What You Need to Know About Vestibular Neuritis
Do you know about vestibular neuritis? It’s a condition that leads to intense vertigo due to issues with the vestibular nerve. You can learn more about its causes, symptoms, and available treatments here.
What are the Causes of Vestibular Neuritis?
This condition impacts the vestibular system, which is responsible for sending signals to the brain that control balance. The cause of this disorder is often inflammation of the vestibular nerve in the inner ear, which can be caused by a virus or infection in the respiratory or gastrointestinal system. When the nerve is inflamed, it can disrupt the transmission of information to the brain and cause an altered sense of balance inconsistent with other bodily receptors, such as vision.
There could be various reasons for developing vestibular neuritis, including reduced blood flow to the inner ear, exposure to harmful substances, or allergies that impact the vestibular nerve.
What are the Symptoms?
Vestibular neuritis causes sudden and prolonged vertigo with spinning and unsteadiness. This condition typically lasts for 7-10 days and does not lead to hearing loss or tinnitus. If you experience nausea, dizziness, and sweating, it could be due to vestibular neuritis. In the initial days, patients can undergo a state known as nystagmus, which entails uncontrolled speedy horizontal eye movements before returning to the initial eye position slowly, patients with vestibular neuritis experience horizontal eye movement towards the healthy side.
The diagnosis and treatment of vestibular neuritis require a comprehensive approach. Experienced specialists consider the patient’s symptoms and conduct thorough physical examinations, including otologic and neurological exams. Additional tests like audiometry may be necessary to rule out other conditions and assess hearing loss.
Regarding treatment options, antiemetic, antihistamines, or benzodiazepines may be prescribed. However, these medications can be challenging to administer orally due to nausea and vomiting. It is important to note that prolonged use of these medications can delay vestibular compensation, so they should only be used when necessary. Physiotherapy is also crucial for recovery, utilizing appropriate body movements for each phase. This approach gradually improves symptoms as the brain adapts to the movements over time.