Alternate Names : Inner Ear Infection, Otitis Interna
What can be done to prevent the infection?
Prompt treatment of acute otitis media and meningitis with antibiotics can prevent some cases of labyrinthitis. There is no known way to prevent cases caused by viral infection of the inner ear.
What are the long-term effects of the infection?
With labyrinthitis caused by a bacterial infection, hearing impairment or deafness is often permanent. The balance part of the inner ear is also usually permanently destroyed. However, the brain can often learn to adjust to the balance problem. Because of this, the vertigo usually improves over time. It may soon only occur with fast or
complex head movements.
A person with the viral form of labyrinthitis can have varying degrees of balance and hearing problems. Some people recover completely, while others have permanent problems.
What are the risks to others?
Labyrinthitis itself is not contagious and poses no risk to others. However, acute otitis media and meningitis are often contagious.