Vestibular Neuritis

The Facts About Vestibular Neuritis

If you experience a sudden and severe episode of vertigo, you may suffer from vestibular neuritis. This disorder affects the vestibular nerve and can cause isolated attacks of vertigo. Learning about its symptoms, causes, and treatments is essential to understand this affliction better.

The Indications and Origins of Vestibular Neuritis

Vestibular neuritis impacts the vestibular system, caused by inflammation of the nerves in the inner ear. Its function is to transmit signals to the brain that regulate balance. The transmission can be disrupted when the nerve collects information, causing an inconsistent response with other body receptors like vision. This condition can result in a change in balance perception. This condition is often a result of a viral or bacterial infection that can affect the respiratory or gastrointestinal system, leading to inflammation of the vestibular nerve.

What are the Symptoms?

Vestibular neuritis causes a sudden bout of vertigo that typically lasts up to two days, accompanied by dizziness, loss of balance, and a spinning sensation. Other symptoms include nausea and sweating. The condition gradually fades away after the initial attack, usually lasting 7 to 10 days. Unlike Meniere’s disease and Labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis does not cause hearing loss or tinnitus. During the initial few days, patients may experience nystagmus, an involuntary horizontal eye movement followed by a slow return to the original position. In patients with vestibular neuritis, the eye movement occurs horizontally towards the healthy side.

Treatment Options

A specialist can diagnose vestibular neuritis through the patient’s symptoms description and physical investigation. Also, an otologic examination and a complete neurological exam should be performed. In some cases, It is possible to identify hearing loss through an audiometry test and rule out other afflictions.

This condition can be treated with antiemetics, antihistamines, or benzodiazepines, though their oral administration may be challenging due to nausea and vomiting. However, extended use of these medications should be avoided as they may hamper vestibular compensation. Furthermore, physiotherapy rehabilitation techniques are employed to perform suitable body movements for each recovery phase, allowing the brain to get accustomed to them, leading to symptom improvement.

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