What is the treatment for labyrinthitis?
The following medication can be prescribed to help relieve symptoms:
- Antihistamines - desloratadine (Clarinex), or over-the-counter options such as loratadine (Claritin), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), or fexofenadine (Allegra).
- Meclizine (Antivert) which helps to reduce nausea and dizziness.
- Diazepam as a sedative.
- Prednisone as a corticosteroid (these are used to treat inflammation).
- Motion sickness medication to aid in the treatment of loss of balance and vertigo.
- Antibiotics will only be prescribed if you have a bacterial infection in the respiratory tract, or if the labyrinthitis is bacterial as antibiotics are not effective in the treatment of viral infections. Blood cultures and swabs of the fluid, if there is fluid available, will detect which bacteria is present and then an antibiotic will be prescribed.
To help treat vertigo, you can do the following:
- Do not move in sudden or quick movements.
- It is better to be in low lighting as this can help if you are feeling dizzy as bright lights are often deemed overwhelming when experiencing vertigo.
- If you are lying in bed and experience vertigo, try to keep your head still and sit up slowly.
- If you are walking and experience vertigo, try to find something to lean on or slowly sit down until it subsides.
PLEASE NOTE: It is not safe to drive if you are experiencing vertigo on a regular basis.
- Try to rest in a position that is comfortable for the first few days.
- Keep hydrated and drink a lot of water.
- Try to reduce your sodium and sugar intake as this can affect your vertigo as these foods are known to spike blood sugar levels.
- Avoid chocolate, alcohol and caffeine.
- Do not smoke cigarettes as these can make you feel lightheaded.
What is the outlook for labyrinthitis?
Most cases tend to resolve themselves in a few weeks with full recovery experienced after a month or so. Try and ease back on activities such as sports, work and driving until you have fully recovered as vertigo can impact your ability to function normally and put your safety at risk.
Cases tend to vary in severity. Some people may experience severe vertigo, others may just feel lightheaded and lose their sense of balance from time to time. If you feel as though you are getting dizzy, try to sit down and wait for the feeling to pass. If you have an infection of some kind already, such as a cold or the flu, and have the symptoms mentioned in this article, then book an appointment with your doctor as these may have caused an inner ear infection. Labyrinthitis is not a chronic condition and most people will only experience it once in their life.