Symptoms of labyrinthitis 

The three most common symptoms of labyrinthitis are dizziness, hearing loss and vertigo – the sensation that you, or the environment around you, is moving.

These symptoms can range from mild to severe. For example, some people may only feel mildly dizzy and out of balance. Other people have reported that their symptoms of vertigo and loss of balance were so intense that they could no longer remain upright and were worried that they might have been having a stroke.

Hearing loss can affect one or both ears and can range from mild to total loss of hearing.

Other symptoms of labyrinthitis include:

  • a feeling of pressure inside your ear(s)
  • ringing or humming in your ear(s) (tinnitus)
  • fluid or pus leaking out of your ear(s)
  • ear pain
  • feeling sick (nausea) 
  • being sick
  • a high temperature (fever) of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or above 
  • changes in vision, such as blurred vision or double vision

Why am I so dizzy?

There are a number of things that sometimes make dizziness worse, including:

  • head movements
  • colds or illness
  • computers
  • the dark
  • small rooms
  • crowds
  • tiredness
  • menstruation
  • focusing on people
  • sitting for periods of time
  • walking
  • being in shops and supermarkets

Avoid driving, using tools and machinery or working at heights if you're feeling dizzy and unbalanced.

Read more information about how labyrinthitis is treated.

Vestibular neuronitis

Many people diagnosed with labyrinthitis only experience the balance symptoms without hearing loss.

This is actually known as vestibular neuronitis rather than labyrinthitis.

However, both terms are often used to describe the same diagnosis.

Page last reviewed: 25/02/2013

Next review due: 25/02/2015