Labyrinthitis is one of the main cuases of vertigo. It ischaracterized by disturbances in the hearing and the balance. It may affect oneor both ears, depending on the person. It is easily confused with vestibularneuritis. Experts claim that the term vestibular neuritis needs to be used onlyin cases which involve problems with the vestibular nerve. Labyrinthitis shouldbe the term used in cases where both the labyrinth and the vestibular nerve getaffected.
Symptoms and Causes
The labyrinth incorporates a delicate membranous network ofperipheral sensory organs which include cochlea, semicircular canals, sacculeand the utricle. These organs are responsible for the hearing and balance of aperson. If the auditory or vestibal organs get damaged, or if the membranouslabyrinth gets inflamed, the symptoms of labyrinthitis occur. Various differenttypes of viruses, bacteria and other organisms and inflammatory mediators maytrigger the symptoms of labyrinthitis. Bacteria may reach the membranouslabyrinth through the cochlear aqueduct, the internal auditory canal or throughall kinds of acquired or congenital defects of the bony structure of labyrinth.Viruses may reach the membranous labyrinth by using the same ways as bacteriaor Hematogenously. Sometimes labyrinthitis can be associated with certain othermedical conditions, and sometimes even with tumors. There are a large number ofcases of viral labyrinthitis which are preceded by an upper respiratory tractinfection. There is also one more rare variety of viral labyrinthitis which ismedically referred to as herpes zoster oticus. Viral labyrinthitis is the mostcommon type of labyrinthitis, and it affects adults in most cases. Children areaffected only in rare cases. It is also an interesting fact that virallabyrinthitis affects women much more than it affects men. In the modern age,where numerous medical conditions can be treated rather successfully by using avast array of different types of antibiotics, bacterial labyrinthitis is a verymedical condition.
Treatment and other info
If a person suffers a sudden onset of unilateral deafness,he or she needs to be visit a doctor as soon as possible. Such symptoms may beassociated with acute ischemia of the labyrinth. Other cases can be treated athome rather easily. If a person experiences vomiting, nausea and vertigo thereare certain medications which need to be used. Some rare cases of labyrinthitisneed to be treated with a surgical intervention. Permanent hearing loss occursonly in a small number of patients.