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What causes dizziness and balance loss after an ear infection?

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Posted on Mon, 21 Jul 2014
Question: I have been feeling off balance and lightheaded for 6 weeks now. I had a horrible ear infection 6 weeks ago with discharge out of my ear. My ears never hurt they just itched very very bad. The doctor told me there was fluid in them. I did 2 rounds of zpack and a steroid ear drop. Now 6 weeks later they are no longer blocked but I am still feeling off balance and lightheaded . Went to the ent and he told me my ears
Looked fine. Can he tell just by looking in them if my eustaian tubes are blocked or if I have laybrinytitis or BPPV ? I do not have any hearing loss but do have a quiet buzzing in my ears. I am not constantly lightheaded off balance but on and off everyday. What could this be ?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Deepashree (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
labyrinthitis.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for your query.

In my opinion, you might be having a infection of your inner ear (labyrinthitis) ,secondary to middle ear infection.
In this condition, there's no pain, only dizziness, tinnitus, and ear blockage.
This can be clinically assessed.
If I were your treating doctor, I would have advised admission, sent pus for culture and sensitivity.
Depending on the report, I would have prescribed intravenous antibiotics+intravenous steroids+labyrinthine sedatives for 5 to 7 days. Orally antibiotics will not be very effective in inner ear infection.
Empirically you can take labyrinthine sedatives+beta histone tablets for 2 weeks.
short course of steroids also can be repeated for 7 days. All these are prescription medicines.
There is no over the counter drugs for this condition.
You definitely need medical assistance.
You can discuss my views with your doctor.
Hope my answers have helped you.
pleased to help you further. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Deepashree (9 minutes later)
The ent said my ear looked clear. would he have been able see pus or labrinthitis just from looking in the ear?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Deepashree (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
labyrinth is not visible.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for your follow up query.
The doctor can see only the external ear, pus coming from middle ear and the ear drum.
The inner ear is not seen.
It is present inside the skull. Labyrinthitis us clinically diagnosed.
Your ent doctor said that you ears are cleared from pus, but infection has spread to the inner ear. That cannot be seen.
It means your middle ear infection has reduced but the infection has spread to the inner ear.
That is causing dizziness and tinnitus.
So I would advise you to consult with the doctor and discuss my view with him. Hope my answers have helped you. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Deepashree

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 937 Questions

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What causes dizziness and balance loss after an ear infection?

Brief Answer: labyrinthitis. Detailed Answer: Hi, thanks for your query. In my opinion, you might be having a infection of your inner ear (labyrinthitis) ,secondary to middle ear infection. In this condition, there's no pain, only dizziness, tinnitus, and ear blockage. This can be clinically assessed. If I were your treating doctor, I would have advised admission, sent pus for culture and sensitivity. Depending on the report, I would have prescribed intravenous antibiotics+intravenous steroids+labyrinthine sedatives for 5 to 7 days. Orally antibiotics will not be very effective in inner ear infection. Empirically you can take labyrinthine sedatives+beta histone tablets for 2 weeks. short course of steroids also can be repeated for 7 days. All these are prescription medicines. There is no over the counter drugs for this condition. You definitely need medical assistance. You can discuss my views with your doctor. Hope my answers have helped you. pleased to help you further. Thanks.