Vestibular neuritis

Vestibular neuritis is an inflammation of the vestibular nerve, which is located in the inner ear and carries balance signals from the inner ear to the brain. When this nerve is inflamed, it causes vertigo, which is a feeling of motion when there is no actual movement.

Vestibular neuritis often follows a cold or upper respiratory infection, suggesting that it is caused by a virus. It may also be caused by conditions that affect the circulatory system (blood flow) and the brain and central nervous system. Vestibular neuritis usually occurs in just one ear at a time.

Vertigo, the main symptom of vestibular neuritis, appears suddenly and is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Vertigo usually lasts for several days or weeks. In a few cases, it can take months to go away entirely. Vestibular neuritis does not lead to loss of hearing.

The inflammation that causes vestibular neuritis usually goes away on its own. The usual treatment is to rest until vertigo symptoms go away. Severe symptoms of vertigo may be reduced with medicines, such as antihistamines or sedatives.

Last Updated: August 18, 2009

Author: Monica Rhodes

Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.