Do you have balance problems, or suffer from dizziness? Do you feel extreme nausea, or an aversion to bright lights? These could be symptoms of labyrinthitis, an inner ear infection that can be severely debilitating and can even lead to hearing loss. If you think that you may have labyrinthitis, it’s important that you seek expert medical help at the earliest opportunity. This can alleviate the symptoms, and lead to a quicker recovery. Here are 4 facts about labyrinthitis.
What is Labyrinthitis?
Labyrinthitis is so called because it is a condition that causes inflammation of the inner ear canal, an area of the body known as the labyrinth. Because the labyrinth is inflamed, it can’t function as it usually would. As one of the labyrinth’s duties is to regulate balance, it typically produces a lack of balance or co-ordination, along with severe and prolonged spells of dizziness.
The Causes of Labyrinthitis
The most common cause of labyrinthitis is an infection – usually viral. It can also occur as the result of a head trauma, an allergy or reaction to medicine, or as a side effect of extreme stress. It is often the case that labyrinthitis follows an upper respiratory tract infection, or flu. As the early symptoms of labyrinthitis can be flu-like, some patient may think that they are still suffering from that initial condition.
Labyrinthitis Is an invisible Illness
Sufferers of labyrinthitis may feel very ill, and have difficulty in carrying out their everyday functions. Appearance-wise, however, they may not look any different, except when their balance problems become apparent. It is effectively an invisible illness, and this can bring added difficulties to the sufferer. Some people have difficulty in perceiving that an invisible illness can be severe, so sufferers may be made to feel that they are making the illness up, or exaggerating the effects of their condition. This can result in sufferers feeling isolated or even more stressed. A doctor who specializes in the treatment of labyrinthitis can provide support and information that will help you cope with this.
How Labyrinthitis Should Be Treated
Labyrinthitis may resolve spontaneously after a few weeks, but it may also linger or re-occur for long periods afterward. This is one reason that it’s essential to get expert medical help. There is also the possibility that the condition can cause long term or permanent damage to the balance and auditory system.
One form of treatment is designed to restore balance control, this is known as vestibular rehabilitation therapy. The sufferer will follow a series of carefully implemented exercise, designed to retrain the brain’s balance function. These can include concentrating on a fixed point while moving the head from side to side, or movements that are designed to create dizziness and eventually reduce the negative vestibular reactions that they would usually cause.
Antibiotics can also be prescribed to fight any infection or virus that is causing the labyrinthitis, whilst other drugs can prove useful if administered early enough. If you have any symptoms of labyrinthitis, you should contact your ear, nose and throat doctor near Voorhees today.