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Information About Labyrinthitis

Ear Infections
Eardrum perforation
Meniere Disease
Otitis Media
Labyrinthitis is a balance disorder that usually follows an upper respiratory tract infection (URI). It is, as the name suggests, an inflammatory process affecting the labyrinths that house the vestibular system of the inner ear.

Labrynthitis causes vertigo, disequilibrium, and sometimes nystagmus beating away from affected ear. Hearing loss is commonly present in the infected ear. Nausea, anxiety and a general ill feeling are common due to the distorted balance signals that the brain receives from the inner ear. There are also sometimes cochlear symptoms such as tinnitus and hearing loss.

It appears labyrinthitis is caused by a virus (the herpes virus has been implicated) but can also arise from bacterial infection, head injury, an allergy or as a reaction to a particular medicine. Both bacterial and viral labyrinthitis can cause permanent hearing loss, although this is rare. Prochlorperazine is commonly prescribed for all types of the infection, which helps with the nausea and sickness.

Recovery from acute labyrinthine inflammation generally takes from one to six weeks, however it is not uncommon for residual symptoms (disequilibrium and/or dizziness) to last for many months or even years (Bronstein, 2002).

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