How Do You Contract Vestibular Neuritis?


Quick Answer

Vestibular neuritis possibly results from a viral infection affecting the inner ear or swelling surrounding the vestibulocochlear nerve when a person contracts a virus, states Cleveland Clinic. Flu, measles, chickenpox, shingles and cold sores are several viral infections that affect other parts of the body and cause vestibular neuritis.

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In people with vestibular neuritis, inflammation of the inner ear nerve known as the vestibulocochlear nerve interferes with the brain's normal interpretation of information, explains Cleveland Clinic. The nerve is responsible for sending information about the body's balance and head position from the inner ear to the brain.

Symptoms of the disorder include trouble focusing, nausea, balance problems, dizziness and intense vertigo, according to Cleveland Clinic. Most people experience extreme dizziness and vertigo only for a few days, but the symptoms hamper daily activities. In some cases, individuals with vestibular neuritis suffer symptoms for several months.

Treatment involves reducing symptoms by taking medications, or receiving intravenous fluids if dehydration occurs, notes Cleveland Clinic. Doctors may prescribe antiviral drugs to treat a herpes virus. For patients experiencing balance and dizziness for several weeks, doctors recommend a vestibular physical therapy program that aims to retrain the brain, allowing the patients to adapt to balance changes. Patients may also benefit from performing body posture balance exercises, and eye or ear head-turn exercises.

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