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Anyone have any experience of LABYRINTHITIS????

72 replies

mrsjingles · 20/03/2004 20:56

Hi, my husband has been diagnosed today with labyrinthitis, after a week of illness and today passing out twice, being sick and dizzy, and i just wondered if anyone else had any experience of how long it normally lasts??? thanks

OP posts:
ssd · 02/06/2006 20:40

I've had it and it seems to be coming back - I hate it. It's horrible when you have it as the world seems to be spinning and it won't stop. I've tried medication but TBH didn't help much. It does pass with time but comes back now and then. My trigger is turning to the left too quickly, that brings it on. But of course turning round is something we do automatically!! And I can't turn round to the left when I'm in bed as I always go dizzy - poor dh sleeps to my left!!!

spacecadet · 02/06/2006 20:43

ssd-you may also have benign posistional vertigo, which can be eased with the epley manouvre

ssd · 02/06/2006 20:56

spacecadet, you've lost me!!

what is that exactly?

spacecadet · 02/06/2006 21:01

sorry!-its when you get brief episodes of spinning or severe light headedness on changing posistion, either turning over in bed or looking up, its caused by normally harmless crystals, become dislodged and floating free in one of the chambers of the inner ear, on changing posistion the crystals move about causing the dizziness, but settle down quickly, a simple technique called the epley which can be performed in an ent doctors office, re locates the crystals, to a chamber where they cant do any harm, its very common and the epley is just a series of head movements which the doctor carries out taking about ten minutes, you are advised to sleep at a 45 degree angle for 2 days afterwards.

Judd · 02/06/2006 22:54

Thanks for all of your replies! I could feel it coming on this evening but luckily it seems to have gone away now. I'm just left with a buzzing left ear which seems like a breeze compared to what it could have been!
It seems to be a lot more common than I thought.

spacecadet · 02/06/2006 23:13

judd-buzzing, clicking etc in the ear is common with labs, as is blocked, full feeling ears, have you ever had any balance function tests?

singersgirl · 02/06/2006 23:27

I suffer intermittently from dizzy spells which the doctor thought was probably benign positional vertigo. But I do often get stuffed up nose beforehand, and feeling of fullness in the sinuses. Also the popping and clicking in the ears. I've only once been so dizzy I nearly fell - usually it's just a few days with dizzy spells, though sometimes the room seems to spin.

spacecadet · 02/06/2006 23:31

singersgirl, blocked sinuses will def aggravate any balance probs you already have.

singersgirl · 02/06/2006 23:35

Mmm, well, it's definitely nothing like as bad as labyrinthitis, having just visited the website. My doc did mention the exercises you could do for BPV, but didn't know much about them - told me to come back if it got unbearable and she would find out. But it's so intermittent with me I just accept it now.

spacecadet · 02/06/2006 23:38

you really need to see an ent consultant to get your problem diagnosed, you would habe balance function tests carried out which would reveal any damage done to the inner ear.
there are many things that could be causing your dizziness and regardless of whether its intermittent or not, you really need it investigating.

spacecadet · 02/06/2006 23:40

btw exercises for bpv are usually customised for your type of balance prob, however you can do the standard cooksey-cawthorne exercises and they may help.

nooka · 02/06/2006 23:41

I had labrythitis just after having dd. It was the scariest thing I have ever had in my life. It would just come on with no warning and I would just lie on the bathroom floor feeling appalling, listening to dd screaming blue murder for food and not be able to do anything about it. Horrible. I had to stop breastfeeding so that I could take Stemetil, which was fantastic. Mostly because it took away the fear of being incapacitated at any time. Now I think I was lucky as it went completely away within weeks. I think I had the viral sort, as a friend had it just before I did. Hope it goes away really soon.

spacecadet · 02/06/2006 23:43

nooka-what a horrible experience-glad you recoveredSmile

nooka · 02/06/2006 23:56

Thanks spacecadet! I think get the occasional benign positional vertigo too, but that's childs play in comparison (feel woozy, think: when did I last eat? must sit on floor with head between legs for a while type stuff) although it does put me off things like packing or going clothes shopping, as they are guaranteed to make me feel faily yuck. Mostly I'm pretty healthy though! :o

singersgirl · 02/06/2006 23:57

Thanks, Spacecadet. Will mention it when I go to the docs next week about my perimenopausal symptoms Sad

ssd · 03/06/2006 09:24

thanks spacecadet.

I think I'll make a doctors appointment, can you give me any ideas what to ask about? eg.benign posistional vertigo and the exercises relating to it?

spacecadet · 03/06/2006 15:21

ssd-you need to ask your gp to refer you to an ent consultant who specialises in balance problems, there are 3 excellent balance centres in the country, the first is in london, second leicester and 3rd cambridge, however, your gp may know of other ents who also specialise.
when you tell the ent your symptoms, he will normally, do some simple tests first which can rule out or diagnose bpv, there is a procedure called the dix hallpike, which involves, leaning you back very quickly on the couch and watching for any eye movements, a positive dix hallpike then usually indicates bpv, then the ent will carry out the epley.
if the ent does nor suspect bpv, he/she will normally arrange for you to return for some balance function tests, these normally take an hour and you may feel a bit wobbly afterwards.
after you have had your tests, your ent will normally be able to make a diagnosis, depending on the diagnosis, he may siggest a programme of tailored cooksey cawthorne exercises designed to help your brain over come your dizziness.

spacecadet · 03/06/2006 15:21


Judd · 03/06/2006 17:19

Spacecadet - just before I was referred for a catscan, I went had an appointment with a consultant who made me do things like march up and down on the spot with my eyes closed and then clap my hands. Is that the sort of balance tests you are talking about?
I feel a lot better today, don't know why it came over me yesterday. I'm just a little wary as I had a rotten summer last year with loads of episodes and being bedridden for 2 days of our week long holiday!

spacecadet · 03/06/2006 19:13

judd-the tests you had done in the doctors office were purely for the consultant to assess how severe your balance problem was and also to give the consultant an idea of whether your problem was inner ear related or neurological-they werent diagnostic balance function tests.
these usually consist of being asked to follow a moving dot back and forth, up and down etc whilst wearing frenzel goggles, also something called the caloric test where water of diff temps is placed in the ear and your eye movements monitored, these tests will let the ent consultant know what part, if any of the inner ear is damaged.

Littlefish · 03/06/2006 19:43

This is really interesting SC. I had labrythitis about 4 years ago which lasted about 2 weeks. Since then, I get dizzy if I lean backwards, or turn over in bed too quickly and my right ear often feels "hot" inside. My balance has always been crummy and I can't even stand on one leg without falling over Grin. I think a visit to my GP might be in order!

JennyLee · 03/06/2006 20:39

I have had it 3 times in 2 years and it lasts on average of 2 to 3 weeks and no tablets such as stemetil or buccastem worked as they are anti emetics and I was not feeling or being sick buccastem made me feel numb and dozey so stopped taking it, als o some doctors told me I had stress and were a bit sceptical even though had been told by hospital labyrinthitis is what it is.

spacecadet · 03/06/2006 22:34

littlefish-the labs could have triggered bpv so a trip to the doctors might be in order as a simple head move performed by an ent doctor can resolve bpv in many cases.
jennylee-the current medication of choice for spells of vertigo is cinnarizine, its quite effective, stemetil is not all that effective and shouldnt be taken continously for more than a week or so. unfortunately many doctors who dont fully understand balance probs diagnose stress.

saadia · 03/06/2006 22:57

MIL has just been diagnosed with this and my understanding is that there is no test for it and no treatment. She has had appalling episodes - feeling very thirsty, shapes before her eyes, chest being crushed - and once even thought she was dying and an ambulance had to be called. She has been given tablets and her condition has improved but she is still suffers from episodes of dizziness and buzzing in her ears.

Does anyone else who suffered/suffers from this find that tiredness brings on these episodes as we are trying to figure out what triggers them for MIL.

spacecadet · 03/06/2006 23:11

saadia-labs is a virus that attacks the inner ear, causing perm,anent damage to the balsance organ in the affected ear, most people who have it also suffer mild hearing loss aswell. once you have had labs, the brain usually compensates very well for the damage caused, but naturally its not unusual for the brain to occassionally "forget" what it has learned and a decompensation attack occurs.
a good ent specialist will refer a "dizzy" patient for balance function tests and these in the majority of cases will give the doctor an idea of what is causing the dizziness, if there is inner ear damage then it can usually be detected in the tests.
in the first week of the illness you are normally too ill to get up and move around and vestibular suppressants help, however after this time, its important to stop taking meds as they hinder compensation and to move about as much as possible.
however, some of your mil's symptoms are not usual of labs.
has she been seen by an ent specialist? as only they are qualified to give a diagnosis.
fwiw, i find tiredness, illness and stress causes a re-ccurrance of my symptoms

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