An ear infection can cause dizziness

Labyrinthitis (inflammation of the inner ear)

Inner ear infection: recognizing symptoms

Infants and young children are more likely to develop inner ear infections than adults. Symptoms of labyrinthitis in adults are vertigo, which can be accompanied by nausea. For a layperson, however, an inner ear infection is not easy to determine: Some of its signs coincide with symptoms of other ear diseases, for example otitis media or Menière's disease.

Does your ear melt? Do you hear less or nothing at all? Then the likelihood that it is an inner ear infection increases. Other possible inner ear inflammation symptoms: Labyrinthitis can also lead to unpleasant noises in the ear (tinnitus), e. B. ringing, humming, dizziness, knocking or hissing in the ear, or uncontrolled eye movements and ear pain.

First of all reassuring: as the disease progresses, the symptoms usually subside. Initially the symptoms such as vertigo are stronger, but within a few weeks the symptoms of labyrinthitis subside. But these diminishing symptoms can lead to wrong conclusions. This does not necessarily have to mean that the infection has disappeared. We therefore recommend that you consult your ear, nose and throat doctor immediately if you suspect an inner ear infection. Because ears and hearing are extremely sensitive and untreated ear diseases can quickly impair hearing. The sooner you and your doctor have clarity, the more targeted and effective he can treat you. An untreated inner ear infection can otherwise develop unhindered and cause greater damage. So go to a specialist at the first suspicion.

Inner Ear Inflammation: Different Causes

Inner ear infection can have different triggers. For example, viruses or bacteria can cause labyrinthitis. The most common is viral labyrinthitis. It usually occurs as a result of an otitis media or a cold, usually an infection of the upper respiratory tract (nose, sinuses, throat). In the case of otitis media, pathogens can get from the middle ear into the inner ear and cause an inner ear infection there. Bacterial infections can also affect the ear, such as bacterial meningitis. The inflammatory pathogens can spread through the auditory and equilibrium nerves to the inner ear. An inner ear infection can also occur in connection with allergies, head trauma, cholesteatoma (tumor in the ear) or Menière's disease (Menière's disease).

Finally, certain drugs are also suspected of affecting the inner ear.

All in all: the causes of labyrinthitis are extremely diverse. It is all the more important to find the trigger, because depending on the cause, the ear, nose and throat doctor recommends different therapies. And if the inner ear inflammation is treated, it usually heals completely.

Inner ear infection: treatment

You went to see the doctor. And now? Labyrinthitis treatment begins with a thorough examination. The specialist will first examine your ear canal to determine whether an inner ear infection is actually present and whether it is viral or bacterial in nature. It also checks how well you hear. To do this, he makes z. B. a completely painless hearing test and / or a tuning fork test to find out how strongly your ear reacts to vibrations. Since labyrinthitis also affects the sense of balance, the doctor usually also carries out balance tests. A simple and relatively well-known test is the so-called Romberg test: You stand on both legs and close your eyes. If dizziness now occurs, this gives the specialist initial information and, if necessary, he will carry out further tests. In some cases, additional computed tomography (CT) is also recommended.

In any case, it is good if you give yourself and your specialist this time. Because all these examinations are necessary in order to differentiate the labyrinthitis from other diseases. Hearing and balance disorders can, for. B. also occur with other nerve disorders, stroke or Menière's disease (Menière's disease).

The examination is complete, the results are available: It is an inner ear infection. How does the ear, nose and throat specialist work? He creates a tailor-made treatment plan. Is it a bacterial labyrinthitis? Then antibiotics are ideal for therapy. Viral infections, on the other hand, are treated with antiviral drugs. If there is no evidence of infection, the specialist will prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and / or medication for dizziness and nausea. The infection is accompanied by profuse vomiting? Then you should drink a lot and, if in doubt, consult your doctor again.

As a patient, there are several things you can do to support the treatment of labyrinthitis. Allow yourself plenty of rest, avoid stress, read, get a good night's sleep. Because hectic rush, problems and tiredness burden the body unnecessarily and delay healing. Those who also avoid quick changes of position are also doing something good for their body: because standing up jerkily puts a strain on the organ of equilibrium, which is already stressed by the inflammation. Bright light is also perceived as unpleasant in this phase. So feel free to wear sunglasses even when it's chilly outside, or dim the lights if possible. Some prescription and over-the-counter drugs - especially aspirin - also have an adverse effect. It is best to clarify with your doctor which drugs are safe. High alcohol and tobacco consumption are also not beneficial for the healing process. It is best to view recovery time as a break in which you allow yourself plenty of rest and limit consumer toxins.