What is Vestibular Neuritis? About the Vertigo Disorder

What is Vestibular Neuritis, vertigo

Vertigo can cause an array of problems ranging from difficulty sleeping at night to losing the ability to perform even the simplest tasks. An episode starts without warning most of the time, causing severe disorientation, especially if you’re attending to chores. Typically, it would seem like everything around you is moving during a vertigo episode.

Even when you’re standing or sitting still, your brain perceives false motion, making you feel disoriented and dizzy. It mostly occurs as a symptom of another health condition, such as vestibular neuritis. 

What is Vestibular Neuritis?

This health problem can cause vertigo and loss of balance. Viral infection often causes vestibular neuritis. It inflames or irritates the vestibular nerve, which transmits signals to your brain to help you perceive balance.  Most of the time, the infection goes away after a few days. With proper handling of the condition, you may see improved symptoms.  

Vestibular neuronitis (vestibular neuritis) is an infectious condition that affects the vestibular nerve. It causes severe vestibular nerve inflammation due to the body’s natural response to disease-causing bacteria or viruses.

Sometimes, it can develop as a side effect of other infections like flu, sore throat, and meningitis. Some studies also note that it can stem from head or neck trauma because of the abnormal inflammatory response of the body.

Regardless of what caused your vestibular neuronitis, an inflammation in the vestibular system can send your brain into complete chaos because it can’t detect motion or head position changes properly. It can trigger spinning sensations or vertigo attacks accompanied by loss of balance, poor body coordination, and cognition problems. Thankfully, patients diagnosed with this disease often return to their usual tasks once they heal.

Diagnosing Vestibular Neuronitis

Some believe that the relatively small number of reported vestibular neuronitis cases has something to do with the difficulty of getting an accurate diagnosis. If you have been following the UCA blog, you might have already read about a similar type of inner ear infection – labyrinthitis. These two types of internal ear problems often get mistaken for each other, causing patients difficulties in finding an effective treatment option.

So, if you suspect that you have vestibular neuronitis, we recommend consulting your physician. A thorough diagnosis will help you narrow down the possible cause and find a suitable remedy. Here are the usual things doctors do to check if a patient has vestibular neuronitis:

  • Checking for vestibular nerve damage
  • Performing balance tests
  • Evaluating hearing ability
  • Performing a head impulse test

If possible, you should consider seeking an otologist or neurologist. These specialists can provide you with an in-depth assessment of the inner ears and determine if your symptoms indicate vestibular neuronitis.

Managing Vestibular Neuronitis and Vertigo

It takes about 14 to 28 days for the infection to heal in most cases. But, to ensure speedy healing, you will need to eliminate that pathogen that caused the condition using anti-viral medications or antibiotics.

Additionally, you should follow your doctor’s instructions and use techniques that can minimize the intensity of your symptoms. Here are some valuable tips and natural remedies for vertigo that might come in handy in managing your symptoms:

  • If you have vertigo, stay in bed so as not to fall down and hurt yourself. This should only last for a few days. Never use tools or machinery, drive a car, or work high up if you have vertigo.
  • Once vertigo has settled, begin taking small walks outside as soon as possible with assistance. This may make you feel dizzy at first, but your body will begin to compensate. It will not make your condition worse to become active.
  • Limit alcohol intake because it can affect your blood pressure.
  • Avoid common vertigo triggers, including bright lights, loud sounds, and strange scents.
  • Avoid distracting environments like supermarkets, shopping malls, and busy roads.
  • Learn to manage your stressors (work responsibilities, financial troubles, relationship conflicts, etc.).
  • Avoid moving or tilting your head quickly because you might trigger a spinning sensation.
  • Address pre-existing sources of infection so you can prevent a worse inflammatory response.
  • Steer clear from food triggers like products rich in sodium or food additives.
  • Tap into vestibular rehabilitation, an exercise-based approach to managing vertigo attacks and other balance problem.
  • If you are nauseated, drink lots of water to help stay hydrated. Don’t drink a huge amount all at once. But drink it a little at a time and all throughout the day.
  • Address cervical spine misalignments with the help of an upper cervical doctor

What Else Can Trigger Vertigo?

Most of the time, patients who come to see a chiropractor for vertigo experience symptoms due to underlying conditions such as: 

  • Meniere’s Disease 

Meniere’s is a rare inner ear dysfunction caused by poor fluid drainage. If you have this condition, you might deal with symptoms such as ear congestion, ringing inside the ears, and short-term hearing loss. It also causes vertigo episodes that could last for 20 minutes to more than a day.

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

BPPV is caused when small crystals in your inner ear become dislodged and float around in your inner ear canal. When they hit against your eardrum, they send signals to your brain that cause you to feel dizzy or off-balance.

Of all these usual causes or triggers of vertigo, more than half of them have something to do with poor vestibular health. This gives way to the idea that having a healthy and well-maintained vestibular system can give way to a life with less, if not without vertigo.

  • Vestibular Migraine

Roughly 40% of patients with migraines experience vertigo along with other symptoms such as sensitivity to sensory stimuli, tinnitus, and loss of balance. If you experience dizzying spells during your migraine episodes, then you have vestibular migraine. Patients who have vestibular migraines may experience relief when receiving upper cervical care. 

  • Labyrinthitis

An inner ear inflammation that leads to vertigo as well as hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Vertigo attacks from this inner ear condition last up to 30 seconds with accompanying nausea or vomiting.

  • Upper cervical misalignment

One of the overlooked causes of vertigo is a misalignment in the upper cervical spine, where the top two vertebrae in the neck lie. When these bones become misaligned, they can interfere with blood flow to the brain and disrupt nerve signals sent between the brain and other body parts. This disruption of nerve signals can lead to dizziness and vertigo episodes.

Misalignments also irritate the brainstem, which can prompt the transmission of wrong or inaccurate signals sent to the brain and trigger bouts of vertigo. The brainstem is an integral part of the central nervous system that helps process messages from the body to the brain. But misalignments can cause it to malfunction hence the distorted signals it sends. Upper cervical misalignments will require upper cervical chiropractic adjustments to relieve your brainstem from irritation and undue pressure and restore your spine's balance and alignment.

How Do You Manage Vertigo Symptoms?

You can relieve your symptoms by practicing self-care techniques. Alternatively, you can try going to a chiropractor for vertigo to resolve the root cause of your condition. 

Going to a chiropractor for vertigo is becoming a popular choice among patients suffering from vertigo. But besides upper cervical chiropractic, you can also try the following techniques to cope with your symptoms:

  • Medications

    • Antibiotics prescribed for the infection
    • Medication to manage nausea
    • Steroids that can help you reduce inflammation
    • Diuretics to drain excess fluid in the ears
  • Epley Maneuver

It’s a technique popularly used by patients with BPPV to reposition the dislodged calcium crystals or otoliths. 

Vestibular Neuritis

  • Dietary Adjustments

Minimizing your sodium intake can help you reduce fluid retention in your body, a key factor that can further aggravate your condition. 

  • Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy

Besides these simple coping techniques, you can also try using other natural remedies such as essential oils, Ginkgo Biloba supplements, honey, and ginger tea.

  • Technology

In early 2022, a new vibrating device called B250 was announced to the public. This device, using bone-conducted sounds, can help patients get an efficient diagnosis of dizziness problems. So, how does it work?

The manufacturer explains that the vibrating device uses bone conduction transmission. The sound waves are converted into vibrations felt through the skull, stimulating the cochlea within the ear in the same way as when sound waves usually go through the ear canal, the eardrum, and the middle ear.

Compared to the previous testing equipment for the root cause of dizziness problems, loud and very high sound levels can cause permanent hearing damage. The B250 is believed to be safer to use as it does not come with risks of ear damage. It can be the safer testing for children and even patients with impaired hearing.

How Can an Upper Cervical Chiropractor for Vertigo Help?

If you’re considering seeing a chiropractor for vertigo for your condition, you must be wondering how the process works. How can upper cervical care help? 

Many patients with vertigo have a history of neck or head trauma. Sometimes, the symptoms appear right away. However, the symptoms could also occur years after the incident. By knowing that you have a misaligned neck bone structure, you could potentially improve your condition.

Ideally, your neck bone protects your brainstem from damage. They also provide support to your head, giving it the ability to move in a great range.  When they’re not aligned properly, they can potentially disturb the normal function of your vestibular system.   

Meniere’s Disease Study

Studies have proven the potential of upper cervical chiropractic in helping patients with Meniere’s. In a particular study, 139 patients with Meniere’s have neck bone misalignment due to an injury. For most of these patients, they only experienced vertigo 15 years after their accident.  To relieve their symptoms, they received upper cervical care for weeks.  

Here are the most crucial details of the study: 

  • Before receiving chiropractic care, most of the patients reported severe symptoms. After receiving upper cervical care for six weeks, they reported less intense symptoms. A year after the procedure, they saw more improvements in their symptoms.  
  • Out of 139 patients, 136 were able to go back to their life before their symptoms started to show. Upper cervical chiropractic care made a huge difference in their life. They were able to work again, form positive relationships, and enjoy their usual activities. 
  • Most of the patients who had the procedure reported improvements in their well-being as soon as they completed the first session.
  • The remaining patients who did not report complete resolution of their symptoms reported shorter and less intense vertigo attacks. They also claim that their recovery period significantly decreased too after undergoing the procedure.

Dealing with Vertigo Conditions the Natural Way

It can be quite challenging to suffer from frequent vertigo attacks. Knowing fundamental techniques to manage your condition through the tips we listed above and receiving upper cervical chiropractic care, you might be able to take back your life. Imagine all the activities you can enjoy once more without the interruption caused by repeated bouts of vertigo. 

Want to know more about how a chiropractor for vertigo can potentially change your overall well-being? Find an upper cervical chiropractor doctor near you today!

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.

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