labyrinthitis ear inflammation

Are you having difficulty balancing, ringing in the ears, or mild headaches? All of these symptoms can be attributed to an ear condition called labyrinthitis. At Happy Ears Balance Center, we treat labyrinthitis symptoms and their underlying causes. Find out more about labyrinthitis, vestibular neuronitis, and how we treat these conditions here.

What Is Labyrinthitis?

Labyrinthitis refers to an infection or inflammation of the labyrinth. The labyrinth is the maze of fluid-filled channels within your inner ear. When these inner channels become inflamed, it can lead to a wide variety of symptoms.

At Happy Ears, we diagnose and treat labyrinthitis. Our team of experts can perform various diagnostic tests to determine whether your symptoms are caused by an inner ear infection, helping you get the treatment you need faster.

What Causes Labyrinthitis?

Several different factors can cause labyrinthitis. The following are some of the most common causes and triggers that can lead to labyrinthitis: 

  • Viral infections
  • Bronchitis
  • Herpes viruses
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Bacterial infections

Often, an infection begins elsewhere and spreads to the inner ear, resulting in labyrinthitis. You may be experiencing an upper respiratory infection, such as bronchitis, and find that you have developed labyrinthitis several days later.

Symptoms of Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis is a condition that affects the inner ear. It can cause an empty feeling, tinnitus (a ringing in the ears), dizziness, and difficulty hearing. Labyrinthitis may cause the following symptoms and more:

  • Balance issues
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Mild headaches
  • Vertigo
  • Ear pain
  • Fluid drainage from the ear

If you are experiencing labyrinthitis symptoms and live in the greater Phoenix, AZ, area, be sure to contact Happy Ears Balance Center today. Our providers can examine your inner ear and check for the presence of an inner ear infection.

Who’s Likely to Be Affected?

Labyrinthitis is a relatively uncommon condition that occurs most often in adults between 30 to 60 years old. Bacterial labyrinthitis infections are more rare, and most cases are seen in children under two years old. 

Treatment Options for Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis treatment typically involves treating the underlying cause, which is commonly an infection. Antibiotic ear drops and oral medications can help resolve this infection and alleviate labyrinthitis symptoms.

At Happy Ears Balance Center, we will evaluate your symptoms and perform a series of diagnostics to determine what is causing them. Our audiologists can provide the treatment you need to restore your balance.

What’s the Difference Between Labyrinthitis and Vestibular Neuronitis?

Some of the symptoms of labyrinthitis overlap with a condition called vestibular neuronitis. Vestibular neuronitis refers to sudden spells of dizziness and nausea, and it occurs when the vestibular nerve is impacted by an ear infection or viral infection. 

The vestibular nerve is the part of your inner ear that is responsible for balance control. When an infection impairs this nerve, it can impact your balance and cause severe vertigo that is random and intermittent. While labyrinthitis also causes dizziness and balance issues, it does not affect the vestibular nerve.

Get Tested Today

It would be best if you had a proper diagnosis to get treatment for your balance issues, hearing loss, and other auditory symptoms. Being evaluated by a hearing specialist can help determine the cause of your symptoms and get you one step closer to feeling better. Talk to the professional audiologists at Happy Ears Balance Center today if you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed here.