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Vestibular Neuritis Labyrinthitis

Vestibular neuritis (VN) is characterized by a sudden onset of vertigo or dizziness, Vestibular_Neuritis_Labyrinthitisoften accompanied by nausea and vomiting. These symptoms usually last for several hours and decrease gradually over three to five days.

Once symptoms pass, you may be fairly comfortable when lying down or sitting still. Walking or moving your head quickly may result in unsteadiness, nausea or blurred vision.

Causes of Vestibular Neuritis

VN occurs when the nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain becomes inflamed due to:

  • Herpes virus
  • Epstein-Barr
  • Rubella
  • Influenza

When the nerve becomes inflamed, the information from the inner ear on that side is reduced suddenly, and sometimes drastically.  The severity of VN can range from mild temporary inflammation that ends in a few days with no lingering problems, up to total and permanent destruction of the nerve pathway.  Typically, it falls between these two extremes.

Vestibular Neuritis Treatment 

Taking anti-nausea medication or an imbalance drug for three to five days may relieve VN. In addition, rehabilitation balance exercises should begin once the acute phase has passed. This will retrain the brain to use information provided by the inner ear. Exercises are most effective if you are not taking any sedating medication (such as Antivert).

Quick Reference


Phone 336-716-3103
Fax 336-716-8161

8 am - 5 pm Mon-Fri

Adult Audiology

Hearing and Speech
2nd Floor Medical Plaza- Miller

131 Miller Street 

Winston-Salem, NC  27103 

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Last Updated: 09-22-2016
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