Vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis are similar conditions that often arise after infections to the inner ear or bodily infections that involve swelling to the nerves of the inner ear, creating vestibular disturbances. Vestibular neuritis involves swelling to the vestibular branch (the balance branch) of the vestibulocochlear nerve) whilst labyrinthitis involves swelling to both branches of the nerve (balance and hearing). 


Severe symptoms often resolve within a few days with the remain symptoms resolving over approximately 3 weeks (provided the infection has been addressed) however some people continue to experience symptoms for months requiring further treatment.

The signs and symptoms of vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis are the same with the exception of tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and/or hearing issues.
Signs and symptoms of vestibular neuritis and labyrnthitis include:

  • Sudden, severe vertigo (usually the worst in the first few days)
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Concentration difficulties

The advice for these conditions can often be "wait and it will resolve". However in the meantime you are severely impacted by the symptoms on a daily basis and there is no guarantee that the "wait and see" method will actually work. There is, however, an option that can put the control back in your hands and help the symptoms resolve much faster. 


First, ensuring an accurate diagnosis is vital as many dizziness conditions can present similarly and having the right treatment approach is the key to success. The goal of treatment for vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis is to perform vestibular rehabilitation exercises appropriate for your level (and then progress at pace that is appropriate for you), to help retrain and recalibrate your vestibular system so that your system once again learns what is up, what is down, what is sideways, where you are and helps to decrease your dizziness. 

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