Sometimes the semicircular canals swell and send incorrect balance signals. This problem may be caused by a viral infection. Depending on the cause, hearing can be affected (labrynthitis) or can remain normal (neuronitis). These episodes of vertigo last for hours or days. The first episode is usually the worst.
Diagnose and Understand Your Tinnitus
Find Effective Treatment and Take Care of Yourself
Your Attitude Matters
Line Up Support
Do your best to prevent sinusitis by preventing underlying problems like getting colds and other infections and avoiding allergens. Try to also keep your sinuses as moist as possible.
For acute sinusitis, symptoms include facial pain/pressure, nasal obstruction, nasal discharge, diminished sense of smell, and cough. Additionally, sufferers of this disorder could incur fever, bad breath, fatigue, and dental pain.
Acute sinusitis can last four weeks or more. This condition may be present when the patient has two or more symptoms and/or the presence of thick, discolored nasal discharge throughout the day. Acute bacterial infection might be present when symptoms worsen after five days, persist after ten days, or the severity of symptoms is out of proportion to those normally associated with a viral infection.
Otolaryngology (pronounced oh/toe/lair/in/goll/oh/jee) is the oldest medical specialty in the United States. Otolaryngologists are physicians trained in the medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat (ENT), and related structures of the head and neck. They are commonly referred to as ENT physicians.
Meniere's disease is a vestibular disorder that produces a recurring set of symptoms as a result of abnormally large amounts of a fluid called endolymph collecting in the inner ear.
The prevalence of Meniere's disease is difficult to assess. One population study found that 15.3 per 100,000 individuals develop Meniere's disease annually. Of these, one-third eventually develop the disease in the second ear as well.
The exact cause of Meniere's disease is not known. Theories include circulation problems, viral infection, allergies, an autoimmune reaction, migraine, and the possibility of a genetic connection. Experts also aren't sure what generates the symptoms of an acute attack. Some people with Meniere's disease find that certain triggers can set off attacks, including stress, overwork, fatigue, emotional distress, additional illnesses, pressure changes, certain foods, and too much salt in the diet.
Attacks can last from 20 minutes to 24 hours. They can occur many times per week; or they can be separated by weeks, months, and even years. The unpredictable nature of this disease makes it difficult to tell how it will affect a person's future. Symptoms can disappear one day and never return, or they might become so severe that they are disabling.
Symptoms: During an attack of early-stage Meniere's disease, the main symptoms are spontaneous, violent vertigo, fluctuating hearing loss, ear fullness, and/or tinnitus. Following the attack, a period of extreme fatigue or exhaustion often occurs, prompting the need for hours of sleep. The periods between attacks are symptom-free for some people and symptomatic for others.
Late-stage Meniere's disease refers to a set of symptoms rather than a point in time. Hearing loss is more significant and is less likely to fluctuate. Tinnitus and/or aural fullness may be stronger and more constant. Attacks of vertigo may be replaced by more constant struggles with vision and balance, including difficulty walking in the dark and occasional sudden loss of balance. Sometimes, drop attacks of vestibular origin (Tumarkin's otolithic crisis) occur in this stage of Meniere's disease.
Treatment: In the United States, the most conservative long-term treatment for Meniere's disease (aimed at reducing the severity and number of attacks) involves adhering to a reduced-sodium diet and using diuretics, or "water pills." The goal of this treatment is to reduce inner ear fluid pressure. Some physicians, more commonly outside of the United States, also weigh the potential efficacy of using betahistine HCl (Serc) as a vestibular suppressant for Meniere's disease.
Medications that are used during an attack to reduce the vertigo, nausea, and vomiting include diazepam (Valium), promethazine (Phenergan), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine Original Formula), and meclizine hydrochloride (Antivert, or Dramamine Less Drowsy Formula). Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is sometimes used to help with the imbalance that can plague people between attacks. Its goal is to help retrain the ability of the body and brain to process balance information.
Another recently introduced, conservative treatment approach employs a device to deliver a series of low-pressure air pulses designed to displace inner ear fluids. The use of this device is approved for general use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is currently undergoing clinical trials in the United States.
For the 20-40% of people who do not respond to medication or diet, a physician may recommend a chemical labyrinthectomy, which destroys vestibular tissue with injections into the ear of an aminoglycoside antibiotic (gentamicin). Another less conservative treatment is surgery to relieve the pressure on the inner ear (although this is not as widely used now as it was in the past) or to destroy either the inner ear or the vestibular nerve, so that balance information is not transmitted to the brain.
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the membrane lining of any sinus, especially one of the paranasal sinuses. Acute sinusitis is a short-term condition that responds well to antibiotics and decongestants. Chronic sinusitis is characterized by at least four recurrences of acute sinusitis. Either medication or surgery is a possible treatment.
To understand earaches you must first know about the Eustachian tube, a narrow channel connecting the inside of the ear to the back of the throat, just above the soft palate. The tube allows drainage - preventing fluid in the middle ear from building up and bursting the thin ear drum. In a healthy ear, the fluid drains down the tube, assisted by tiny hair cells, and is swallowed.
The tube maintains middle ear pressure equal to the air outside the ear, enabling free eardrum movement. Normally, the tube is collapsed most of the time in order to protect the middle ear from the many germs residing in the nose and mouth. Infection occurs when the Eustachian tube fails to do its job. When the tube becomes partially blocked, fluid accumulates in the middle ear, trapping bacteria already present, which then multiply. Additionally, as the air in the middle ear space escapes into the bloodstream, a partial vacuum is formed that absorbs more bacteria from the nose and mouth into the ear.