What Are The Symptoms Of Vertigo
If you have vertigo, theres no mistaking it. It often flares up when you change the position of your head. Patients with vertigo symptoms experience:
- Being pulled in one direction
- The room spinning
- Tilting of the room
- Unbalanced and unable to walk
These symptoms cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, sweating, and even abnormal eye movements or ringing in the ear. Balance and the ability to walk is almost always affected, making this a dangerous condition, particularly for the elderly. No matter the cause of vertigo, there are treatments available that can help.
Joy Victory Managing Editor Healthy Hearing
Joy Victory has extensive experience editing consumer health information. Her training in particular has focused on how to best communicate evidence-based medical guidelines and clinical trial results to the public. She strives to make health content accurate, accessible and engaging to the public.Read more about Joy.
Inner Ear Causes Of Dizziness
Some of the most common causes of dizziness arise from problems in your inner ear. A disturbance in the blood circulation or fluid pressure in the inner ear can trigger dizziness and tinnitus. For example, a bad cold can swell your inner ears and lead to bouts of dizziness. You might also experience dizziness if there is pressure on the nerves responsible for delivering balance information to your brain.
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Physical Therapy To Improve Balance And Inner Ear Issues
Vestibular rehabilitation is a type of physical therapy that can benefit people with inner ear or balance problems. It helps your brain learn ways to use other senses to compensate for vertigo.
The exercises are typically customized to meet a persons individual needs. They may include eye and head movements, balance training, or other maneuvers, depending on whats causing your symptoms.
Vestibular rehabilitation is usually performed on an outpatient basis, but it can also be done in a hospital or home setting.
Signs & Symptoms Of Inner Ear Infection
The inner ear infection symptoms are different from that of Otitis externa or Otitis media. You may find yourself having the problem of vomiting, nausea, and dizziness in case of inner ear infection.
But these signs are not present in the middle ear infections. Thus you have to be careful about the specific symptoms of your specific part of your ears. Lets have a look at the symptoms of an inner ear infection.
A person who is suffering from an inner ear infection or otitis interna may tend to show a few symptoms. The common signs and symptoms of inner ear infection basically include:
Inner ear disorders can last longer.
If you are experiencing any or all of the symptoms listed above, this indicates that you have an infection in the inner ear or otitis interna and you are required to seek treatment from a doctor immediately.
Also, please be aware that if treatment is not sought immediately, you may experience complications at later stages.
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What Is An Ear Infection
An ear infection of the middle ear, medically known as acute otitis media, can be caused by a bacteria or virus. Most often, ear infections occur in the middle ear, which is the air-filled space between the eardrum and the oval window of the ear. The middle ear is responsible for transmitting sound from the outer ear to the inner ear.
In addition to a middle ear infection, its also possible to have an outer ear infection like swimmers ear or an inner ear infection. Labyrinthitis is a serious inner ear infection that affects hearing and balance. People with labyrinthitis often experience vertigo and some hearing loss.
If a middle ear infection is bacterial, its most likely the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae causing the infection. A virus can cause also cause ear infections. A a cold or allergies can cause congestion that blocks the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. This congestion can lead to a buildup of fluid and pressure and provides an environment for bacteria or viruses that have traveled up the Eustachian tube into the middle ear to flourish, resulting in an ear infection.
Even the CDC recommends breast-feeding children exclusively for the first six months of their lives and continuing until they are at least 1 year old. Injury to the ear, climate changes, altitude changes, pacifier use, family history of ear infections, and exposure to cigarette smoke are other risk factors.
What Is The Inner Ear
Your inner ear plays an important role in your hearing and balance. Its primary function is to receive sound waves that come in through the outer ear and go through the middle ear, where the sound makes your eardrum vibrate. These vibrations travel to the inner ear, which transmits them to the brain as nerve impulses.
Your inner ear is a labyrinth of fluid-filled tubes and sacs. It has three main parts:
- The cochlea, a shell-shaped structure that sends sound impulses to the brain
- The semicircular canals, which use your heads movement to sense your position in space
- The vestibule, which is your primary balance system
Messages run through this system to the brain by way of the vestibulocochlear nerve. This nerve has two branches. One is responsible for hearing and one for balance. An inner ear infection happens when this nerve or the structures around it get irritated or inflamed.
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Why Do You Have An Allergic Reaction
When a foreign substance, such as pollen. causes hypersensitivity, your immune system responds by producing antibodies that release histamine. Histamines cause itching, mucus and sometimes swelling. Allergies can occur year-round, but for many people pollen and grass allergies are more likely to occur in the spring or fall.
Symptoms And Onset Of Viral Neuritis Or Labyrinthitis
Symptoms of viral neuritis can be mild or severe, ranging from subtle dizziness to a violent spinning sensation . They can also include nausea, vomiting, unsteadiness and imbalance, difficulty with vision, and impaired concentration.
Sometimes the symptoms can be so severe that they affect the ability to stand up or walk. Viral labyrinthitis may produce the same symptoms, along with tinnitus and/or hearing loss.
Onset of symptoms is usually very sudden, with severe dizziness developing abruptly during routine daily activities. In other cases, the symptoms are present upon awakening in the morning. The sudden onset of such symptoms can be very frightening many people go to the emergency room or visit their physician on the same day.
After a period of gradual recovery that may last several weeks, some people are completely free of symptoms. Others have chronic dizziness if the virus has damaged the vestibular nerve.
Many people with chronic neuritis or labyrinthitis have difficulty describing their symptoms, and often become frustrated because although they may look healthy, they dont feel well. Without necessarily understanding the reason, they may observe that everyday activities are fatiguing or uncomfortable, such as walking around in a store, using a computer, being in a crowd, standing in the shower with their eyes closed, or turning their head to converse with another person at the dinner table.
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Remedies For Inner Ear Infections
Do you need antibiotics?
If you have a bacterial inner ear infection, you may need an antibiotic. However, most inner ear infections are caused by viruses, not bacteria. Antibiotics arent effective against viral infections. For viral infections, your doctor will suggest treatment options to control your inflammation and help with your symptoms.
What treatments can help?
If you have a viral inner ear infection, your doctor may prescribe a steroid treatment to reduce inflammation or antiviral medication to attack the virus.
What are some inner ear infection home remedies?
Besides medication, there are steps you can take at home to ease the symptoms of an inner ear infection. For example:
- Keep your head upright as much as possible. Sitting or standing can help to drain the ear.
- Apply a warm compress to the affected ear to relieve pain.
- Avoid smoking and drink as little alcohol as possible.
- Reduce your stress levels, since tension can worsen symptoms.
For labyrinthitis, specifically, to combat dizziness and nausea, you can try:
- Resting in a dark, quiet place
- Drinking plenty of water, especially if your nausea leads to vomiting
- Keeping your vision focused in one place instead of glancing around at your surroundings
- Going for walks as soon as you feel you can, with someone for support until you get your balance back
How Are Labyrinthitis And Vestibular Neuritis Diagnosed
Your doctor can tell if you have labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis by doing a physical examination and asking about your symptoms and past health. Your doctor will look for signs of viral infections that can trigger labyrinthitis.
If the cause of your vertigo is not clear, your doctor may do other tests, such as electronystagmography or an MRI to rule out other problems.
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Dizziness And Balance Disturbances
Dizziness is a general term for many different symptoms. While it generally means an abnormal sensation of motion, it can also mean imbalance, lightheadedness, blacking out, staggering, disorientation, weakness and other sensations. Symptoms can range from mild and brief to severe spinning sensations accompanied by nausea also known as vertigo. For clarity the definitions we use to talk about dizziness are used.
Dizziness A general term for all abnormal symptoms of balance and stability.
Imbalance Inability to keep ones balance especially when standing.
Lightheadedness The feeling of nearly passing out, similar to the feeling you might have if you hold your breath for a long time.
Vertigo The sensation that you or your surroundings are moving or spinning or whirling.
Balance requires the interaction between many different organs and systems in the body. The brain is the central processing center for all balance information coming from the senses and for all information going out to the muscles of balance. Input comes from three main areas: vision, the balance portion of the inner ear, and the touch . Vision is an important cue to the brain which tells us if we are moving relative to our surroundings.
What Kind Of Physical Therapy Works To Reduce Vertigo
It’s called vestibular rehabilitation, and it is a relatively new form of physical therapy. Not all physical therapists are trained in the practice. Typically the exercises consist of movements that initially make the vertigo worse and balance tasks that are quite difficult. By doing these repetitively, the balance system in the brain learns to function better. Common exercises include moving the eyes from side to side, rotating the head from side to side, rotating the head from side to side while walking down a corridor, and things like this.
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What Can I Do About My Symptoms
- Donât move too quickly — you might lose your balance.
- Remove tripping hazards like area rugs and electrical cords. Put non-slip mats in your bath and shower.
- If you start to feel dizzy, lie down right away. People with vertigo often feel better if they lie down in a quiet, darkened room with their eyes closed.
- Drink lots of fluids and eat well. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, salt, and tobacco.
- If you think your meds are making you feel dizzy, talk to your doctor. They may change your dose, have you stop using them, or try something else.
- Donât drive if you have dizzy spells.
What Causes Sinusitis Vertigo
Sinusitis vertigo is vertigo caused by a buildup of mucus in the Eustachian tube. The Eustachian tube runs from the inner ear to your throat. Its part of the system that helps you maintain your balance. When your sinuses are inflamed during a sinus infection, your sinuses can no longer drain properly. As a result, mucus and fluid build up in many areas of the ear, nose, and throat .
While some patients may describe the experience of living with sinusitis vertigo as being dizzy or feeling as if your equilibrium is off because of your sinuses, its important to note that vertigo is differentiated medically from dizziness and equilibrium issues. Specifically, vertigo is the sensation of spinning, whether the patient feels like they are spinning or the room is spinning.
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Can Tinnitus Be Prevented
Repeated loud noise exposure can be a cause of tinnitus as well as hearing loss. Loud music may cause short term symptoms, but repeated occupational exposure requires less intense sound levels to cause potential hearing damage leading to tinnitus. Minimizing sound exposure, therefore, decreases the risk of developing tinnitus. Sound protection equipment, like acoustic ear-muffs, may be appropriate at work and at home when exposed to loud noises.
A variety of medications may be ototoxic and cause tinnitus. If tinnitus develops while you are taking a medication, stop the medication and discuss other options with your health-care professional.
How Is Tinnitus Diagnosed
The patient’s history and description of symptoms is the key in determining what might be causing tinnitus.
The health-care professional may ask questions in regard to the quality of the abnormal sound, and whether it is constantly present or whether it comes and goes. Other questions may include the following:
- Does it involve one or both ears?
- Does the sound pulsate, or does it sound like a rush or flow?
- Does it click?
- Has there been recurrent exposure to loud noises or sound at work, at home or at play?
- Is there associated decreased hearing or hearing loss?
- Does the person feel a sensation of spinning ?
Physical exam: Physical examination will focus on the head and neck, and especially the ears, including the auditory canals and tympanic membranes. Since the sense of hearing is conducted through one of the cranial nerves , a careful neurologic exam also may be performed. Weakness or numbness in the face, mouth, and neck may be associated with a tumor or other structural abnormality pressing on a nerve. The healthcare professional may listen to the flow in the carotid arteries in the neck for an abnormal sound , since carotid artery stenosis can transmit a sound to the ear that may cause tinnitus.
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Fluid In The Ear And Allergies
The most common ear problem seen in patients with allergies is fluid in the ear or middle ear effusion. Allergic reactions have been proposed as being responsible for some cases of hearing loss and fluid in the middle portion of the ear.
Most of the middle ear effusions occur under two years of age and the incidence continues to decrease by the age of ten years. There seems to be an increased incidence during the winter and spring months, apparently related to an increase in respiratory tract infections.
The fluid in the middle ear may be clear and watery this is usually seen following respiratory infections and flare up of allergic nasal congestion. In glue ear, the effusion consists of thick and cloudy fluid. These gluey secretions are more prone to recurrent infections if they persist on a long term basis.
Children with fluid in the ear often complain of being stopped up or having popping ears. The older child and young adult may complain of having a hearing loss and of a feeling of fullness in the ear. The fluid in the middle ear is the most prevalent cause of hearing loss in school age children. These children are often described by teachers and parents as being inattentive, loud talkers, and slow learners. When middle ear effusion is present for a long period of time, there may be a delay in language development and learning resulting in poor school performance. Some of the children are prone to frequent ear infections with high fever and earaches.
Can Allergies Cause Ear Infections
Allergies can also lead to the development of ear infections. People who have seasonal or year long allergies are more likely to experience ear infections than those without.
Environmental allergies can irritate the eustachian tube, which runs from the middle ear to the throat. The eustachian tube helps balance pressure between the outer and inner ear.
An allergy can cause swelling around the eustachian tube, which can prevent fluid from draining away from the middle ear.
If this fluid collects behind the ear drum, it increases the risk of bacteria and viruses growing in the fluid. These bacteria and viruses can cause an ear infection in the middle ear.
Symptoms of a middle ear infection can appear suddenly and may include:
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Treatment For Inner Ear Infection
Infection in the ear is likely to occur in any of the three parts of the ear outer, middle and inner parts of the ear. Also, infection in the ear is a serious matter.
Therefore, it is important to treat the infection in order to prevent complications, which includes damaging or rupturing the eardrum and much more.
Diagnosis is a prior process of treatment. An audiologist will observe your ears with an otoscope. Then it will be followed by the hearing test. Your treatment will depend on the underlying causes of infections.
Individuals who have been diagnosed with an inner ear infection are advised to go for proper treatment.
Availing treatment for infection of the inner ear is mandatory for both children and adults. This is greatly achieved by seeking a professional doctor at a healthcare institution in your area.
In addition to using antibiotics, other medications may also be given to persons having an infection in the inner ear in order to reduce swelling and inflammation.
These are useful to treat an inner ear infection, to reduce swelling and inflammation, to treat nausea and vomiting, and to help eliminate dizziness and vertigo.
Following are some methods you can use to treat your inner ear infection: