Labyrinthitis | Treatment

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How is labyrinthitis treated?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (also called NSAIDs) are sometimes used to reduce swelling. These include ibuprofen (two brand names: Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (one brand name: Aleve). Steroid medicines are another option to reduce swelling. Your doctor may also prescribe medicine to relieve nausea, vomiting and dizziness. However, even without treatment, the symptoms of labyrinthitis will usually go away after several weeks.

If you have vomiting that is severe and uncontrollable, you may need to spend a short time in the hospital to prevent dehydration.

What can I do to feel better?

You will probably need to take it easy for at least a week or two. During this time, avoid activities like driving, climbing or operating heavy equipment. Sudden dizziness can make these activities dangerous. Tips to help you feel better include the following:

  • Avoid sudden movement, especially of your head.
  • Don’t play sports that require lots of movement, such as racquetball or volleyball.
  • Lie still when you’re having symptoms.
  • Avoid bright lights.
  • Don’t try to read when you’re having symptoms.

What can I expect during my recovery?

Your most severe symptoms will probably get better after the first week. Most people are completely better within 2 to 3 months. Sensitivity to motion may be a problem for several years, especially for older adults. In rare cases, people may have permanent hearing loss. This is less likely if labyrinthitis is treated promptly.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 11/09

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