Q:

What is the treatment for inner ear crystals?

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Quick Answer

Treatment options for inner ear crystals include surgery, medication and canalith repositioning, according to Mayo Clinic. Inner ear crystals contribute to a vestibular disorder known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, which occurs when calcium crystals known as otoconia shift from their usual position in the utricle, a small organ located in the inner ear.

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Full Answer

When the otoconia shift, they can freely move about. Eventually they end up in the semicircular canals, particularly the posterior canal. In the canal, they are still able to move, especially when the position of the head changes, such as when the head tilts upwards or downwards, explains Healthline.

The movement of the crystals causes an abnormality in the semicircular canal causing vertigo, a spinning sensation, and other symptoms such as nausea, faintness and vomiting, says Johns Hopkins Medicine. The canalith repositioning treatment option, which consists of several maneuvers, moves the crystals from the semicircular canal to a place where they no longer cause problems.

If canalith repositioning is not effective, medical treatment using drugs such as antihistamines and anticholinergics help relieve the symptoms. However, medication alone cannot help cure the problem. Surgery is a last option if canalith repositioning does not treat the problem, says Mayo Clinic. It involves plugging the semicircular canal with a bone plug, which prevents the crystals in the canal from moving.

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