Vestibular neuritis or neuronitis is a disorder resulting from inflammation affecting the vestibular nerve of the inner ear. This nerve carries information about head position and balance to the brain. As a result, most of the symptoms of vestibular neuritis affect balance. The issue can resolve in a matter of weeks, or it may become chronic. Many people also use the term “labyrinthitis” to refer to vestibular neuritis, though there are differences between the two conditions.
Vestibular neuritis develops when an infection causes inflammation of the vestibular nerve. Usually, these infections begin as sore throats, colds, or the flu, mostly stemming from a virus, though a bacterial infection can also be responsible. Middle ear infections or meningitis, for instance, can lead to vestibular neuritis. Head injuries can also allow bacteria to travel into the inner ear.
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