Vestibular neuronitis, or neuritis, is an infection of the vestibular nerve in the inner ear. It causes the vestibular nerve to become inflamed, disrupting your sense of balance.
The term labyrinthitis is often used to describe the same condition. However, people with labyrinthitis usually experience hearing loss as well as balance problems and dizziness.
In most cases, the symptoms of vestibular neuronitis pass within a few weeks. Treatment usually involves a combination of bed rest and medication at the start, followed by a gradual return to activity.
The most common symptoms of vestibular neuronitis are dizziness and vertigo – the sensation that you, or everything around you, is moving. This may cause you to feel nauseous or be sick, have difficulty concentrating and blurred vision.
These symptoms can range from mild to severe, with some people feeling that they’re unable to remain upright for the first few days. In most cases, the symptoms appear suddenly during the day or when you wake up in the morning.
After a few days, you can usually start moving around, but will feel dizzy and easily tired. Even after a few weeks, you may feel some dizziness when being active, particularly away from your home.
See your GP if you have these symptoms. You should also avoid driving, using tools and machinery, or working at heights if you’re feeling dizzy.
The vestibular nerve usually becomes inflamed because of a viral infection, which may have started with a sore throat, cold or flu.
Vestibular neuronitis can also be caused by a bacterial infection, such as a middle ear infection or meningitis, although this is much less common. Bacteria can also get into your inner ear if you have a head injury.
For more information about how we can help treat vestibular neuronitis, contact us today at (775) 507-2000.