Viral Labyrinthitis

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Viral Labyrinthitis

Viral Labyrinthitis (Viral infection of the inner ear) 

The brain and the inner ear communicate information via nerves. The cochlear nerve carries information about noise and hearing; the vestibular nerve carries information about balance and body position. Viruses can affect either or both nerves and the symptoms will vary according to which nerve has been affected.

Viral Labyrinthitis is a sudden disruption of the messages to the brain from within the inner ear as a result of a sudden viral infection. As a result of this virus, you may experience severe vertigo that usually comes on suddenly and can last from days to weeks, depending on the length of time the body builds up anti-bodies to the virus. There are no other symptoms related to the ear.

Symptoms of Viral Labyrinthitis

• Vertigo Lasts days to weeks
• May have hearing changes


Possible Treatments

It is important for people suffering from such symptoms to be examined and diagnosed by an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) specialist since other conditions, such as stroke can present with similar symptoms. There are several medications that your physician may recommend if they feel that the vertigo associated with the vestibular neuronitis or viral labyrinthitis requires treatment. These include anti-vertigo agents, antihistamines, sedatives and or anti-nausea agents.

There are some other things that you can do to help alleviate the symptoms. Bed rest is recommended for the first 2 to 3 days from the initial onset of your symptoms. If your vertigo symptoms last more than a few days, staying active may be more helpful.

There are also some exercises that your doctor may suggest once the vertigo has subsided.

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