Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis is most often caused by a viral infection of the inner ear.  It causes vertigo, dizziness and vomiting. Symptoms usually improve over a few weeks as the infection gets better. There are several medications which can help including Stemetil (prochlorperazine).

There are also other causes of dizziness and vertigo. The labyrinth is part of the inner ear. This also includes the cochlear, vestibule and semi-circular canals. These are tiny curved fluid-filled structures which detect the movement of your head and help you position yourself.

The semicircular canals are joined to the vestibule which is a large fluid filled chamber. This is then connected to cochlea.

When you move your head the fluid in the canals remains still due to inertia. Hairs lining the canals are brushed by the fluid; these signal to your brain via a nerve that movement has occurred. This gives information on movement to your brain.

Viral labyrintihitis can follow glandular fever, a cold or even just a sore throat. Even the cold sore virus can cause condition. Sometimes it is the only symptom that you notice.

Uncommonly the condition can be caused by a bacterial infection. It is unusual for an infection of this type to reach the inner ear but it can happen. Meningitis is another possible cause as is a stroke. Ear injury and allergic causes are also a possibility. Sometimes it can be a side effect of some medicines.

If you have this condition you may experience a spinning sensation; this is vertigo. You can feel very sick and end up vomiting. It may be so severe that you are unable to walk. This occurs because the affected parts of your ear are sending confused signals to your brain. Tinnitus can occur, as can nystagmus. This is when the eyes move from side to side or round and round. This may not be obvious to the person themselves but a medical practitioner may be up to pick it up during an examination. The condition can be treated by many different drugs. Stemetil is often very effective and has minimal side-effects