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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

VESTIBULAR NEURONITIS

This is common disorder affecting mainly young adults. The aetiology is presumed to be due to viral infection, and occasionally occurs in small epidemics.


Clinical features
There is usually a degree of systemic illness with fever, malaise, myalgia and gastrointestinal upset, suggesting that enteric viruses may be implicated. Vertigo, often with a marked positional element, accompanies the acute illness and may persist for days or several weeks, and sometimes relapses occur. Nystagmus is present in the acute phase, but there is no disturbance of hearing. Caloric tests may show impaired vestibular function on one or both sides.

Management
Treatment is with bed rest and vestibular sedatives. Recovery in a few weeks is usual, but sometimes symptoms persist with positional vertigo for several months, and there is some overlap with post-viral fatigue syndrome.(myalgic encephalomyelitis).

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