly & too quickly.
Labyrinthitis symptoms include:
● Spinning sensations & a feeling of being imbalanced, also known as vertigo
● Ringing in the ears also called tinnitus
● Loss of balance
● Hearing issues &/or problems with vision
Labyrinthitis is of several types. Some of these types are:
● Viral Labyrinthitis: Oftentimes, labyrinthitis occurs when a viral infection, most commonly common cold, or the flu, spreads to the inner ear. Typical viral labyrinthitis symptoms include sudden vertigo attacks, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, & in some cases, hearing loss. Most times, Viral Labyrinthitis goes away on its own. When viral labyrinthitis treatment is required, it usually consists of Vertigo medicines like Vertin Tablet, meclizine tablet, stemetil tablet, & other vertigo & dizziness medications.
● Bacterial Labyrinthitis: Bacterial Labyrinthitis is of two types: -Serous labyrinthitis: Serous Labyrinthitis is also called toxic labyrinthitis. It is caused by a bacterial infection in the middle ear which is referred to as chronic otitis media(COM). The condition causes a fluid buildup in the middle ear, which can make its way into the inner ear if it’s not treated in time. Serous Labyrinthitis symptoms include mild vertigo, accompanied by nausea & vomiting. It is the less severe type of bacterial labyrinthitis, with relatively mild symptoms. The hearing loss from serous labyrinthitis is usually limited to higher frequency sounds, & generally does not impact a person’s everyday life.
● Suppurative labyrinthitis: Suppurative labyrinthitis occurs when the bacteria that are infecting the middle ear, enter & start impacting the inner ear. In this case, the labyrinthitis symptoms are more severe, & they affect only one ear.
Suppurative labyrinthitis symptoms include:
There are currently no specific diagnostic tests that can accurately & selectively diagnose labyrinthitis in a patient.
Your doctor is more likely to perform a thorough medical evaluation of your condition & rule out any other factors for your symptoms. These other conditions include:
● Meniere’s Disease
● Vestibular Neuritis
● Brain tumor
● Cardiovascular issues
● Head injuries
Sometimes, certain structural abnormalities inside the inner ear can cause labyrinthitis-like symptoms. To rule this out as a cause, your doctor will likely recommend you a CT scan or an MRI scan.
Labyrinthitis Treatment generally includes strategies for treating & relieving the various labyrinthitis symptoms, depending on your exact labyrinthitis causes. Your labyrinthitis treatment will likely include labyrinthitis treatment exercises, medicines to relieve dizziness, nausea, motion sickness, headaches, & other vertigo symptoms. Your doctor can also prescribe certain vertigo medicines like vertin tablet, meclizine tablet, stemetil tablet, promethegan, etc. to treat your labyrinthitis symptoms.
Labyrinthitis treatment exercises, in some cases, can also prove to be quite helpful in labyrinthitis treatment, as they relieve dizziness & additional vertigo symptoms. Most of these exercises, like the Brandt-Daroff exercises, the Epley Maneuver, & the Semont Toupet maneuver, & various other exercises, are also efficient vertigo treatment methods.
Hence, even if they don’t fully treat all of your labyrinthitis symptoms, they are still very helpful in speeding up your labyrinthitis treatment. In case of bacterial or viral labyrinthitis, your doctor may also include anti-viral & anti-bacterial medicines in your labyrinthitis treatment strategy. This helps treat your labyrinthitis symptoms that are caused by these infections, & helps speed up your labyrinthitis treatment process.
There are also certain labyrinthitis treatment exercises that can help in labyrinthitis treatment. These include:
● Moving your eyes up & down and from side to side
● Bending your head forward & backward in fixed motion
● Turning your head from one side to the other
● Bending your body forward in certain motions
● Leaning the torso in one side or another
● Throwing & catching a ball
● Walking up & down on an incline
These labyrinthitis treatment exercises can be either done by yourself at home, or by a licensed practitioner in therapy centers. They will keep a tab on your progress & also make ready changes to your labyrinthitis treatment exercise schedule.
Labyrinthitis is not life-threatening in most cases. Although you should seek labyrinthitis treatment as soon as symptoms appear before they get too severe.