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22.08.2014

Effective treatment for labyrinthitis, tinnitus ear - Review

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Labyrinthitis is a form of vertigo which affects the inner ear and is usually caused by an inner ear infection in the ear’s delicate labyrinth. Initially the symptoms may be quite severe, but after about a week they typically lessen in severity, although in some cases they may last for a longer duration.
Labyrinthitis occurs when either a bacterial or viral infection such as the common cold or influenza virus develops, though a viral infection is far more common in occurrence. The labyrinth of the inner ear is made up of two parts; the cochlea which is responsible for hearing as its function is to relay sounds to the central nervous system, and the vestibular system, a complicated group of fluid filled channels, which are responsible for the body’s sense of balance.
The main Labyrinthitis treatment involves a combination of bed rest to recover from the symptoms and prescribed medication to suppress the unpleasant symptoms and clear up or control any infection that may be present. If the symptoms of Labyrinthitis are caused by a bacterial infection then antibiotic tablets, capsules, or injections will be prescribed to clear it up. If the cause of Labyrinthitis is found to be viral in nature then instead of antibiotics which have no effect on viruses, a course of antiviral medication may be prescribed instead.
Used to suppress the unpleasant symptoms of nausea and vomiting, these drugs are used to treat the symptoms of vertigo and dizziness induced by attacks of Labyrinthitis. The therapy consists of an individually tailored series of exercises prescribed for each patient after a full assessment by a vestibular specialist. Other things to avoid include excess caffeine, alcohol, and chocolate as these substances are not only hazardous to your body’s general health when consumed in large quantities, but can also worsen the symptoms of Labyrinthitis. Also try to steer clear of bright lights which can induce the onset of Labyrinthitis symptoms and cause migraine headaches and a feeling of disorientation and confusion. If you are suffering from Labyrinthitis, try and cut out loud and disruptive noises and do avoid exposing yourself to unnecessary stress, as it can put a further strain on your already stressed immune system.
Vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis are disorders resulting from an infection that inflames the inner ear or the nerves connecting the inner ear to the brain.


Labyrinthitis (inflammation of the labyrinth) occurs when an infection affects both branches of the vestibulo-cochlear nerve, resulting in hearing changes as well as dizziness or vertigo. Inner ear infections that cause vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis are usually viral rather than bacterial. In serous labyrinthitis, bacteria that have infected the middle ear or the bone surrounding the inner ear produce toxins that invade the inner ear via the oval or round windows and inflame the cochlea, the vestibular system, or both.
Less common is suppurative labyrinthitis, in which bacterial organisms themselves invade the labyrinth.
Some of the viruses that have been associated with vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis include herpes viruses (such as the ones that cause cold sores or chicken pox and shingles), influenza, measles, rubella, mumps, polio, hepatitis, and Epstein-Barr. Many people with chronic neuritis or labyrinthitis have difficulty describing their symptoms, and often become frustrated because although they may look healthy, they don’t feel well.
When other illnesses have been ruled out and the symptoms have been attributed to vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis, medications are often prescribed to control nausea and to suppress dizziness during the acute phase. If symptoms of dizziness or imbalance are chronic and persist for several months, vestibular rehabilitation exercises (a form of physical therapy) may be suggested in order to evaluate and retrain the brain’s ability to adjust to the vestibular imbalance. In order to develop effective retraining exercises, a physical therapist will assess how well the legs are sensing balance (that is, providing proprioceptive information), how well the sense of vision is used for orientation, and how well the inner ear functions in maintaining balance.
The exercises may provide relief immediately, but a noticeable difference may not occur for several weeks. Lucy finally saw a specialist vestibular physiotherapist once a week for a monthLucy's GP initially prescribed anti-nausea drugs and reassured her that the dizziness should clear up within weeks.'My first thought was how it was going to affect my work as I had a series of concerts booked for the following month,' says Lucy, a former winner of Young Musician of the Year. It is a form of vertigo, and a UK study showed that out of one in six adults who had visited their doctor with the symptoms of vertigo, were in fact suffering from Labyrinthitis.
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy may also be prescribed in cases of chronic Labyrinthitis.


Antivirals are less effective than antibiotics however, and their power to limit the effects of the symptoms of Labyrinthitis and speed up recovery time is somewhat limited.
The exercises help to improve hand and eye coordination, improve balance, and enable sufferers to walk more steadily on their feet during acute attacks of Labyrinthitis symptoms, restoring something of a normal life to those afflicted by this uncomfortable disorder. Although the symptoms of bacterial and viral infections may be similar, the treatments are very different, so proper diagnosis by a physician is essential.
Serous labyrinthitis is most frequently a result of chronic, untreated middle ear infections (chronic otitis media) and is characterized by subtle or mild symptoms. Usually, the brain can adapt to the altered signals resulting from labyrinthitis or neuritis in a process known as compensation. Many people find they must continue the exercises for years in order to maintain optimum inner ear function, while others can stop doing the exercises altogether without experiencing any further problems.
Positional dizziness or BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) can also be a secondary type of dizziness that develops from neuritis or labyrinthitis and may recur on its own chronically.
Labyrinthitis may also cause endolymphatic hydrops (abnormal fluctuations in the inner ear fluid called endolymph) to develop several years later. This may involve 'vestibular rehabilitation' or physiotherapy, learning special exercises that compensate for the faulty signals coming from the balance sensors. I also had to walk backwards and forwards, looking up and down and from right to left.'Within a month my symptoms had improved by 50 per cent and I felt much more able to get on with normal life.



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