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vestibular neuronitis
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vestibular neuronitis

  1 1/2 years ago I had some type of viral infection - i.e. flu bug and started having severe dizziness and went to Dr.  The dr. detected fluid in my ears and prescribed steroid packs.  I took them and it took several prescriptions to clear the fluid.  I continued to have the vertigo and went back to the Dr. they said the fluid had cleared and my ears looked fine.  At the point they ordered an MRI of the brain.  They found a few spots which they said were hypertension?  I went to a neurologist anyway and he viewed the MRI and said it was fine and ordered an ENG after obtaining all my medical history.  I went and had an ENG and it came back with a left sided peripheal weakness which they termed Vestibular Neuronitis.  I then went to a specialist an ENT dr. and he agreed with their findings.  He explained the Neuronitis to me and had me do vestibular exercises.  My Neuronitis has improved quite a bit down to a very brief occurrences of slight dizziness every 3 wks. or so lasting less than 1-2 min.  But last week I had a severe sinus infection due to a bad cold and I was at work one day and had another severe bout of vertigo, which lasted at least 30 minutes.  I went back to my ENT dr. and he said that due to the severity of my Neuronitis he felt that the inflammation from the sinus infection could have spurred the Neuronitis to flare up?  My question is this, can a person have problems with Neuronitis after 1 1/2 yrs, and is it possible that the nerve damaged may never completely heal?  Is it also possible that there is a blocked blood vessel from the vestibular area to the brain causing these problems?  If so what type of tests can be run to diagnose this problem?  Is there anything I'm missing or should I trust that eventually this may heal completely?
  Thank you very much for your time.
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Hi Susan,
thanks for the questions.
Yes I agree with your doctors. One can certainly have several bouts of these vertigo during one's lifetime. Upper respiratory infections such as flu,. sinusitis, bronchitis, are well known to "trigger" vestibular neuronitis.
Trigger is really not accurate here because it's possibly is a sequelae
or maybe an autoimmune reaction after the upper respiratory infection.
The term vestibular neuronitis refers to vertigo and nausea plus minus balance and gait difficulty. If you also have hearing loss, then it's called labyrinthitis. The condition is benign, and self limiting, but can recur following stress, surgery, infection. etc.
Yes, blocked vessel to the labyrinth (inner ear) from a blood clot can also cause the same problem. Hard to separate the two. The most important thing is to control your stroke risk factor, HYPERTENSION, in this case.
Usually with stroke there are other symptoms with the vertigo, such as double vision, difficulty speaking and swallowing, difficulty walking, and /or numbness, plus the nausea and vomiting is less severe than in inner ear problem (vestibular neuronitis)
Meclizine on as needed basis plus vestibular rehabilitation is the way to go.
Good luck to you.

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