inside ear infection

inside ear infection


What is an inside ear infection?

What are the symptoms of inner ear infections?

How are inner ear infections diagnosed?

How is inner ear infection treated?

What are the types of human inner ear infections?

If you also want to find the answers to the above questions and similar questions, we recommend that you read on.


What you will read next:



Internal ear infections


Anatomy of the human inner ear

What are the causes of inner ear infections?

What are the clinical signs and symptoms of an inner ear infection?

What should we do when we have an inner ear infection?



Home treatment

Methods of preventing inner ear infections




Ear infections are one of the 10 most common causes of ear pain in adults. Ear pain needs to be diagnosed as soon as possible by an experienced medical team and appropriate treatment can be started quickly to control them because untreated ear infections can occasionally cause chronic and persistent side effects to your ears and even your hearing.

Ear infections are divided into three main categories based on which area of ​​the ear they are involved in. These three categories are:

  1. Outer ear infection
  2. Middle ear infection
  3. inside ear infection

What we are talking about in this article is inside ear infections. If you want to learn more about inner ear infections, read on.


Internal ear infections

The inner ear is very closely related to the brain and nervous system. In other words, the inner ear and auditory nerves are adjacent. Inflammation and infection of the inner ear is the most serious cause of ear pain in adults and is often one of the complications of viral infections which will lead to an unpleasant feeling of dizziness, nausea and imbalance in the affected person.

People with inner ear infections experience different symptoms and manifestations. Symptoms such as:

  • Dizziness
  • The lack of balance
  • nausea
  • Feeling of imminent collapse

In this section, we want to briefly say that we should not forget this basic principle that ear infection is the most important cause of ear pain in adults, which should be diagnosed and evaluated in time. Lack of timely treatment can cause many complications. We will describe the types of ear infections and their symptoms in the following.



Vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis are disorders that result from inflammation caused by an infection in the inner ear or the vicinity of the nerves that connect the inner ear to the brain. this Inflammation and infections of the inner ear can interfere with the transmission of sensory information from the ear to the brain. So, dizziness, imbalance, hearing problems and vertigo can occur following inflammation and infections of the inner ear.

It should be noted here that inner ear infections are generally viral. Bacterial infections of the inner corner are rare.


Anatomy of the human inner ear

The human inner ear is made up of a complex system of cochlear ducts and fluid-containing sacs called labyrinths.

Labyrinths have two functions:

  1. Maintain balance
  2. Help with hearing

The cochlea of ​​the human ear is responsible for hearing. It is made up of cochlear ducts that contain fluid that leads to the auditory nerve, more precisely to the ear nerve. In fact, it is this nerve that transmits sensory sound messages to the brain.

When we talk about the organs of the vestibular system of the inner ear, we mean a set of systems whose job is to maintain our balance.

The fluids and hair cells that enclose the semicircular canals and the two sacs called the atrium and saccule collect messages about the position and movement of our head and neck for the brain and deliver them to the brain through the balance branch of the ear nerve.

To be more precise, the eighth cranial nerve is called the cochlear atrial nerve, which has two parts. One part receives messages from the auditory organ, which is the cochlea, and the other part receives the balance and transmits it to the brain.

The brain receives the balance messages and signals of the left and right ears and combines the perceptions so that we can receive the position of our head and neck in the environment.

If for any reason an ear (left or right) becomes infected, the wrong signal is sent, so the brain receives incorrect information that causes confusion and dizziness.

Neuritis is when we talk about the inflammation of the nerve:

When vestibular neuritis or inflammation of the part related to the balance of the ear nerve develops, it leads to dizziness and vertigo, but will not affect your hearing.

When the term labyrinthitis is used, it refers to inflammation of the labyrinths and it is when the infection affects both parts of the ear nerve, ie the part related to balance or the vestibular branch and the part related to hearing. In this case, the person's hearing changes are added to the symptoms of vestibular neuritis (dizziness and confusion).


What are the causes of inner ear infections?

Viral infections are the most common cause of inner ear infections.

Viruses that are associated with human inner ear infections include:

  1. Influenza viruses
  2. Herpes viruses that make up a large family and can present with the clinical manifestations of shingles and chicken pox.
  3. Viruses such as polio virus
  4. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

Less commonly, bacteria can also cause an inner ear infection.


What are the clinical signs and symptoms of an inner ear infection?

Many people with inner ear infections may have only a few symptoms or no clinical signs or symptoms at all, but it is often said that when symptoms and manifestations appear, they are very likely to progress rapidly, symptoms and manifestations of inner ear infection is as follows:

  1. Spinning sensation or lightheadedness
  2. Nausea and vomiting
  3. the third sign is balance problems
  4. Hearing problems, Hearing loss and Decreased hearing intensity, which usually occurs in one ear.
  5. Ear pain
  6. Feeling of fullness in the affected ear
  7. Feeling of ringing and tinnitus or hearing abnormal noises in the ear

In general, the signs and symptoms of inner ear infections are very similar to the problems of the inner ear, such as inflammation of the labyrinths or vestibular neuritis.


What should we do when we have an inner ear infection?

As with all types of ear infections, the only way to deal with problems such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms mentioned in the previous section is to see a doctor. If you have the symptoms mentioned in the previous section, Schedule an appointment with your doctor quickly without starting arbitrary treatments.



When you go to the doctor with suspicious symptoms, in addition to collecting a detailed history of your illness and the history of your medications, your doctor will use special methods to examine your ear, a device with which the doctor will see inside your ear is called an otoscope.

Of course, we must say that ordinary otoscopes can only assess the external canal of the ear and tympanic membrane in terms of swelling and redness, as well as the amount of wax secretion. This means that with ordinary otoscopes, the structures behind the tympanic membrane cannot be seen directly. Also, many abnormalities that can be present in the external ear canal can be seen.

Another more specialized examination is that the doctor gently creates a stream of air in front of your tympanic membrane with a special device, If the membrane is not damaged and there is no accumulation of fluid and purulent discharge behind the membrane, the membrane should be shaken well, if the membrane remained fixed, it means that there was accumulation of fluid and other problems behind the tympanic membrane. 

Using the examination methods mentioned in the previous sections, your doctor will look for infections and structural disorders and problems that may be present in the outer and middle ear, but when the doctor wants to find out the cause of your symptoms, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, imbalance and nausea, before diagnosing problems and infection of the inner ear, he or she should rule out causes such as trauma and brain injury / heart problems, strokes, and cerebrovascular accidents. Your doctor may use many diagnostic methods to rule out these factors.

Therefore, the causes that cause similar symptoms should be ruled out, such as cerebrovascular accidents, strokes, cardiovascular problems, and neurological problems.

Anxiety and side effects of medications should also be considered.

Your doctor may order an MRI or CT scan to rule out strokes and cerebrovascular events.

He may ask you for a carotid color doppler to rule out cardiac arrhythmias or abnormalities at the junction of the carotid artery in the neck.

Echocardiography and other specialized examinations may be needed and Some neurological examinations may be considered.

It is important to note that hearing loss sometimes occurs with middle ear infections. When a middle ear infection occurs, we should know that there may be other symptoms and viral respiratory infections such as sore throat and runny nose.

Another important point is that nausea and vomiting, lightheadedness, and confusion are not symptoms that are common in middle ear infections.



You may need OTC medications as well as medications prescribed by your doctor at the same time to improve and manage the symptoms of inside ear infection. We will discuss both groups below:

OTC drugs:

Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, and dizziness may be relieved with medications such as Diphenhydramine, available under the brand name Benadryl.

Another drug is acetaminophen or ibuprofen, which is one of the most commonly used painkillers and analgesics.

An important point is that in order to avoid the occurrence of Ray syndrome, which can be associated with acute liver failure, we should avoid giving aspirin to children and adolescents.

The second category is drugs that your doctor must prescribe for you:

These include corticosteroids such as prednisone, which help reduce inflammation.

  • The other category is antibiotics and antivirals that are prescribed to you according to your diagnosis.
  • There are other classes of medications that can help you control your nausea.


  • promethazine
  • Lorazepam
  • diazepam

If you are dehydrated and this dehydration is due to severe, frequent vomiting, your doctor may feel that you need intravenous fluids.


Home treatment

You can use warm compresses on the area where you feel discomfort and pain.

It is better to get used to gargling the salt water mixture. This mixture can help to reopen and maintain the health and function of the Eustachian tube.

The next step is to stop drinking alcohol or stop smoking or limit their consumption.

Finally, you need to learn stress management techniques:

You may need to seek help from a psychoanalyst or psychiatrist to control your stress and anxiety problems, which can make your symptoms worse.

You may read on the Internet that natural ingredients such as garlic extract and garlic oil or tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar or olive oil can be used as ear drops and reduce the symptoms but we must say that so far there is no scientific source to confirm this claim. We highly recommend that you avoid using these substances without consulting your doctor to prevent infections and other problems.


Methods of preventing inner ear infections

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, and avoid eating or drinking with others. Avoid alcohol consumption and do not smoke or do not expose yourself to secondhand smoke.

Vaccination in children will play a very effective role in preventing ear infections. It is said that in many countries, vaccination against seasonal flu as well as conjugated pneumococcal vaccine is effective in preventing the occurrence of multiple and recurrent infections.

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