Welcome to this website on labyrinthitis. The decision to set this website up came because of the lack of information and support out there about labyrinthitis. I have suffered for 9 months and wanted to offer my labyrinthitis story and also some valuable information about help and also about symptoms you may be feeling.
Please note that I am NOT a health professional and do not claim to be. I am simply sharing my knowledge about labyrinthitis to anyone out there who is suffering and in need of some support.
Most cases of labyrinthitis clear up on their own in about 2 weeks. Some cases can continue on for up to 16 weeks and for some unfortunate individuals such as myself and possibly you, labyrinthitis can be indefinite without the correct treatment. General Practitioners (GP’s) will more often than not, prescribe medication such as Stemetil or Serc to ‘dumb down’ the dizziness while the body attacks the virus on its own. In the instances where the brain compensates for the dizziness this medication can help, but for uncompensated labyrinthitis medication does little to alleviate the symptoms in the long term. If your labyrinthitis has been longer than the average period of labyrinthitis, GP’s may refer you to an ENT specialist (ears, nose, throat).
The ENT specialist can at this stage refer you to a physiotherapist for Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy. The name sounds more ominous than it is. VRT is simply a set of gentle exercises to aid the brain to compensate for the dizziness. An example would be walking with head movements or balancing on one leg. They sound very simple but believe me for uncompensated labyrinthitis they seem to be the only cure…and a God send!!
The problem is that ENT specialists and GP’s are not quick to inform sufferers about VRT. In my experience it is because a lot do not actually know much about VRT (remembering that they are ‘general’ practitioners so do not have in-depth knowledge on all illnesses) or they feel medication is the best treatment. I had actually heard of VRT whilst I was sick, but I assumed that because my doctor had never mentioned it to me that I was not a candidate for it or that VRT was for really really severe cases.
You do not need to wait for the ENT Specialist to refer you to a physiotherapist as this can take months. Find a physiotherapist in your area that specializes in VRT and make an appointment. I really urge anyone reading this page that does not seem to be recovering from labyrinthitis within the normal time frame, to contact a physiotherapist in your area who specializes in VRT. I have listed some clinics in Ireland for your convenience.
If the anxiety/ depression & panic attacks are hard to cope with, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps with managing these symptoms. A great book recommended to me by my CBT therapist is ‘When panic attacks’ by Dr Aine Tubridy.
There is excellent professional help out there and you will come out the other side of labyrinthitis but you need to take matters into your own hands.