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Inner Ear Infection Symptoms

Inner Ear Infection Symptoms

Inner ear infection can be quite debilitating, and if it is not treated in time, it can result in severe complications. For prompt treatment, the symptoms of the infection must be identified first. Here we will take a look at the symptoms of this infection.
Ujwal Deshmukh
Our inner ear consists of a system of canals and fluid-filled tube like structures called labyrinth. It is the labyrinth that performs the function of sending signals to our brain to understand sound and to figure out the vertical directions. When we say that a person is suffering from an inner ear infection, it is this labyrinth that gets infected. The two most common infections of the inner ear are labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis.
How to Determine if You Have an Inner Ear Infection
The Early Symptoms
Symptoms of inner ear infection can vary from mild to severe. In the initial stages of the infection, the following symptoms are commonly observed.
  • Vertigo
  • Loss of balance
  • Fever
  • Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
  • Spatial disorientation
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to bright lights)
  • Involuntary eye movement
The Advanced Symptoms
At a later stage, when the infection turns more acute, the following symptoms are usually seen.
  • Persistent feeling of disorientation
  • Motion sickness
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Temporary or in some cases permanent hearing loss
  • Forgetfulness
  • Impaired or slurred speech
  • Intolerance towards heat and cold
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Pain in the ear (might happen in the early stage too)
  • Fatigue
  • Panic attacks in some individuals
Causes
Infection of the inner ear is often caused due to viral infections such as common cold or flu. It can also develop as a secondary effect of bacterial infection such as meningitis or acute otitis media. Sometimes allergies, certain medications and ear or head injury can also cause inner ear infection. Certain symptoms like dizziness and nausea can be caused due to several reasons ranging from neurological diseases to brain tumors.
Treatment
If the inner ear infection is caused due to a viral infection, then medications are usually prescribed to control nausea and vomiting. Rest and symptomatic treatment is all that is required for curing ear infection. Antibiotics are prescribed in case of bacterial infection. In some cases, steroids are also prescribed to reduce inflammation in the inner ear. To reduce the symptoms of this infection, it is best that the patient lie still and avoid sudden movements and bright lights.
Remedies
Apart from the treatment prescribed by the doctor, there are a few things that can help in relieving the symptoms of ear infection.
  • Vitamins: Ear infection causing dizziness and other symptoms are often a result of infections occurring due to a weak immune system. If this is the reason for the infection, then consumption of vitamin C is the best alternative, as it strengthens the immune system and thus safeguards your body from diseases and disorders.
  • Garlic: Garlic acts as an excellent anti-microbial against infection of the inner ear. Take some garlic oil and heat it until it is just warm. Put a few drops of this oil in your ear.
  • Ginger and Sesame Oil: Take some fresh ginger juice and sesame oil in equal quantities and add a few drops of the mixture to the ear.
  • Warm Compression: Dip a washcloth in warm water and wring the cloth thoroughly. Place this warm washcloth over the affected ear for some time. This will relieve the earache.

Infection of the inner ear usually resolve itself in one to three weeks. However the symptoms of the infection like vertigo and dizziness can be quite debilitating. It is important to note that timely treatment of inner ear infection is very important or it might potentially cause serious problems like permanent hearing loss.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.