Labyrinthitis is a disease-condition of the inner ear. Two vestibular nerves of the inner ear send signals to the brain regarding balance and spatial steering. In case one of these nerves gets irritated and inflamed, it results in labyrinthitis.
Labyrinthitis is characterized by giddiness, nausea, vertigo and loss of hearing. The condition hampers working, driving, and other activities.
Management for labyrinthitis comprises of medications to deal with the symptoms. Most people find relief from symptoms within one to three weeks and achieve full recovery in a month or two.
Causes And Symptoms Of Labyrinthitis
The symptoms usually start quickly and tend to get intensified in a few days. They then begin to fade thereafter, but continue to surface if you jerk your head.
Signs and symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of balance
- Hearing loss
- Buzzing and ringing in the ears.
- In severe cases, permanent loss of hearing.
- Difficulty in focusing the eyes.
Labyrinthitis may develop at any age. Certain factors that may trigger or cause labyrinthitis, are:
- Viral infections of the inner ear.
- Bacterial infections of the middle ear.
- Consuming a lot of alcohol.
- Certain prescription medications.
- A history of allergies
- Respiratory diseases
- Herpes viruses
Treatment Options For Labyrinthitis
Visit your health care provider as well as ENT specialist; discuss your symptoms with them. They will order a battery of tests to understand the precise cause before starting the treatment regimen.
- By and large, the physician will prescribe anti-histamines to deal with your symptoms better.
- Medications which help manage giddiness, vertigo and nausea, such as Antivert are given.
- Your doctor may recommend sedatives, such as diazepam.
- Corticosteroids, such as prednisone are prescribed in severe cases.
- In case you have an active infection, you will be prescribed antibiotics to control the infection.
- Do not make jerky movements and quick changes in position.
- Sit absolutely still when you have an attack of vertigo. Get up slowly from a seated position / lying down position.
- Avoid television, computer screens, and bright flashing lights during and after a vertigo attack. Low lighting eases the symptoms, compared to darkness or bright lights
- Physiotherapy and occupational therapy offers immense relief. If the vertigo continues for too prolonged a period, physical and occupational therapists will help you improve balance.
- Homeopathy drugs proffer relief from the symptoms of labyrithitis as well. Confer with a practicing homeopath and start medication. Arnica, Lycopodium, Kali Carb, Gelsemium and Sulphur are some of the effective medicines.
- Vertigo interferes with your ability to drive a car safely. Make other arrangements till it is safe to drive again.
- Usually, symptoms resolve in 2 to 3 weeks, and full recovery is possible in a couple of months. Try to ease back in to your daily activities / sports slowly, as you recover.
- In case the symptoms have not improved after several months, your doctor may order supplementary tests and investigations to rule out other conditions if he hasn’t already done so.
- Most patients have 1 to 2 episodes of labyrinthitis; and the condition hardly ever becomes chronic.