LABYRINTHITIS

LABYRINTHITIS – Etiology, Risk Factors, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnostic Evaluations and Management

Labyrinthitis is a disorder of the inner ear. The two vestibular nerves in the inner ear send information to brain about head movement. When one of these nerves becomes inflamed, it creates a condition known as labyrinthitis.

ETIOLOGY

Labyrinthitis can happen to people of all ages. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Respiratory illnesses (such as bronchitis)
  • Viruses of the inner ear
  • Stomach viruses
  • Herpes viruses
  • Bacterial infections (including bacterial middle ear infections)
  • Infectious organisms (like the one that causes Lyme disease)

RISK FACTORS

  • Smoking
  • Drink large quantities of alcohol
  • Have a history of allergies
  • Are habitually fatigued
  • Extreme stress
  • Over-the-counter medications

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of hearing
  • Vertigo
  • Loss of hearing
  • Vertigo can interfere with driving, working and other activities
  • Loss of balance
  • Tinnitus
  • Difficulty focusing eyes

DIAGNOSTIC EVALUATION

Labyrinthitis can be diagnosed during a physical examination

  • Hearing tests
  • CT or MRI scan of the head to record images of cranial structures
  • EEG (brain wave test)
  • ENG (eye movement test)
  • Blood test

MANAGEMENT

Symptoms can be relieved with medications, including:

  • Antihistamines like clarinex or allegra, Benadryl, and Claritin
  • Medications that can reduce dizziness and nausea, such as antivert
  • Sedatives like diazepam
  • Corticosteroids, to reduce the inflammation

In addition to medications, there are several techniques use to relieve vertigo

  • Avoid quick changes in position or sudden movements
  • Sit still during a vertigo attack
  • Get up slowly from a lying down or sitting position
  • Avoid television, computer screens and bright or flashing lights during a vertigo attack
  • If vertigo occurs while you are in bed, try sitting up in a chair and keeping head still. Low lighting is better than darkness or bright lights
LABYRINTHITIS – Etiology, Risk Factors, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnostic Evaluations and Management
LABYRINTHITIS – Etiology, Risk Factors, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnostic Evaluations and Management

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