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Transcript of Labyrinthitis
What is labyrinthitis?
Disorder resulting from an infection that inflames the inner ear (vestibulocochlear nerve)
Inflammation disrupts the transmission of sensory information from the ear to the brain
Nerves send incorrect signals to the brain that the body is in motion
What causes labyrinthitis?
1. Bacterial infection
What causes labyrinthitis?
2. Viral infection
Symptoms typically last only for a few weeks and can be mild to severe:
-Difficulties with balance, vision, or hearing
-Tinnitus and/or hearing loss
-Inflammation of ONLY the vestibular nerve
-Hearing remains intact
-Inflammation of BOTH branches of the vestibulocochlear nerve
-Hearing is affected
-Bacteria that have infected the middle ear or the bone surrounding the inner ear produce toxins that invade the inner ear
-These toxins inflame the cochlea, the vestibular system, or both
-Serous labyrinthitis vs. suppurative labyrinthitis
-More common than bacterial infection
-Typically triggered an by upper respiratory infection
-Viruses associated with labyrinthitis:
-Herpes, influenza, measles, rubella, mumps, polio, hepatitis, and Epstein-Barr
-Difficult to diagnose this disorder
-No single test exists
-Symptoms are crucial in diagnosis
-Important to seek immediate medical attention when symptoms emerge
-Symptoms of labyrinthitis are similar to those of more serious medical problems
-Use of imaging techniques (MRI, CT scan...)
-Calorics and VEMP (might see reduction on affected side)
Treatment during the acute phase
-This phase can last up to 5 days
-Onset of symptoms is sudden and can be frightening
-Medication is prescribed to control nausea and to suppress dizziness (i.e. valium, dramamine, antihistamines, steroids, vestibular suppressants...)
-Stay away from nicotine products
-Avoid noisy and stressful environments
-Labyrinthitis usually goes away on its own
-If treated promptly, it will cause no permanent damage
If the disorder does not go away...
-Person appears healthy yet still experiences symptoms
-Suffers from chronic dizziness
-Everyday activities are fatiguing and uncomfortable
-Difficulty with concentration and thinking
Create lifestyle changes:
-Avoid certain foods and drinks thought probable to increase risk of labyrinthitis
-Live in a low-noise, low-stress environment
Vestibular rehabilitation exercises:
-Can evaluate and retrain the brain's ability to adjust to the vestibular imbalance caused by labyrinthitis
-Process of compensation
-Form of physical therapy
Brandt-Daroff Home Exercises
-There is no way to prevent labyrinthitis
-Leading a healthy lifestyle decreases risk
If symptoms persist longer than 1 month, patient should get more testing done (VNG, audiogram) to rule out other disorders