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Labyrinthitis

John Kerr, DO and Wayne K. Robbins, DO Reviewed 06/2019
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • The sudden onset of vertigo, accompanied by sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus, lasting hours to days, and caused by acute inflammation or infection of the labyrinth

  • Can be categ...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Vertigo AND sensorineural hearing loss in one ear

  • Vertigo is acute in onset and lasts hours to days.

  • Nausea and vomiting are common.

  • Fullness of affected ear

  • Tinnitus of affected ear (roa...

TREATMENT

  • Symptom management and reassurance in the acute phase

  • Vestibular suppressants as needed (see “Medication”) for severe acute attacks of vertigo only. Patients should be advised NOT to use thes...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Patient Monitoring

Follow hearing loss weekly with audiograms until hearing stabilizes. Acute vertiginous symptoms may last up to 6 weeks. Residual symptoms have b...

REFERENCES

1
Kaya S, Schachern PA, Tsuprun V, et al. Deterioration of vestibular cells in labyrinthitis. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol.  2017;126(2):89–95. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]
2
Sandhu J, Rea ...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Lee HK, Ahn SK, Jeon SY, et al. Clinical characteristics and natural course of recurrent vestibulopathy: a long-term follow-up study. Laryngoscope.  2012;122(4):883–886. [View ...

CODES

ICD10

  • H83.09 Labyrinthitis, unspecified ear

  • H83.01 Labyrinthitis, right ear

  • H83.02 Labyrinthitis, left ear

  • H83.03 Labyrinthitis, bilateral

ICD9

  • 386.30 Labyrinthitis, unspecified

  • 386.31 Serous labyrinth...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Ask patients to describe symptoms in their own words; alternative symptoms include light-headedness, vertigo, disequilibrium, or imbalance.

  • Benzodiazepines are better vestibular suppres...

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