Font Size
A
A
A
1
...

Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis Overview

Labyrinthitis means an inflammation of the inner ear structure called the labyrinth. Sometimes the term labyrinthitis refers to other causes of inner ear problems that have no inflammation because those problems produce similar symptoms.

  • You have a labyrinth in each of your inner ears, encased in thick bone near the base of your skull. As the name implies, the labyrinth is a maze of interconnected fluid-filled channels and canals. Half of the labyrinth, the cochlea, is shaped like a snail's shell. It sends information about sounds to the brain. The other half looks something like a gyroscope with 3 semicircular canals connected to an open cavern or vestibule. The vestibule portion of the labyrinth sends information to the brain regarding the position and movement of your head. Any disturbance of the vestibule can lead to faulty information going to your brain.
  • Your eyes also send positioning information to your brain. When information from the labyrinth and the eyes don't match, the brain has trouble interpreting what is happening. This misinterpreting often leads to a sensation that you are spinning (vertigo) or a feeling that you are moving when in fact you are remaining still. Feelings of motion sickness (nausea and vomiting) often follow. Sometimes you will experience hearing loss or abnormal sounds such as a high- or low-pitched ringing (tinnitus).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/6/2014
Medical Author:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:

Must Read Articles Related to Labyrinthitis

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
Benign Positional Vertigo Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common cause of vertigo. Causes of BPPV include infections, nerve inflammation, ear surgery compl...learn more >>
Meniere Disease
Meniere Disease Meniere's disease is a syndrome in which you experience episodes of spinning vertigo (sense of the room spinning), hearing loss, and tinnitus (ringing in the ea...learn more >>
Vertigo
Vertigo Vertigo, a feeling or perception that the environment around you is moving or spinning can be caused by inner ear inflammation, Benign paroxysmal positional ver...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Labyrinthitis:

Labyrinthitis - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with labyrinthitis?



NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Labyrinthitis and Related Conditions »

Labyrinthitis is an inflammatory disorder of the inner ear or labyrinth.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary