The vestibular system is located in the inner ear, the innermost part of the ear. It senses the body’s kinesthetic and positional senses, and is responsible for transmitting the information of the sense of equilibrium collected here to the brain through the vestibular nerve. If there is a problem with the vestibular system, which is responsible for maintaining the balance of our body, symptoms such as dizziness may occur and diseases such as otolithiasis may occur. Vestibular neuritis is one of these diseases related to the vestibular system, and it refers to a disease that causes inflammation of the vestibular nerve due to various causes, which is accompanied by various symptoms such as severe dizziness and nausea.
The cause of vestibular neuritis is still unknown. Cold symptoms often appear 1 to 2 weeks before vestibular neuritis occurs, and it is presumed to be caused by a viral infection because it often occurs in families or groups due to an epidemic in spring or summer. In addition, it is known that inflammation occurs due to a problem in the blood vessels that supply blood to the vestibular nerve, and it is also known to be highly related to the onset, and factors such as excessive stress, sleep disturbance, and decreased immune function also affect the occurrence. has been known to The incidence of vestibular neuritis does not differ significantly between men and women, and it is reported that it occurs mainly in the age group in their 30s and 50s. Now, let’s learn more about the main symptoms of vestibular neuritis and various information related to treatment.
Main symptoms of vestibular neuritis
The main symptom of vestibular neuritis is severe dizziness. Sudden onset of severe rotational dizziness, such as rotating around continuously or shaking objects. And this dizziness doesn’t stop within a few minutes. It can occur over a period of several hours or as long as several days.
In addition, this severe dizziness may be accompanied by various symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, chills, and malaise. Some patients may have symptoms of leaning toward the ear where the sedative neuritis occurs.
These symptoms of vestibular neuritis are easy to confuse because there are many similarities to otolithiasis caused by mobile stone stones in the semicircular canal of the inner ear. In otolithiasis, dizziness improves when standing still, and dizziness occurs only when moving, whereas in vestibular neuritis, dizziness persists even when you are not moving.
Symptoms of vestibular neuritis such as dizziness, headache, and shaking may persist for a long time, but the sequelae are few and do not cause problems such as hearing loss. It is known that if you take a break for 2 to 3 days when symptoms occur, the symptoms will gradually disappear, and in many cases they will recover naturally. However, if the main symptoms such as dizziness persist severely, it causes great inconvenience in daily life.
Diagnosis and treatment of vestibular neuritis
1. Diagnosis through various tests
If various symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, along with sudden onset rotational dizziness, persist for several hours or at most one day, if spontaneous nystagmus occurs without head movement through an eye examination, it can be diagnosed as sedative neuritis. In order to differentiate it from other diseases that cause dizziness, various tests such as hearing tests, vestibular function tests, neurological tests, CT and MRI are performed.
2. Appropriate treatment according to the diagnosis result
Vestibular neuritis is treated differently depending on the cause and severity of the diagnosis. In the acute phase, when dizziness, nausea, and vomiting appear, treatment using drugs such as sedatives and antihistamines is carried out to relieve the symptoms of the autonomic nervous system. And if you take these drugs for a long time, dizziness may last longer, and recovery of the deteriorated vestibular function may result in a delay. Therefore, when symptoms begin to improve after the acute phase, it is known that active exercise and rehabilitation treatment rather than treatment with drugs is helpful for recovery.
After the acute symptoms disappear, vestibular rehabilitation exercises are performed through eye movements and head movements to induce compensation of the central system. It is known that this vestibular rehabilitation exercise can help reduce chronic dizziness after the acute phase and help restore normal parallel function. However, it is important to control and implement these vestibular rehabilitation exercises according to the individual’s symptoms of dizziness, and it is recommended not to do it when the symptoms are severe.