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Are blurred vision, lightheadedness and popping noise in ear signs of ear infection?

Answered by
Dr. Bruno Mascarenhas

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2000

Answered : 803 Questions

Posted on Tue, 30 Aug 2016 in Brain and Spine
Question: Dear Doctor,

I've been suffering for nearly 3 months with what my GP thinks is an inner ear infection. It started with light headiness (no vertigo) and feeling sick in my stomach. This lasted for a week and then I was symptom free ( completely!) After nearly 3 weeks it came back big time. Weird feeling in my head ( like something is moving inside my head)- again, no spinning, just light headed at times, but no specific head movement is causing that- it's just random, 24/7 slightly blurred vision and sensitivity to light ( need to wear sunglasses when I'm outside), ears popping and feeling full ( although this eased and now I'm left with 24/7 ringing in my ears), no hearing loss.

Had blood and urin tests- all fine, eye test- eyes are perfectly fine, my GP checked my balance by asking me to do a few exercises and apparently my balance is fine too. Had a CT scan 2 days ago- no results yet but GP is not expecting anything bad to come out of it. I got slightly worse now. As I said, the weird sensention in my head is random and not caused by any particular movement/s. Today I felt lightheaded and uncomfortable when walking which hasn't happened for some time. I never fainted, and I always walk straight- no balance issues in this regard. When I go to sleep I get this feeling in my head similar to when you are almost asleep and suddenly something wakes you up, or as if there is a lightening passing through. I try to be active and sweaming seems to always make me feel better. I'm also working full time but was sent home mid day on several occasions.

I'm writing to ask for a professional opinion of an ENT who has treated people with an inner ear infection. Online it says that most people recover within 8 weeks, which hasn't been my case. So, I wanted to ask what is your experience with the timeline of recovery in your patents and how does it progress- is it sudden or gradual? There is no need of describing what an inner ear infection is because, as you can imagine, I've read a lot during the past 3 months.

Any advise and help would be much appreciated!

Answered by Dr. Bruno Mascarenhas 21 hours later
Brief Answer:
Less Chance for Inner Ear Infection. Need CT, MRI Brain too

Detailed Answer:

Welcome to I am Dr.J XXXXXXX Anto Bruno Mascarenhas. I have gone through your query with diligence and would like you to know that I am here to help you.

I have been treating a lot of people with symptoms like what you have narrated. Few of your symptoms can be due to Inner Ear Infection. But they can also be due to various other problems. But Blurred Vision and increased sensitiveness to light are not so common in Inner Ear Infection. There should be some other problem too

Your Symptoms can be due to
1. Partial Seizures
2. Problems in 8th Cranial Nerve
3. Problems in Brain Stem
4. Problems in Inner Ear
(Inner Ear infection comes under Category 4 : Problems in Inner Ear)

CT Brain, MRI Brain, Audiometry and tests for Vestibular Function will help us fix the diagnosis. In your case, since you have already undergone CT Brain, please wait for the report.

Please share the report of the CT Brain with me in the same thread, and I will be glad to help you

If you need any clarification / have doubts / have additional questions / have follow up questions, then please do not hesitate in asking again. I will be happy to answer your questions.

Best Wishes for Speedy Recovery
Take care.


PS 1 : After all your doubts have been cleared, kindly (a) Close this Question (b) Rate my Replies and (c) Give your Feedback.

PS 2 : In the future, for continuity of care, I encourage you to contact me directly in HealthCareMagic at
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng

The User accepted the expert's answer

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