Groupe Forget - Polyclinique de l'Oreille

What Is Labyrinthitis?

The term labyrinthitis is often used to describe an episode of intense vertigo (sensation of spinning or being in motion). However, labyrinthitis is actually an uncommon problem, although it is often confused with other causes of vertigo.

What is labyrinthitis exactly?

It’s an inflammation of the inner ear (the labyrinth, hence its name), which is often caused by a virus.

The main symptoms are vertigo (spinning) lasting for more than 24 hours and hearing loss in the affected ear. Labyrinthitis is not a recurring problem; therefore, once it’s cured, it should not happen again.

If you are experiencing vertigo, an audiological assessment may be needed to identify the cause of the symptoms. Hearing loss is sometimes the only way to differentiate labyrinthitis from another problem with similar symptoms.

Physicians need to know whether the patient’s hearing has been impaired or not in order to diagnose labyrinthitis.

An audiologist will be able to tell you the next steps to take if labyrinthitis is suspected. Some audiologists are also specifically trained to assess vestibular function.

Don’t hesitate to ask!

If you have any questions about your hearing or that of a loved one, our hearing health professionals will be happy to answer them.

BY ISABELLE  LANDRY, Audiologist, Polyclinique de l’Oreille

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