Labrynthitis.. will I get better?

Posted , 14 users are following.

Hi all!  

New to forums here! I really need some words of encouragement/advice on this condition. 

So, I have been diagnosed with labrynthitits  

It all started about 4 weeks ago. I thought I might have caught a slight cold from my roommate, although I didn't really feel that sick. The next day though I was pretty dizzy all day but I rested and brushed it off. The next day I was feeling a lot better. Yet, over the course of that week I started noticing that I would get these dizzy spells with ringing in my ear that would last for a few minutes and dissapate. They were'nt bothering me that much as they would go away. But then, on April 3rd I thought I was having another spell but this time, after a few minutes, it did not go away. It is coming up on almost 3 weeks for me now with the constant 24/7 dizziness. The dizziness isn't a rotational vertigo, but more like I am swaying and i'm on a boat. Occasionally my ear will ring but it usually goes away within a few minutes. Serc didn't seem to do much for me so I've stopped taking it as i've read it can prolong recovery as it does not allow for compensation. I have good days where I feel like i'm getting better, normal and am happy again and then I'll have bad days that make me feel like i'm taking 5 steps back. I actually travelled yesterday - took 3 1hr flights home - I was tired and stressed for most of the day. I don't know if it has to do with the travelling but I'm feeling particularly bad today. Additionally, I've read that menstraution makes symptoms worse and I am supposed to start mine like tomorrow. I am only coming up on week 3 as far as the 24/7 dizziness, and I want to try and stay positive that I am going to get better but i'ts hard when I'm having bad days. 

Is recovery from this illness usually linear? Will I ever get better? I'm only 21 years old and Im missing out on going out with my friends and enjoying life like I used to... I hate to think that I am getting depressed because I am such a happy person but this is really taking a toll on my mental health. This is so scary and I want to have my 'normal' life back...   

Does anyone have any words of comfort or advice concerning this condition?   


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  • Posted

    Since you are seeing intermittent good days I believe you will see things continue to improve. The normal course for this is 6 - 8 weeks. Interesting that it was diagnosed as Labrynthitis. Did you have hearing loss or just the tinnitus? What type doctor did you see for your diagnosis?
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  • Posted

    Hi Ms. Rach(el?), Ben here,

    Please take heart, you will most certainly get past this "temporary" setback in your life.  It does not seem to follow some predetermined time period or length, it takes as long as it takes, but you can influence that time by doing some things to help, namely;  Diet and Exercise aimed at that recovery.  You will have better days and then setbacks. But you have youth to assist you, something I only wish I had just because of the fast recovery rate of being younger. It has taken me a very long time to recover, but that I am, recovering, and you will too!

    Please, please, please seek more medical help though because there must be more than a dozen things that can bring on the symptoms you describe and some of them can lead to more serious conditions if left unattended to.  I know that you are a person who cares about yourself by the concern that you have gone to just so far on this site, so don't sell yourself short, get more help to try determine more precisely what it is that you have.

    It may seem like a shotgun approach, but the symptoms you describe, can be more serious than Vertigo. And the lasting effects are not known well, so one must seek the help of professionals and stay at it until one-by-one things are ruled out.  It is costly to do it this way, but since this type of affliction is not a glamorous one, it doesn't attract the attention of the big guns.  We just have to use what there is and keep at it until we get results.

    If I may, there is a very interesting article at a web page for Dr. Carol Foster MD  at :  Vertigo Treatment | Newsroom | University of Colorado Denver.  If you search this title you will be enlightened about two kinds of Vertigo that the doctor herself experienced causing dizziness and from there you can go to other websites and soon you will find there so many different things that the symptoms you describe can be caused by, that you will see why I ask you to seek more medical attention.  From a simple vitamin deficiency or a virus to a spinal / brain problem.


    Trust me, I have had plenty of specialist appointments, MRI, CAT SCAN w/CONTRAST, AUDITORY TESTS, BALANCE TESTS, BLOOD TESTS, FULL PHYSICAL, I even had a SLEEP STUDY TEST done on me to try to rule out so many other things that could be the cause of this culprit.  To me some were not that worthwhile, but in order to "rule-out" things in an orderly fashion, to know what it's not, then to only surmise what it might be, because there seems to be an endless list of possibilities.  I think that is why what doctors do is called "practice", and it's been this way since way back in the beginning of professional medicine.  

    For me, after almost 16 months I am beginning to walk without stumbling much and drive, albeit slowly and cautiously.  My diagnosis is nerve damage from an inner ear infection of something unknown ( never defined ) most likely a virus, but could have been a bacteria.  I have what is called Vestibular Neuritis, very similar to Labrynthitis -- inflammation or swelling of the labyrinth or inner ear, causing the nerve to swell or become inflamed.  In my case it is decided that I have nerve damage that causes me to receive false or incorrect balance signals and it affects everything about me.  My mood and anxiety levels, feeling of well-being, balance, thought composition, alertness and eye coordination are all affected by this disorder.  Lookup Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex (VOR).  To work through it I find it fatiguing and after a full day of exercising and working around the symptoms I am exhausted.

    So, please stay intouch with the medical professionals and get yourself some assurance that you have narrowed it down to a workable level, then do the exercises and work with your diet to optimize your chances for a speedy and full recovery.  Better days are coming.  



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    • Posted

      Hi Ben, 


      I'm glad you are on the road to recovery and starting to resume your normal life!  

      I went to three different GP's and they all told me labs. All of them did a series of tests like walking heel to toe with eyes opened and closed, reflex tests and asked me to do several cordination tests, like touching my finger to my nose and following an item with my eyes. None of them were worried that it was anything more serious, but I guess having tests done can ease any feelings of uncertainty... I will look into that if I find that I am not improving. 

      And you are right, I have never proceeded to posting to forums except for now because this is so foreign to me and I hate that it's intruding on my 'normal' life. I am thankful that my symptoms are not so extreme as one of my doctors said that one time he saw a patient whose eyes were rapidly moving everywhere and the paitent was so dizzy she couldn't even get out of her wheelchair. That makes me hopeful that maybe because my symptoms aren't that extreme that I will recover within the 8 weeks time frame, or even better, sooner. Also, that I have had a few days where I have felt almost dizzy free which makes me feel a little better too. I think that last night and today have been particularly rough because yesterday i was travelling all day (and stressed as flying makes me anxious) and additionally my menstrual cycle is starting - as I mentioned before.    

      I'm not even in my third week yet as far as the 24/7 dizziness goes so I am hopeful that the next few weeks I will see improvement.  


      Thanks for your reply and support!


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    • Posted

      Wow that's along time to go through this. I was diagnosed with the same as you. Its been 10 months so far. I have OK days and crappy days. Can u tell me more about your diet and what I should do?? Do u take anything for the dizziness....ativan has helped but it slows compensation. How are you feeling now days??
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  • Posted

    Hi Rach

    Sorry to hear you are having such an awful time, particularly as you are so young.

    Tinnitus and vertigo can be alarming when you first experience it. Labrynthitis can affect the inner ear causing the symptoms you describe and your diagnosis is probably right. Although tinnitus can be permanent for some people (I've had it several years) it sounds like in your case it's likely to be temporary. 

    I understand it must be difficult for you but don't let it get you down.   Believe that you will get better and even if it takes a little while you will eventually get through it. 

    All the best.

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    • Posted

      Hi veemae, 


      Thanks for your reply!  

      It's so good to hear that I will eventually get better...I'm assuming that you also had labrynthitis/vestibular neuritits or something similar? Are you still suffering from any dizziness? If not, how long did it take you to recover from the unbalanced feelings? The ringing can be annoying at times but it's not constant and i'm not as bothered by it as I am the feelings of unblalance.  

      I'm sorry that your tinnitus has not subsided. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Rach

      In reply to your question, I've had tinnitus for many years.  I have a high pitched ringing sound and a deep vibrating sound that never stops. When I'm busy doing things I can ignore it but it interferes with my sleep. I also have migraine and vertigo and when I have an attack of this it makes the tinnitus worse.  I think that mine is the result of ear damage and have accepted that the tinnitus is permanent. I am able to have a good quality of life most of the time and am grateful for that.

      Although mine is permanent it is more than likely that you will recover. I am much older than you and and probably don't have as good an immune system so hopefully you should soon recover.

      Take care.

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    • Posted

      Hello Veemae, Ben here.

      I currently have VN, and Tinnitus.  I was falsely diagnosed with Meniere's disease at first by an ENT (who was more interested in selling me hearing aids than getting my condition correct), BUT he did prescribe a medication that was supposed to help, and when I read the bottle it said it was for Tinnitus.  So, if you care to try to find it, where ever you are, in the states it is called Lipo- Flavonoid® Plus.  I believe it is over the counter too.  So, if you haven't tried it you might want to give it a look.  

       You may want to Google it to find out more about it.  I know that it has a lot of ascorbic acid for it's source of  Vitamin C, so you may want to keep track of how much other ascorbic acid you are taking in, as it can cause stomach irritation.  It has other vits and "stuff"  in it too that may be benneficial, likeEriodictyol glycoside, (an extract from lemon citrus bioflavonoid) Vitamins B6, and B12,Niacin,Riboflavin,Thiamine Choline Inositol and Pantothenic acid. I don't want to "sell" it, so if you care to, look it up.  I tried it for my symptoms very early on and I did not notice any difference in my condition so I did not renew when I went through two bottles.  But it might work for Tinnitus, I couldn't tell at the time because I was just so overwhelmed with the whole experience.  I just live with my Tinnitus.


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    • Posted

      Thank you for the information Ben, I will look it up.

      I think I'm in a similar situation to you where nothing has helped, so I've just resigned myself to that fact that I will have to live with it. I was advised to take Vitamin B by my GP (I'm in the UK) for vertigo. I have a lot of issues, including allergies (Asprin and other salicilate products, some additives and preservatives).  I also have sensitivities that affect my migrainie and have to be careful what I eat and what I take.  

      I too was investigated for Menieres but it was ruled out.  I understand how confusing it can be with these conditions.  At least we know there are others experiencing the same.

      Take care.

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  • Posted

    Have you thought about a specialist? And has anyone told you about the Epley Maneuver?  I've been doing it every day for 6 weeks today, and I am so, so much better. When I do have a strenuous day and I may be fine, the next day I'm washed out and feeling bad. But I HAVE noticed, and been told, to figure out what makes it worse. In my case it's looking up, rocking up quickly out of bed, and getting out of a chair quickly and turning at the same time. What helps prevent dizziness for me is to look straight ahead at one point, and even if turning to one side, try to keep that focus. 

    I'm told--and I'm trying to do it more--to drink lots of water. Also, cut down on salt. I also find that going out into the fresh air makes me feel better.

    But my case is not 24/7. That's the reason you might see a specialist. Wish I could help more. I'd definitely try the Epley maneuver which you can see demonstrated on YouTube.

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    • Posted

      I have thought about seeing a specialist... I just have to find one in my area and make an appointment.  

      I dont know how simlar they are but I have tried the Brandt daroff excercises and VRT excercises, although I haven't been doing them religiously or even everyday for that matter... mostly just when I feel like it. 

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    • Posted

      I'm pretty sure my case is Vestibular Neuritis, though not as constant as yours. I've had it for 6 weeks. Doing the Epley Maneuver every day religiously, I am almost completely cured. I don't know if it was the maneuver or the natural course of the ailment. I've waited nearly a month for a specialist appointment to rule out worse things. Not sure if I should go now; if they give me all those spinning tests, I'm afraid I'll get worse. I had the results from tests I took 5 years ago sent to me; the famous "specialist" never even called me back. Reading them, I see exactly the symptoms I have now. I'm assuming I didn't have anything worse. I'll check with my GP to see if she thinks I should follow through with this ENT specialist. But really, I am 95% better. 
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    • Posted

      M. Marion, Ben here.

      I hope you know that Eply is for BPPV.   It is intended to put loose calcium crystals back into place or somewhere where they don't cause problems.  I have a cut from a web page for you to read:

      "The Epley and Semont maneuvers are exercises used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). They are done with the assistance of a doctor or physical therapist. A single 10- to 15-minute session usually is all that is needed."

      The way I read this, it is only done ONE TIME.  Doing it over and over isn't mentioned.  Although I don't think it can hurt you other than giving you a neck ache from tossing your head around.

      "When your head is firmly moved into different positions, the calcium crystal (canalith) debris causing vertigo, will slip out of the semicircular canal into an area of the inner ear where it will no longer cause symptoms. Two maneuvers have been used successfully: the Epley maneuver and the Semont maneuver."

      So I sincerely hope you have not been doing these exercises in vain.

      There are, however, a myriad of other exercises that you can do if you have a different disorder that involves the inner ear.  I will cite a few examples for Menier's Disease, Vestubular Neuritits and Labrynithitis:


      Stand on one foot, eyes open and then eyes closed, for 30 seconds then the other foot.

      Stand with both feet together eyes open then closed, for 30 seconds

      Walk looking down at your feet, then look up far away in front, 

      then back to feet then to each side far away looking back at your feet in between 

      Keeping them in focus, use 2 letters and do the following :


      Looking at a 1" tall letter at 5 feet, then at a 1/2" letter at 2 feet, back and forth faster and faster as you get better at it. 

      Then move the small letter closer and closer to your eyes as you look back and forth at the two letters.  

      Using the 1/2" letter again, starting at arms length, turn your head left and right and then up and down, very slowly at first then faster as you get proficient at keeping them in focus. 

      Turn your head only moderately fast, this is not to be done too quickly.

      Do these for 3 minutes at a time 3 to 5 times a day. 

      Trying to bring on some level of dizziness, to learn to disregard it and develop a compensation for it the following: 

      Sit on the edge of a bed and turn your head left or right and fall backward landing your upper shoulders on a soft pillow that wil let your head land on the bed, allowing your neck to bend a only little bit further than just landing your head flat on the mattress, keeping your head in the same position, roll over to that side and onto your stomach and then slowly get back up. Stopping at any position to allow the dizziness to subside.

      M. Marion, I paid a lot of money to learn these exercises from professionals.  I share them with you in hopes that you will understand better what kind of exercise you might consider to help with your condition if it is indeed something other than BPPV. I'm not a doctor, I just have been "though it'" for a long time, and don't want you to be doing something that isn't going to help you.


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    • Posted

      Thanks, Ben,

      Re the Epley:  Although the YouTube video on the Maneuver said you could do it once and be done, my Physical Therapist said that is not his experience with patients, and he gave me a printed sheet demonstrating it, which said do it three times a day. He told me just once a day, which I've been doing.. And, indeed, the vertigo has been going on for 6 weeks. now 90% or more better.

      By the way, the last exercise you mention, beginning with "Sit on the edge of a bed" describes the Epley as I learned it. I did recently send for my medical records from 2010 when I also had it. They say probably Vestibular Neuritis, relapsing type, And come to think of it, I had it in the late 1980's, in 2006, 2010, and now. A nurse I met mentioned that she gets it every 5 years. So it seems to add up. Will see the new ENT doctor anyway at the end of the month. I'm bringing my old records in the hopes that I can avoid repeating some of the tests.

      What is your condition regarding the vertigo, etc.? 

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    • Posted

      Hi M. Marion,

      I am glad to hear that you know at least as much as I do about BPPV. Most people do the Eply or Half-Somersault for BPPV, but if it helps, sobeit.  I am also sorry to hear that it reoccurs.  Again, I'm no doctor, but it sounds like you have BPPV to me, so I sincerely hope your health care professionals have you diagnosed right.   And illustrates just how spooky this whole inner ear thing is, it mimics so many other problems with it's symptoms, that it is a real issue trying to get an accurate diagnosis.  

      In my case, supposedly having Vestibular Neuritis, my personal experience has been, what ever brings on the feeling of dizziness or that "almost going to faint feeling" is what I am after to try to desensitize myself to it.   The pro's call it compensation, I call it getting used to it! Sometimes I feel like I need to get on a merry-go-round and stay on it until I either get used it or desensitized to it enough that it feels so much better when I stop that I don't notice my light-headedness any more.


      I am still not working after 16 months, because I can't walk a straight line and I have a lot of trouble getting my eyes to focus on things and concentrating.  Just trying to type this post is real therapy.  I don't seem to have the memory to put my fingers onto the right keys and I have to back up often and fix mistakes due to pressing a key with the wrong finger on the opposite hand.  My eyes are jumpy, I cannot look at the words with out jumping all over the sentenance and infact sometimes I can't seem to even "find" the next line while I am reading.  My mind seems to be preoccupied with something making me feel like I am competing with something to concentrate.  It is ridiculous that I will spell a word like "their" when I mean to spell "they're or "there".  In my mind I seem to have lost track of the value of  being sure that I use correct word usage, and spelling?  Well that seems like a lost cause at the moment.


      I am still considered employed at my job.  And I have a really good one too.  But it requires a sharp pair of eyes, well trained mind with quick intuitive thinking to be able to identify abnormalities.  I work in the auto manufacturing industry, but I am in what they call advanced engineering.  I work on things that are 2 or 3 years ahead of production.

      My field of interest is in drivability (how the vehicle engine and transmission work together from the drivers perspective) and fuel economy, and it is a very complex interaction between the vehicle many many computers recording everything the vehicle does.  It is very exacting and requires full attention and this "thing" that I have has turned me into a klutz.  I still knock things over and spill things and stumble around.  But I am better than I was a year ago, that's for sure.  The trouble is that I am running out of time for my job to be there for me if and when I can get back to it.

      That's an update on my current condition, thank you for asking, and I hope to hear that you are doing better soon.



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    • Posted

      Are you sure you haven't had a stroke? I had a stroke 3 years ago, and your symptoms seem to be similar to mine. I also have Balance and dizziness problems, concentration issues etc.  My DR has suggested Menieres. But they only came on after the stroke.

      I too have problems doing simple tasks, carrying a cup and saucer is problematic. More tea ends up in the saucer, than the cup. When I write the words meander away from the centre line.

      The associated loss in confidence is not helping, tell yourself you can't do something, means you can't do it. 

      Hope you situation improves and you are able to return to your career, it sounds fascinating. 

      Tell me why do you use a UK forum, isn't there something similar at home? If not why don't you start one?

      Best wishes Pauline


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