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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Labyrinthitis is an inflammation of the labyrinth or nerves in the inner ear. The labyrinth helps you hear and keep your balance. Symptoms can make it difficult to walk or do your normal activities, but are not life-threatening.
- Antivertigo medicine: This may help decrease dizziness.
- Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and prevent vomiting.
- Antiviral medicine: This is given to treat an infection caused by a virus.
- Antibiotics: This medicine may be given if your labyrinthitis is caused by a bacterial infection.
- Steroids: This medicine may be given to decrease inflammation in your inner ear.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Do the following when you have signs and symptoms of labyrinthitis:
- Be calm and take slow, deep breaths.
- Sit or lie down right away when you feel dizzy.
- Keep your head as still as possible and do not change positions quickly. Move slowly and let yourself get used to one position before moving to another position.
- Do not walk without help, drive a car, or operate heavy machinery when you feel dizzy.
This is also known as vestibular and balance rehabilitation therapy (VBRT). This may be done with a physical therapist or at home. VBRT includes movement exercises while sitting or standing. These exercises will make you dizzy, but can also help your brain adapt to the triggers that are causing your vertigo. Over time, this therapy may decrease the number of times you have vertigo and can help improve your balance.
Walking and home safety:
Use a 4-prong cane or walker to help you keep your balance when you walk. Remove loose carpeting from the floor to reduce your risk of a fall. Use chairs with side arms and hard cushions to make it easier to get up or out of a chair. Put grab bars on the walls beside toilets and inside showers and bathtubs. These will help you get up and help prevent falls. You may want to put a shower chair inside the shower.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have ear pain.
- You feel weak, tired, or lose weight without trying.
- Your symptoms keep coming back or get worse.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You are unable to keep any fluids, food, or medicine down without vomiting.
- You have a dry mouth or cracked lips.
- You have a headache, stiff neck, and a fever.
- Your heartbeat is fast or irregular.
- You are unable to urinate.
- You have blood, pus, or fluid coming out of your ears.
- You have dizzy spells that last longer than they usually do.
- You have difficulty speaking or thinking clearly.
- You have weakness or numbness in part of your body.
- You have changes in vision or shortness of breath.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.