Suffering from Labyrinthitis (Vestibular Problem)

Amish RakeFight

Registered Loser
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Posts
8,006
Total Time
.
Has anyone ever had or known someone who has had Labyrinthitis?

I would be interested to hear any details as to it. Symptoms, diagnosis, recovery period, causes, treatments, medicines, impact on flying, etc.


I realize there is some info online, but I'm looking for personal accounts of how it was dealt with. Apparently, many people seem to have this ailment and go undiagnosed for years.

Any and all info would be helpful.

Thanks.
 

TV9Driver

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
362
Total Time
who's?
I was diagnosed with a viral inner ear infection (vestibular nuerotitis). My symptoms were nausea, headaches, ringing ears, mild dizziness(more like lightheadness). I have had no vertigo symptoms though and my balance has been fine.

Alot of people have vertigo/vomiting issues with Labrynthitis, but my symptoms seemed to be rather mild. I did have to take myself off flying status though.
 

Amish RakeFight

Registered Loser
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Posts
8,006
Total Time
.
I just read the post in your thread. I think this is what I have too. It's really scary and has made me feel like I'm having an anxiety or panic attack. Your mental faculties are so focused on balance that your thinking actually becomes distorted and fuzzy. I found myself tilting/leaning my head unconsciously too. I've got the symptoms you listed as well as some hearing issues. I'm seeing an ENT on Monday.

Aside from medicine, there appears to be some exercises one can do to help alleviate this feeling.

Here's something called the Epley Maneuver which helps restore balance. There's actually a YT video on it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa6t-Bpg494


Here are some exercises I found as well. They actually help.

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/labyrinthitis/page6_em.htm

Talk to your doctor about certain maneuvers or exercises (Brandt and Daroff exercises and Epley maneuver) that may speed your recovery. These positions attempt to rearrange tiny particles inside your ear and/or desensitize you to their effects.
  • Sit on the edge of your bed near the middle, with legs hanging down.
  • Turn your head 45° to your right side.
  • Quickly lie down on your left side, with your head still turned, and touch the bed with the portion of your head behind your ear.
  • Hold this position-and every following position-for about 30 seconds.
  • Sit up again.
  • Quickly turn your head 45° toward your left side and lie down on your right side.
  • Sit up again.
  • Do 6-10 repetitions, 3 times per day.
 

TV9Driver

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
362
Total Time
who's?
Yeah, the Eppley manuever is only if you have BBPV - Benign something something Vertigo. That's when you have the loose rocks in your inner ear. It won't do anything if you have labrynthitis or a viral infection. My doc did give me some vestibular excercises to do to retrain my brain so that it figures out what my eyes and ears are telling it. Things like standing with your feet together and looking straight up and then straight down ten times and then repeating with your eyes closed. Then look from one side to the other 10 times and then with your eyes closed. Things like that.

I also have some mild hearing loss in my right ear. The problem is I haven't had a hearing test in so long, it's impossible to determine if the virus caused it or if flying planes in the right seat for 10 years caused it. I also have tinnitus (ringing ears).

Another thing you might look into, and i'm going to see a specialist tomorrow about it is TMJ. I never thought that a jaw problem could cause these symptoms, but a fellow pilot told me his story about going through the same thing i am and it turned out to be TMJ. The joint is located millimeters from your inner ear so if it gets inflammed, it causes all sorts of problems for your ear - dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus, nausea, bad headaches, - all the same symptoms for a vestibular nuerotitis.

Like I said, i'm going tomorrow to find out if I have it, so i'll keep you posted.
 

TV9Driver

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
362
Total Time
who's?
By the way, don't just go to an ENT. Find a neurotologist - an ENT that specializes in inner ear disorders and problems. I went to a regular ENT first and he wasn't much help. The inner ear stuff is so complex you really need to see a specialist.
 

Amish RakeFight

Registered Loser
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Posts
8,006
Total Time
.
Dude, this is uncanny. I am experiencing EXACLTY what you just described, including the TMJ which I refuse to address. I've been told countless times I need a mouth guard for sleeping as I grind my teeth. This has led to some TMJ issues too. My jaw doesn'tclose right and there is periodic clicking I feel and hear from both sides. I fear I may have worn away the discs.

Your mention of these exercises is helpful. I've been dealing with this for over a year and after seeing a GP for blood work and getting an MRI by a neuro, they found nothing. So I chalked it up to my bad fortune and the anxiety that went along with it. I've been coping withthis for some time now and have been compenmsating, but I certainly feel like something isn't quite right. Whats also intersting is that the issue is in my RIGHT EAR as well. I get tinitus too and dont know if its from the props or my early clubbing days standing by the speaker.

Please feel free to add any more to this ailment as I am in the same situation as well. A perusal of info online shows that there are a lot of people who seem to be suffering from this yet can not find the correct diagnosis from their physicians.

Anyway, I'm glad to have heard more on this topic. I felt that there may be some vestibular issues and someone I know had coincidentaly just mentioned it out of thge blue and was describing exaclty what I felt and that he was cured by the Epley method perfomed by his doctor.

Once again, I appreciate any future info. This disorder has made my life very different socially over the past year and a half.
 

Amish RakeFight

Registered Loser
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Posts
8,006
Total Time
.
By the way, don't just go to an ENT. Find a neurotologist - an ENT that specializes in inner ear disorders and problems. I went to a regular ENT first and he wasn't much help. The inner ear stuff is so complex you really need to see a specialist.
I think you're right about that, although I never heard of this type of doctor. I will definately seek one out as the last ENT seemed to not have even considered this.

The funny thing is, my GP performed every possible blood test and the neuro found nothing on the MRI. I even went to an ENT and he said does your right ear hurt? it looks infected or soemthing. Here's somedrops to put in. It ghould go away in a few days. BS. That ENT cured nothing. Since these docs. couldnt figure anything out, I figured I 3was losing my mind or developing panic attacks.
 

Amish RakeFight

Registered Loser
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Posts
8,006
Total Time
.
One thing that sort of worries me is that it may be casued by alcohol consumption. I noticed that when Ive drank a lot the night before, the symptons are much worse than when I refrain for a few days.

Have you been told to abstain from alcoholic bevs? (please say no!)
 

TV9Driver

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
362
Total Time
who's?
I was told to try and get out as much as possible. They didn't say anything about alcohol and i've had a few in the last few weeks with no ill effects.

Are you having vertigo episodes or are you just mildly dizzy or lightheaded? If you are having continuous periodic vertigo episodes, you might want to look into Meniere's Disease - I hope that's not the case.

go to www.heathcentral.com and type in TMJ symptoms. I printed the page out - it's amazing how similar the symptoms are to an inner ear problem.
 

Amish RakeFight

Registered Loser
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Posts
8,006
Total Time
.
Dude, I came across that term Meniere's Diesese and it seems a lot worse. I'm hoping its not the case.

To be honest, I'm a perfectionist who worries a lot about details and can sometimes get stressed over things. I also bottle a lot of emotions up. This all leads to teeth grinding which leads to worn TMJ joins which leads to the inner ear issues/symptoms.

What tests were performed to determine whether you had Labyrinthitis vs. Meniere's.

I'll hopefully know by Monday afternoon. If it is Meniere's (which seems worse and possibly permanent); off-hand would I lose my medical over this?
 

TV9Driver

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
362
Total Time
who's?
I've heard that you can get a waiver if you have Meniere's but it is pretty hard.

I think there are 2 different tests for Meniere's, an ENG and an Eletrococleargram or something like that. My doc didn't give me the tests because he doesn't suspect that I have it.

do you have vertigo?
 

Captainzero1

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 29, 2005
Posts
222
Total Time
3200
I was diagnosed with Labyrinthitis back in 06, took almost 4 months to feel better. My family doctor was useless, went to a neurologist who diagnosed it. A specialist on the problem gave me some excersizes to do which helped.
 

Amish RakeFight

Registered Loser
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Posts
8,006
Total Time
.
No vertigo but there is definately something wrong. I get light-headedness and a sense of imbalance in general and with hearing in my right ear. I also get these "deaf-like" or quiet sensations which come and go along with tinitus. Initially, I thouht it might just be sinus issues, but the ENT (over a year ago) dismissed it. The odd thing is that he did ask whether I had pain in my right ear as it looked infected (he thought it to be swimmers ear). Evidently, he did see something. I told him theres no pain but I have this weird numb like, pressure and overall imbalance. Even my vision in my right eye seems a little off. He just game me some useless ear drops and nothing changed.

After performing some of those exercises I actually feel better for a little while, but then the sensations eventually come back. I've had moments where my right ear pops (or at least it feels like it) and the imbalanced sensation totally disappears and I feel NORMAL in contrast. But more often than not, I've been living with this and its getting to the point where I can no longer compensate and "grin and bear it."
 

Amish RakeFight

Registered Loser
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Posts
8,006
Total Time
.
I was diagnosed with Labyrinthitis back in 06, took almost 4 months to feel better. My family doctor was useless, went to a neurologist who diagnosed it. A specialist on the problem gave me some excersizes to do which helped.
4 months is a very long time. What was required of you in terms of treatment. Did you have to adhere or abstain from a particular diet (like coffee and alcohol). Were you given medications. When will you know you're cured "officially." Did you have to stay at home and sleep or lay down often? Were you not able to fly during this period (I'm guessing so)?

This really sucks to have to deal with. Althouh Ive been hesitant to address this, its beginning to casue problems in my social life. I literally seem to keep my head in odd positions or tilt and lean it towards the right. It somehow feels better when I pivot the head a bit in akward positons. Poor mans Epley Manevuer, I supoose.
 

Amish RakeFight

Registered Loser
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Posts
8,006
Total Time
.
I was diagnosed with Labyrinthitis back in 06, took almost 4 months to feel better. My family doctor was useless, went to a neurologist who diagnosed it. A specialist on the problem gave me some excersizes to do which helped.
Not to belabor the point (I'm trying to get as much info as possible), but what symptoms were you personally experiencing which made you seek out medical help. The symptoms can vary from individual to individual, so I just would like to compare notes.

Thanks.
 

Amish RakeFight

Registered Loser
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Posts
8,006
Total Time
.
One more question:


How does one typically get this? Are some more prone than others or is it induced by a medicine, diet, or some contagion?

Were you told or had you figured out where this might have come from? It's hard to think it transmits like a common cold, but who knows.
 

Amish RakeFight

Registered Loser
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Posts
8,006
Total Time
.
Another thing you might look into, and i'm going to see a specialist tomorrow about it is TMJ. I never thought that a jaw problem could cause these symptoms, but a fellow pilot told me his story about going through the same thing i am and it turned out to be TMJ. The joint is located millimeters from your inner ear so if it gets inflammed, it causes all sorts of problems for your ear - dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus, nausea, bad headaches, - all the same symptoms for a vestibular nuerotitis.
I once had heard that if you apply reverse pressure from the underside of your jaw while attempting to gently and slowly open the jaw helps reseat the jaw discs. This actually seemed to help and the hearing seemed to improve in my right ear. I definately have some TMJ going on. There's a lot fo clicking and when I perform that expercise, it feels like I'm snapping something into place.

Let me know what came of the TMJ story. Like I said earlier, Ive been told I grind my teeth at night and that it predominantly affects males. I just refuse to wear a mouth guard at night.
 

TV9Driver

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
362
Total Time
who's?
It looks like I have TMJ issues. The doc did an EMG test (kind of like an EKG but they put sensors on the muscles around your jaw and face) and it showed that the muscle behind my right ear (my problem ear) was not relaxing and having problems.

Now I just have to figure out a way to pay for this. Apparently medical insurance doesn't cover TMJ, so i'm not sure what to do.
 

Amish RakeFight

Registered Loser
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Posts
8,006
Total Time
.
I too may have a TMJ issue as well. When I move my jaw up and down, the jaw shifts left and right slightly. I'm almost certain I have worn away my TMJ. Look into your bite. I've had a lower aft tooth removed, which coupled with teeth grinding, can create an imbalance in your bite leading to further TMJ destruction.

It's surprising that TMJ isn't covered by insurance. An operation may be involved with TMJ if the discs are worn enough. You should also look into getting a night guard for sleeping. This is supposed to prevent TMJ smyptoms as the grinding takes place unconciosuly in your sleep.

At this point, I may have a TMJ issue, Labyrinthitis or god knows. Hopefully, the ENT will make an accurate call next week.

Thanks again for sharing the info. Please feel free to add any additional insight you've gained through any of this. I'll do the same. I know there must be more out ther suffering from these ailments, but are going undiagnosed.
 

TV9Driver

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
362
Total Time
who's?
If you explore the TMJ thing, definitely go to a dentist who practices neuromuscular dentistry and not just a regular dentist who treats TMJ. A NM dentist uses a few specific tests (EMG, TENS, K7) to find out where the problem is exactly and can precisely tune your bite and occlusion. A regular dentist will just give you a mouthpiece to wear - and an incorrect mouthpiece can do more damage than good.

That is what i've learned so far. I have another appointment on Tuesday for a second opinion. I'll let you know what I find out.
 
Top