Labyrinth is a structure that is present in the each ear. It is sort of a maze that consists of canals and channels filled with fluid. One part of the labyrinth is the cochlea and it resembles snail's shell. This organ is in charge with informing of the brain about sounds. The other part of the labyrinth consists of three semicircular canals which are attached to vestibule. This part of labyrinthis informs the brain about the position of the body and head movements.So the information comes to the brain from the labyrinth and from the eyes. If the information that is received from the eyes and labyrinth do not correspond the brain becomes confused and the symptoms such as vertigo occur. Additional signs of this misinterpretation of the information are nausea and vomiting. The patient might also experience tinnitus which is ringing in the ears or even loss of hearing.
The Symptoms of Labyrinthitis
Patients mostly complain about dizziness or vertigo. As already mentioned, nausea and vomiting occur as well. Loss of balance is additional sign of labyrinthitis. Apart from this obvious and typical symptoms a patient may also experience slight headache, ringing in the ears and partial or complete hearing loss.
What is specific is that symptoms tend to become even worse if a person moves his/ her head, changes positions or look upward.
The symptoms may be present for several days or last up to a few weeks. The length of the symptoms is basically determined by the actual cause of the condition.
Sometimes symptoms may withdraw and then come back again and this is why patients have to be extremely careful while driving or operating heavy machinery since if the symptoms occur during these activities there is high chance that accidents will occur.
In some patients once the symptoms have occurred they stay for life time. This happens in case of Meniere's disease.
Treatment for Labyrinthitis
The doctor will inform patients what they are supposed to do to avoid symptoms of the disease. This refers to body position but also to the food that is consumed. If these recommendations do not help the patients are prescribed certain medications. Patients will be also explained simple maneuvers that may be beneficial. One of these is the Epley maneuver.