Inner ear infection symptoms in adults

It is known by everyone that ear issues are amongst the highly threatened physical glitches. Ear is an important part of the body and any anomaly related to the ear is quite concerning. There are three division of ear, mainly outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Any of these parts may get infected and lead to several symptoms. Here, we will be discussing about inner ear infection symptoms in adults, its causes as well as treatments.

The inner ear is also scientifically referred to as ‘labyrinth’; hence, inner ear infection is also referred to as labyrinthitis. The labyrinth is associated with hearing ability and maintaining balance.  The inner ear infection is usually caused due to virus as well as bacteria; however, bacterial infection in the inner portion of the ear is rare. It is important to understand the treatment for viral infection in inner ear would be different from bacterial infection. To your information inner layer as well as outer layer are also prone to infections. Hence, one should not confuse labyrinthitis with outer ear infection or middle ear infection. Inner ear infection is common in adults between the age group 30 to 60 years.

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Inner ear infection symptoms

Inner infection when afflicts an individual may also have several symptoms. There are different signs a patient may experience, these are explained below:

  • One of the most common and frequently recorded symptoms of labyrinthitis is pain
  • Also vertigo or dizziness is amongst the usual symptoms of inner ear infection. The intensity of dizziness may vary from subtle to severe; you may start experiencing a spinning sensation. This symptom may cause you to lose your balance or blink rapidly.
  • One may also start experiencing queasiness if affected with infection of inner ear which may be followed by vomiting
  • Sometimes a person suffering from the condition may experience unsteadiness or find it difficult to balance while walking
  • Impaired concentration is yet another sign that may be experienced by the sufferer
  • One of the common signs is also ear itchiness or blockage in the ear

In other cases one may also experience tinnitus. Under this condition you may experience ringing or roaring sound which is not actually happening in the surrounding but only inside your ear. Hence, it will be heard only by you. This symptom may occur in continuous or episodic manner. This sign is highly annoying when you are in silence place and the tinnitus sound is very high. This sign is a formidable sign of inner ear infection in adults, as it sends false signals to your brain. There are also some other symptoms of labyrinthitis.

  • Hearing loss in both ear or at least one year
  • Uncontrollable movement of eye
  • Fever or increased body temperature
  • Anxiousness

Causes of inner ear infection

As aforementioned the chief reason for inner ear infection can be virus or bacteria in the middle ear region. This infection may usually result out of other physical illness such as flu, allergic reaction or cold etc. Such condition may also cause swelling and obstruction in the nasal passage, Eustachian tube as well as throat.


Issues related to Eustachian, such as inflammation, protrusion and mucus etc may cause to it be blocked, which may lead to accumulation of fluids in the ear. It is the bacterial or viral infection carried in this fluid which may also infect the inner region of the ear.

Adenoids are small pads of tissues which are located by the opening of Eustachian tubes. Inflammation or swelling of these adenoids may lead to blockage of the tube resulting to infection in ear.  Ear infection due to adenoids is more common in children than adults but may serve as a reason for ear infection in adults in certain cases.

There are other middle ear conditions that may be associated with inner ear infection in adults. Some of these conditions are:

  • Otitis media with infusion is an inflammatory condition and buildup of fluid in the middle ear region. This does not have any bacterial or viral infection. The condition may result because the effusion persists even after the ear infection is treated. The otitis media with effusion may also occur due noninfectious obstruction of Eustachian tubes.
  • Chronic suppurative otitis media is a condition wherein persistent ear infection is experienced. This may also result in tearing or puncture of the eardrum.

Treatment for inner ear infection

The treatment of inner ear infection usually starts with your doctor examining your symptoms and physical condition. In case the inner ear infection in adult is due to bacterial infection then the doctor may suggest prescribe antibiotics. However, since most cases of inner ear infection are caused due to virus, medicines efficacious in counteracting these viruses are prescribed to the patient. In such cases the most common symptom is said to be vertigo. Hence drugs such as Benadryl and Phenergen are prescribed to the patients. It is essential to take bed rest while other medicines are prescribed to you for alleviating the symptoms and eradicating the condition.  See a doctor as soon as you suspect inner ear infection.

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