Viral labyrinthitis - to rest or not/meds or not

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HI everyone,

?I was diagnosed with viral labyrinthitis about a week ago. I had been suffering episodes of dizziness/feeling off balance, nausea, headaches and ear pain. I then had some blurred vision and thought it was time to see a GP. She diagnosed me and prescribed me with prochlorperazine (3 a day to start with and then down to 1 a day). I didn't know anything about the condition so didn't really ask any questions as figured I would be better in a few days. She did print out a ton of info to read and I've done some more reading online about it.

?It seems that there are some different medical views on how best to recover. I have been trying to push through and go to work (although I have ended up in the evenings on the couch battling through the nausea and trying to keep still and avoid the dizziness). Some info tells you to rest and other info says to push through so your brain adjusts quicker. Some say the medication delays recovery and others say take it.

?I am really unsure what is best. My doctor didn't anything about resting so I've continued to work (I'm not driving) but I am really suffering and wonder if I just took to my bed if that would mean I'd recover sooner? Even with keeping going, sometimes I feel normal and then I feel terrible and am battling to stay upright or keep my head up (it feels so heavy) and clench my teeth against the nausea.

?I have read this can last up to 3 weeks... I assume if I am not better by then I should go back to the doctors? I feel stupid I didn't ask more when I was there, I just had no idea what I was dealing with!

?I'd appreciate any advice from personal experiences of this! Thank you.

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  • Posted

    Welcome to the community, vestibular disorders can be a mixed bag when it comes down to recovery, just too many variables to consider to give you a definitive idea on recovery time, from my experience and through extensive reading up on the subject, I would put the average time for recovery anywhere between 2-8 weeks and may very well go beyond that in some exceptional cases. Symptoms will vary person to person, but again any of the following can potentially be affected: balance (vertigo), hearing, vision, headaches, nystagmus (twitching), nausea, fatigue and or general weakness to name some of the main ones. Also anxiety is a very common side effect that can also be triggered by the erratic come and go nature of the symptoms, so watch for this.

    As far as rest and activity is concerned use your best judgement, I know a few people that by God's grace mustered the strength to stick it out and work right through it, and many other's like myself who had to take a week or longer off for rest because it was absolutely debilitating at the onset. On that note it can be argued that the quicker you get yourself moving again however slow that process might be, the faster your brain will begin to compensate for the disequilibrium caused by the virus. Either way, you're body will tell you what you can and can't do, in spite of what you might want to do. Best wishes with recovery and feel free to ask any other questions you might have.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. It is helpful to hear other people's experiences and advice. I managed to work this morning but definitely suffering now. I think I start the day well, in fact I feel the best first thing in the morning, but as the morning and day goes on, the nausea and vertigo increase. sad My husband took me out yesterday and the car journey was awful and I never usually feel car sick. Interestingly my GP told me my vision problems were not related and told me to get my eyes tested, but from what I have read, your vision can be affected by labyrinthitis. 

      ?I guess I just need to be patient! Thank you again for taking the time to reply. It's encouraging to know this is not uncommon. I just hope I don't have it last as long as some people seem to. 

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    • Posted

      A few more suggestions. First, if the medical attention you are receiving is not to your satisfaction keep consulting different doctors; in my own experience my GP knew very little about the syndrome itself, and left me with very little knowledge or assurance apart from that he believed it was not serious and it takes time to subside. By the time a month had passed and I was seeing slight improvement I had been to at least 6 different clinics, the emerge 3 times and pushed for tests to really dismiss the possibility of it being serious. 

      ?Secondly, visual disturbances can be both indirectly or directly related to the condition depending on the source of the virus. For myself it was through chronic sinusitis which the inflammation can affect blood circulation and vessels in the eyes causing blurry or distorted vision. For others the vision is indirectly related to how your brain is processing the mixed signals its getting from your inner ear and your eyes. In any event your doctor is correct by recommending a vision test which would rule out mechanical issues with the eyes themselves.

      ?Also, because your brain is working overtime to try and make up for your sense deficits, you will experience the onset of tiredness a lot faster and for a much longer period of time. Inflammation hence the 'itis' of Labyrinthitis is your body responding and fighting against foreign invaders and so that response coupled with the above is going to really tax your body of resources, the most valuable one being rest. Sadly, the world around us doesn't stop and most don't understand the severity of vertigo type disorders and how it can an overarching impact on your general wellbeing, to the point where if you don't shut down, you'll relapse back to square one and the road to recovery will be much longer than desired.

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    • Posted

      Thank you again. I think I will get my eyes tested soon, I wasn't due for another year but it would be good to follow the doctors orders and make sure they're ok. I don't feel my vision has changed but feel the labyrinthitis is making all my senses 'off'. I am struggling to use the computer at work and after too long on the computer I begin to be hit badly with the nausea and dizziness. I don't know if it's the light from the screen or the reading. And it's a not a stomach sick nausea, but it is more in my throat where I feel I am battling that rise to be sick, so my throat feels more sensitive and I find myself coughing to stop the feeling. Ugh, sorry I am really whining here!  

      ?I decided to brave going out for lunch with a friend today as it's her birthday. I wasn't too bad just sitting, but walking back to the car an ambulance sped by and the noise and blue lights really threw me off.

      ?So I guess I'm not out of the woods yet but I am only in my 3rd week so am still hoping I'm coming towards the end of this. I am making sure I rest in the evenings and keeping my head still. I'm not sleeping the best either at the minute so I am conscious it is important to rest when I can in the afternoon/evenings. I really appreciate your advice, sorry you had to suffer for so long.

      I was just taking one prochlorperazine the last couple of days, but maybe I need to go back up to 3 again.

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  • Posted

    did you have gastritis, ibs or gallstones or low functioning gb?
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    • Posted

      good  .since you dont have any issues like gastritis,gallstones or other digestion issues. For me all these problems started when i run into digestion isses.I got gallstones and Gastritis.  Better check head and MRI scan  to rule out no major issues, then  to check for B12 and IRON deficiency , then to check for Vestibular disorder (they will do VNG test) if it is positive, then have to do physcial therapy excercises.Also do you have astigmatism in the eyes ? i just came through one member who had got some improvement after wearing glasses.
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    • Posted

      Thanks again. I do have astigmatism and have worn glasses for years. I will probably go and get my eyes checked soon to be on the safe side.

      ?Thanks for your advice. If I am still suffering in a week, I'll go back to the GP for another check up.

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