Labyrinthitis, symptoms and treatments.
What is labyrinthitis?
Labyrinthitis is defined as infection of the vestibular labyrinth, which is an organ of the inner ear that is responsible for providing balance.
When an infection occurs and, as a consequence, inflammation of the labyrinth, people suffer symptoms such as vertigo, which is the perception that the world is in motion, dizziness, vomiting, and hearing loss in the affected ear.
Labyrinthitis can be the product of viral or bacterial infections, it can become a more serious condition if it is allowed to progress from the middle ear to the inner ear.
If you recognize one or more symptoms, go to an ENT doctor to help you recover the health of your ear.
Causes of labyrinthitis.
Most cases of labyrinthitis occur due to viral infections and to a certain extent it occurs due to the presence of bacteria in the ear.
Since a cold, respiratory or ear infection can be the beginning of labyrinthitis, likewise stagnant water can help the proliferation of bacteria that end up infecting the middle ear and causing the condition.
Another cause are some medications that damage the inner ear, such as aspirin.
Types of labyrinthitis.
It is characterized by being the type of bacterial infection, it can be caused by various causes such as: perforation of the eardrum, fracture of the temporal bone of the skull, meningitis, etc.
It is necessary for a specialist doctor to carry out a review to determine the type of labyrinthitis and define the treatment that vary among themselves.
The symptoms of this type of labyrinthitis are: vertigo, hearing loss, nausea, vomiting and/or nystagmus, the latter is the shaking of the eyes in one direction and is characterized by the slowness in getting them to return to their initial position.
This type of condition is due to irritation of the membranous labyrinth that generates a sterile inflammation, it can be a consequence of otitis, blows, side effects of surgeries, etc.
The symptoms of serous labyrinthitis are: vertigo and hearing loss.
To diagnose labyrinthitis it is necessary for an ENT doctor to perform a physical examination of the patient, with the help of an otoscopy the doctor can determine if the tympanic area is inflamed and also check for hearing problems.
However, some neuronal tests are also recommended to rule out other conditions, among which we find: computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and/or tympanogram.
In other cases, doctors may recommend vestibular tests and audiometry.
Medical treatments for labyrinthitis.
Conservative drug treatment:
Many of the cases of labyrinthitis usually recover in a period of 5 to 7 days, so doctors recommend rest and certain medications that help minimize symptoms and fight infection.
The prescription may include analgesic drugs, antihistamines, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and even vestibular sedatives to minimize or eliminate vertigo.
If conservative treatment does not give results and the patient presents the same symptoms, a more radical solution may be required. Surgery can present a drainage of the liquid as well as perforation of the eardrum to find a way to reduce inflammation of the labyrinth.
How to prevent labyrinthitis?
We regret to say that there is no strategy that helps to prevent this condition, as it is an infectious condition, there are few options by which it can be avoided since not all people are at risk of suffering from it.
Frequently asked questions about labyrinthitis
What happens if my labyrinthitis is not treated?
Labyrinthitis is a daunting condition, the accompanying vertigo can lead to loss of orientation for the patient, as well as vomiting and the inability to walk and drive.
Not treating a labyrinthitis can lead to other health conditions such as dehydration and the progression of the infection that can be transferred to the inner ear causing a labenrythic fistula.
How long does labyrinthitis last?
The symptoms, supported by the ideal treatment, can disappear in a period of five or seven days, however, some cases may have a healing period of up to three months.
Are antibiotics necessary to treat labyrinthitis?
When the infection is caused by bacteria, it is advisable to use antibiotics, however, if the labyrinthitis is caused by a viral infection, it will be better to combat it with another strategy.
This is why it is important to have a professional diagnosis that establishes the treatment that works for you.