Symptoms and Signs of Labyrinthitis

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis is inflammation of an inner ear structure called the labyrinth. The labyrinth is a collection of interconnected fluid-filled channels and canals. Part 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.

Common symptoms of labyrinthitis include a spinning sensation (vertigo), nausea, vomiting, and loss of balance. Other symptoms of labyrinthitis may include a mild headache, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and hearing loss. Symptoms may worsen when the head is moved, or when you sit up or roll over, or look upward. Depending on the cause and severity, symptoms may last days or weeks.

In rare cases, symptoms of labyrinthitis are chronic as with a condition called Meniere's disease. Symptoms of Meniere's disease include tinnitus and hearing loss with vertigo.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.