Dizziness can be a symptom of several kinds of medical problems. Dizziness associated with inner ear issues is described as vertigo and can be caused by more than one inner ear problem. Learning more about an inner ear issue called labryrinthitis and vertigo is important to your hearing health.
Your Eyes, Ears And Inner Ear
Inside your ear is a complex collection of tiny canals used for relaying messages to the brain that translate into the sounds you hear. One part of these canals is called the vestibule, an opening at the end of the canals, that is responsible for brain messaging. Your eyes send messages to the vestibule about the position you are in. However, when the eye's messages do not align with messages from the vestibule about your position, the result is vertigo. You may feel like you are spinning when you are actually standing still. Vertigo can lead to full or partial hearing loss. Some people also hear sounds no one else is able to hear, a condition called tinnitus, when their eye's messages are not in agreement with the ones being sent from the inner ear and the vestibule. Labyrinthitis is a condition that encompasses some issues that occur in the complex canals of the inner ear. Some causes that interfere with eye and vestibule messaging in your inner ear that lead to vertigo include:
- Bacterial Infections: If you have a middle ear infection, the fluid that collects behind the ear drum can find its way into the labyrinth of canals located in the inner ear, leading to episodes of vertigo and labyrinthitis. Bear in mind infections in the inner ear are not the same as those experienced in the middle ear, like the ones most kids have troubles with.
- Head Trauma: If you are hit in the head, the delicate structures inside your ear can be affected and cause misconstrued messaging in the vestibule to occur that lead to vertigo. In many cases of inner ear damage associated with head trauma, nausea is also a common symptom.
- Allergies: Many allergy sufferers deal with associated ear infections, some of them experiencing hearing loss due to fluid pressure on the nerve sending messages to the brain from the vestibule.
- Meniere's Disease: A condition that creates inner ear fluid buildup in one ear at a time, causing bouts of severe vertigo. Many sufferers have fallen and sustained serious injuries when gripped by the vertigo associated with this disease.
If you are experiencing dizziness that also has symptoms of hearing loss or tinnitus, seeking medical attention with an ENT specialist or audiologist such as Mark Montgomery MD FACS right away is important. Getting early treatment at the onset of vertigo is the best way to help prevent permanent hearing loss associated with inner ear issues like labrynthitis.