- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Labyrinthitis: An Inner Ear Condition
My Experience with Labryinthitis: A Personal Look at the Condition
A few months ago I had these dizzy spells that came and went. They lasted for a long time when I had them, but came and went. One day, it was so bad I went to the ER, which I blogged about. The ER doctor told me it was vertigo and prescribed me an antihistamine, meclizine.
I followed up with my Dr. the next day and he said I had acute labrynthitis. To the layman, this is from a virus in my inner ear. Basically, since that is where balance is controlled my brain is confused. It doesn't know where I am or what I am doing, which makes me dizzy all the time. He said the ER doctor gave me the right medication. I took if for about a week and it went away.
The bad part about this is that this condition can last for years- there is no cure. I can only mask the symptoms. So, yesterday it came back. However, I shrugged the dizziness off as not eating. When I got home, it became worse and today, even worse. I had some comp time from work I was using this morning, but asked if I could take the afternoon off. I also realized that we have training on Weds., snd told my boss I would still come on for that. However, I just got out of the shower from a scary experience.
While I was showering-and no I was not singing-I lost my balance and almost fell. I caught myself, but my heart was racing and I was petrified at the thought of me getting knocked out and laying in the shower, naked with water failing on me and no one around to help since I am home alone. It was a scary thought.
I usually shrug things off, but I need to start taking care of myself. I called the Dr. and the earliest they can see me is at 1:00 tomorrow. I called my boss to let her know. She advised that I stay home-even if I did go to the Dr. driving this dizzy is not a very smart idea.
The medicine does not seem to be working this time, although maybe I do need to take a few doses before it kicks in. When I took it last night, about a half hour later, around 8:00, my eyes were so heavy and I was slurring my speech. The next thing I knew, I woke up this morning on the loveseat, half sitting up. It conked me right out. I remembered that my doc said to take just half if that happens.
It upsets me feeling this groggy from a medication-first of all, I have more energy than ever since I became a vegetarian and it is also a lovely day. It's terrible I feel that way. Second, from a general standpoint, it's terrible that all a lot of medications do is make you sicker or have bad side effects. Sure, I can't feel that I am dizzy-BECAUSE I AM ASLEEP.
I am not sure what more the doc can do for me. Maybe there is a different medication, or maybe there is something else they can think of that I may have. In a strange sort of way, I like the name of my illness- acute labrynthitis because the Labyrinth was always one of my favorite movies.
Labryinthitis: A Medical Look at this Ear Condition
According to e-medicine.com, Labryinthitis is somewhat of not so much a rare condition, but one the medical community does not fully understand.
Labryinthitis is defined like this:
Labyrinthitis is an inflammation or dysfunction of the vestibular labyrinth (a system of intercommunicating cavities and canals in the inner ear). The syndrome is defined by the acute onset of vertigo, commonly associated with head or body movement. Vertigo is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or malaise.
What causes Labryinthitis?
According to e-medicine, physiologically, a mismatch of vestibular, visual, and somatosensory systems is present. This mismatch is triggered by an external stimulus, such as a stop after turning, a change in altitude, or motion/height sickness. A lesion within vestibular pathways (ie, inner ear to cerebral cortex) causes this imbalance.
Who Gets Labryinthitis?
More women than men contract labryinthitis, and most people are in their 40s.
What happens when someone gets Labryinthitis?
Although the vast majority of cases of labyrinthitis are self-limited, a minority of patients can have a more chronic and prolonged course. Patients express difficulties involving vertigo and hearing.
--Vertigo from movements, not limited to turning over in bed, reaching above the head, turning the head and more.
--Nausea and vomitting
--Temporary loss or change in hearing
How long does Labryinthitis last?
--Doctors say that this condition is self-limiting and usually goes away in a few weeks, however reoccurances are very common.
--Reoccuring episodes can last up to five years after the first case hits.
How is Labryinthitis treated?
Usually, medication is given to help treat the symptoms of the ear condition. Most commonly, antihistamines are given. Several medications have antivertiginous properties (eg, meclizine, scopolamine, ephedrine, dimenhydrinate, diazepam) and others are useful as antiemetics (eg, promethazine, prochlorperazine).