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Benign Vertigo --- Inner ear infection info!!

Tom Boismier boismier at umich.edu
Mon Apr 14 07:43:46 EST 1997

Christian Cloutier wrote:
> It seems like i am suffering from an inner ear infection
> (Labyrinthitis?) which caused me to have severe vertigo (and nausea) and
> it's driving me nuts!

> Can anyone tell me more about that affliction? When will it dissapear?

First, relax, it's a very common problem (some 30% of the US population
have dizziness before age 65), and in most cases it goes away by itself
with or without medical intervention.

SERC may help with symptoms, but is not a cure. Meclizine, Dramamine,
Compazine, Xanax, Valium, etc. are also frequently prescribed for
short-term control of symptoms.

The diagnosis of Labyrinthitis includes a sudden hearing loss, usually
within a few hours of the onset of vertigo, so your diagnosis may
change. Vestibular Neuronitis is more likely, since the presentation is
very similar to Labyrinthitis, but without the hearing loss. Most
patients fully recover from the first presentation of Labyrinthitis or
V. Neuronitis. in 6 to 8 weeks. Recover is improved by activity and can
be hindered by inactivity and long-term use of the symptom-reducing
drugs. Some may have lingering symptoms that are brought on by movement
and activity. In these cases, vestibular rehabilitation is helpful.

For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of vertigo, see:


the home page of the Vestibular Disorders Association, a non-profit
patient self-help group. Also see their links to other sites.

Thomas E. Boismier, MPH <boismier at umich.edu>
Assistant Director, Vestibular Testing Center
Department of Otorhinolaryngology
University of Michigan Hospitals

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