What is labyrinthitis?
Labyrinthitis is an ear disorder characterized by inflammation of the semicircular ear canal in the inner ear, known as the labyrinth. Due to the inflammation of the labyrinth, its function becomes interrupted, including the regulation of balance.
This disorder is thought to be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, since it usually occurs following otitis media or an upper respiratory infection. It also occurs due to allergy, cholesteatoma, or ingestion of certain drugs that damage the inner ear.
Labyrinthitis usually disappears spontaneously after several weeks. To ease the symptoms, the infection can be treated with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. Moreover, it is advisable to take certain precautions during the episode of labyrinthitis, such as keeping still and resting, resuming activity gradually, and avoiding reading, sudden position changes and bright lights.
Risk factors include the use of prescribed or non-prescribed drugs (especially aspirin), stress, fatigue, and heavy consumption of cigarettes and alcohol.
Alternative names for this disease are bacterial or serous labyrinthitis.