Vestibular Neuritis/Labyrinthitis Question

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USA | Atlanta, GA | 41/m 220lbs 5' 11"

Moderate Drinker - Semi-Active - Under a Moderate Amount of Stress Daily 

Low Level Tinnitus Already Present 

ADHD/Mild Bi-Polar Issues/OCD

I started experiencing a slight ringing in my right ear about two weeks ago, very minor but noticeable. Then I had a fairly average cold/sinus infection and the ringing increased in volume, to the point of being noticeable but still relatively low level.

After about 3 days I went to the ER, the doctor claimed it was just swimmers ear (due what he claimed was a swollen ear drum). I was given drops and started on some left over (not expired) Amoxicillin I had on hand. 

The Friday after Thanksgiving (one week in) the slight-dizziness started, very mild - just a slight lean to my walk, however I was clear headed and focused. That's important to remember.

So, went to my GP and I *think* she mistook the milky-white drops in my ear for infection, ordered a steroid shot, a 6 day methyl-presidone pack and Levaquin (antibiotic) + a nasal steroid.

Bonus Snag: There was a mix up on the prescription instructions and I ended up doubling up the oral steroid w/the shot. Needless to say I was a mess, stopped all medications and was given a milder ZPak.

This past Wednesday I finally saw an ENT, had my right ear cleaned and a hearing test that showed as normal. I was told since I couldn't tolerate steroids I would have to 'wait it out' with healthy foods, water and exercise. 

The ENT said it was a 'minor' case of Labyrinthitis and I could be better in two days, or a few weeks -and typically it's a one step forward two steps back situation. I was given 2mg of Valium (4x daily) prescription to assist with 'centering' my balance. Thus far I have only taken 2 daily.

So here's my current status- after beating back a horrible sense of 'fight or flight' for a few days which sent adrenaline pumping through my veins where I was a ball of stress, jumping to conclusions etc. (thx Google wink I have found a sense of relative calm +decided I will only use the Valium for extreme emergencies and try to be a 'normal' as possible, since I hate the grogginess.

So I can-

Walk /Run Decently - No Spins/Vertigo 

Handle Focused Activities - Driving, Online Gaming

Handle Workload (Design/Web) - With Extra Focus/Concentration 


Ringing has Lessened 

Mood Swings Subsided 

However I am struggling with-

Time of day/Situational Awareness/Periphery

Memory and Focus 

Uneasy/unnerving Feelings

Tiredness/Feeling Dulled

Please tell me this is normal two weeks in, and that I will get better?

Thank you all-! 

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    I'm not sure lab. wise as I have Menieres and BPPV *but* Valium was given to me as well that I do not take because of the tired feeling it leaves behind. I think a lot of us only use it in emergencies now.

    Anxiety is very common when it comes to vestibular issues and anxiety can cause all that you describe. It doesn't sound as if you have a strong case (being your doc said slight + based on what you describe) so it is possible that your nerves may be causing *some* of the above (uneasy/unnerving).

    As for the memory and focus problems, we call that "brain fog" and vestibular issues seem to cause tons of it so I'm not surprised by that either. It will also make you tired plus throw in your body recouping from the anxiety and that will put a damper on ya. 

    Im not quite sure what you mean by time of day/awareness/periphery but everything else you describe is typical vestibular/anxiety issues. So don't let your imagination get the best of you. I know that's easier said than done tho.

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    • Posted

      Hayhue, thank you for your input/thoughts! It's a relief to hear a calm perspective on my situation.

      Typically, what is the heal/recovery time for this condition? I am on day 9 and was told to expect a few weeks.

      My greatest fear, is permanent nerve damage since I cannot use a steroid to combat the inflammation, currently I am relying on Tumeric 850mg daily. 

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  • Posted

    From my end, it is very good that the tinnitus is subsiding and not constant.  You no longer have vestibular symptoms.

    It may take a week or two more to reach your baseline.

    Eleftherios S. Papathanasiou, PhD, FEAN

    Clinical Neurophysiologist

    Fellow of the European Academy of Neurology

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    • Posted

      So my spacial confusion/perspective & drowizness issues will clear up? It's only been about two weeks, I haven't done any perminate damage by not taking Presidone to reduce the imflammation? 

      My mind/body cannot tolerate it, however I am taking 850+mg of Tumeric each morning.

      I do not have any fulliness in my ears or hearing loss, just a disconnected fog and light sensitivity.


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    • Posted


      I am on 2mg of Valium (3x times daily) and I really function better with it, but without that medication the wobbliness and anxiety fire right back up.

      -is that normal?

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