Aa
A
A
A
Close
Ear, Nose & Throat Community
13.4k Members
Avatar universal

Do I have Labyrinthitis or Ménière's disease?

On January 24, 2013, my fiance and I have left for a mega trip in Asia for 3 months. As I'm writing this I'm in Taiwan, it's March 10th and I've been traveling for 7 weeks and we've taken the airplane 8 times. We still have another 4 weeks of traveling to go and 4 airplane rides left.

4 weeks ago I was in Vietnam and started to have brief episodes of unsteadiness, loss of balance and dizziness. It would last a couple hours and would disappear. Since then it's been getting worse and 2 weeks ago when I arrived in Taiwan, I went to see an ENT specialist. He mentioned it could be Meniere's disease, he prescribed 3 days worth of medicine and told me to rest for a while, that's it. He mentioned my left ear couldn't hear high frequencies and it had high pressure problems (not sure what that means). He thinks it's due to the numerous airplane flights I've taken and the pressurized cabin.

I think my condition has gotten better in the last couple days but I still feel a constant dizziness and sometimes I really need to concentrate not to fall when I walk. I haven't fallen yet and when I feel dizzy, usually sitting can help.

- I'm 32 years old and I have tinnitus for 3 years. I've gotten used to it so it doesn't bother me anymore. Not sure if it's related at all. My tinnitus hasn't gotten worst.
- I've never felt like vomiting and I do not have vertigo (I do not perceive motion).
- When I move my head around, it doesn't change anything so I guess we can rule out Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
- I have no trouble eating or sleeping. I get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
- My hearing is the same as before. No deterioration.
- There's no pain in my ears.
- I haven't been sick for many months except for some diarrhea 3 weeks ago.
- My blood pressure is normal.
- I'm naturally an anxious guy, a little bit claustrophobic and take some valium on occasion. This trip is awesome but definitely stressful at times.
- I don't know if this is related but 2 months ago I quit smoking cigarettes and the occasional marijuana joint.
- I rarely drink alcohol

This is the trip of a lifetime and this condition is ruining it! Most of the time 70% of my brain is concentrating on my condition which doesn't leave much to enjoy my trip. I really hope my condition doesn't worsen otherwise I'll have to stop everything and find a solution. Also, getting sick in Asia away from home is really not ideal!

Meditation is helping me to relax when I'm stressed because of my condition. I'm not very good at it but it does help and I highly recommend it.

Anyone knows if my condition could be a result of Labyrinthitis or Ménière's disease or something else? Any tips or recommendations?

Thanks so much for your help!
Arnaud
5 Responses
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Understand your predicament. But if you have Meniere’s disease, you would still have persistent tinnitus and maybe hearing loss. In the absence of which, Labyrinthitis goes more with your symptoms. Labrynthitis is commonly caused by viral infections. Steroids are given to reduce the inflammation. Recovery time from Labrynthitis is approximately 3 weeks. If your symptoms persist beyond this, consult your doctor to rule out other neurological causes.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
Avatar universal
Hi Paderla,

Thanks for your response. I would much prefer having Labyrinthitis then Menieres!

Since 3 days ago, I feel the symptoms are slowly disappearing and I have less problems keeping my balance when I walk. It's not perfect yet but psychologically I feel better about my improving condition. It's been 4-5 weeks I'm having balancing problems, the worst was 2 weeks ago.

When I get back to Canada, I'll try to do a full examination and make sure I'm back to normal. I still have another 5 airplane flights so I hope the cabin pressure won't be a problem.

Thanks again!
Arnaud
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Understand your predicament.
Labrynthitis and Meniere’s disease are inner ear disorders. Air travel usually causes atmospheric pressure changes, this is usually reflected in the middle ear. There are tubes called 'Eustachian  tubes' which connect the middle ear to the throat, this balances the air pressure in the ears. So, cabin pressure changes may not affect inner ear disorders, so you may not face a problem with traveling.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
Avatar universal
Arnaud15
whats been your update what medicines did doctor gave you at first
How did you know when it is gone?
2 Comments
Hi Juma8ro,

5 years after it began, I'm happy to say my symptoms have almost completely disappeared.

I still have tinnitus but that's pretty much it and I don't really notice it anymore.

I do at least 30 minutes of intense exercice every day and I eat pretty healthy keeping a healthy weight. I'm sure that helps!

My wife is pregnant and life is good. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones!

Best of luck to you!
Thanks for replying.   Arnaud15 did you take any medication?... doctors keep telling me
Meiniers disease  or labyrinthitis....the first ENT said meniers disease but then  after an MRI he changed to labyrinthitis the same doctor.. then i went to another ENT.   And She just told me meiniers  disease as my ear is losing hearing and as my dyzzines are periodically. Some last 11hrs and couple weeks later 9hrs . Then couple days later 8hrs
Then from 8 a week later 6hrs .then 4hrs and the symptoms  fell less extreme every time.. doctor game merhahistine in the usa. Its hard to find it.. and to take some deuretic pills but i dont want to beon pills are you taking some specifically for that... i am thinking  luccky like you said cause even if it was labyrinthitis i dont feel extreme symptoms  like other people that i have read..i am doing like you eating healthy  as never in my life but except the excersise i am start doing that....thanks for replying arnaud15. Are u on USA or UK?.
Avatar universal
Thanks for replying.   Arnaud15 did you take any medication?... doctors keep telling me 
Meiniers disease  or labyrinthitis....the first ENT said meniers disease but then  after an MRI he changed to labyrinthitis the same doctor.. then i went to another ENT.   And She just told me meiniers  disease as my ear is losing hearing and as my dyzzines are periodically. Some last 11hrs and couple weeks later 9hrs . Then couple days later 8hrs
Then from 8 a week later 6hrs .then 4hrs and the symptoms  fell less extreme every time.. doctor game merhahistine in the usa. Its hard to find it.. and to take some deuretic pills but i dont want to beon pills are you taking some specifically for that... i am thinking  luccky like you said cause even if it was labyrinthitis i dont feel extreme symptoms  like other people that i have read..i am doing like you eating healthy  as never in my life but except the excersise i am start doing that....thanks for replying arnaud15. Are u on USA or UK?.
2 Comments
I'm in Canada. I didn't take any medication.
Stay positive and try not to worry too much as it can worsen symptoms. Easier said than done...

All the best!
Thanks Arnaud15 for answering thats what i want no medication and know that there is improvement  on this illnes i still dont know if it is meniers or chronic labyrinthitis or labyrhintitis or vestibular neuritis.  But time will tell. I wish you health and good luck with your new baby... congratulations
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Think a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss? Here are five warning signs to watch for.
Discover the common causes of and treatments for a sore throat.
Learn about what actually causes your temperature to spike.
Find out which foods you should watch out for.
Family medicine doctor Enoch Choi, MD helps differentiate between the common cold and more threatening (bacterial) infections
Dr. Steven Park reveals 5 reasons why breathing through your nose could change your life