Vestibular Neuritis is an infection of the vestibular nerve within the inner ear. Labyrinthitis is an infection of the inner ear, specifically the labyrinth.
Your inner ear is made up of a system of fluid-filled tubes called the labyrinth. This includes your cochlea, which senses sound, and your vestibular system, which senses movement of your head and helps with balance. Your vestibular nerve passes through your inner ear, taking messages to your brain.
Symptoms can start suddenly and can be associated with flu-like symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose or a fever.
The symptoms of Vestibular Neuritis are very similar to Labyrinthitis, though it does not cause hearing loss or tinnitis.
Labyrinthitis and Vestibular Neuritis can affect both adults and children, but they're most common between the ages of 30 and 60.
There are various causes for Vestibular Neuritis and Labyrinthitis.
In the majority of cases, they are caused by a viral infection. However, in rarer cases it can be as a result of the following:
How are they treated?
Most of the time, Vestibular Neuritis and Labyrinthitis will improve by themselves, with symptoms easing after a few days of rest at home and your balance returning over the next few weeks. Vestibular Neuritis or Labyrinthitis is usually caused by a viral infection, such as a cold or flu, so antibiotics will not help. However, your doctor can prescribe anti-sickness medicines to help with vertigo, nausea and vomiting. You usually only take these for a short period of time though as they may slow down your recovery.
How to manage in the first few days:
Your symptoms may come and go while you're recovering. Vestibular Neuritis and Labyrinthitis usually clear up on their own without any complications. Your vertigo should get better within a few days. But some people continue to feel unsteady even after the initial spinning and dizziness have gone away. This can last a long time – weeks or even months. It can make you more likely to fall over.
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy
If you're still feeling dizzy and unsteady after a few weeks, you may benefit from vestibular rehabilitation therapy. This involves doing a range of specially designed exercises to improve your balance. It may include exercises in which you move your head or eyes, and others to improve your balance while standing or walking.
These exercises teach your brain to use the information from your eyes, joints and muscles. This helps you balance, even though there is confusing information coming from your inner ear.
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy can help with your balance and walking, and make everyday activities easier.
Here at Hallamshire Physiotherapy Clinic, our specialist Physiotherapists are trained and experienced in managing and helping you to recover from Vestibular Neuritis or Labyrinthitis.
Your treatment will be specific to you as an individual, but will usually consist of the following:
We will also offer our expertise, guidance and support for as long as you need us on your road to recovery.
Call us on 0114 267 1233 to book an appointment with one of our specialist clinicians.