Labyrinthitis is an infection / inflammation of the inner ear causing dizziness and vertigo.
The labyrinth is made up of three semicircular canals which is located deep inside the inner ear. It is this mechanism which controls your balance. Swelling of these semicircular canals can result in hearing alteration and loss of balance.
Any Infection of the inner ear is usually viral although rarely there are incidents of bacterial infection. The symptoms are similar but the treatments are different therefore you should not diagnose this condition yourself you will need to be seen by your doctor.
Symptoms of Labyrinthitis
Usually the onset of Labyrinthitis is rapid with episodes of vertigo occurring during your daily activities or usually on waking in the morning. The duration and recovery period of Labyrinthitis can be between 2- 8 weeks once you recover the symptoms will completely disappear.
Very occasionally permanent damage occurs to the vestibular nerve, this is the eight cranial nerve. If this happens you will be left with vertigo and you will need to have vestibular rehabilitation therapy.
What causes Labyrinthitis?
The exact cause of Labyrinthitis is unknown although it has been known to occur after a bout of flu or a severe upper respiratory infection
Medications such as anti-emetics (Anti- sickness) will be prescribed by your GP to control nausea and to help suppress the vertigo.
To reduce the symptoms of Labyrinthitis, try the following:
Keep still and rest during attacks.
Move slowly and avoid sudden changes in your position
Do not try to read during attacks.
Avoid bright lights, florescent strip lights
Reduce your salt intake
Avoid fizzy drinks that contain sodium.
Do not drive or operate machinery until the dizziness disappears.