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What is vestibular neuritis?

Vestibular neuritis is an inflammation of the nerve which sends messages from the inner ear to the brain (cochlear nerve). This happens because of a bacterial or viral infection of either the inner ear or the nerve itself. Vestibular neuritis usually only affects one ear and causes vertigo and dizziness but no change in hearing. The condition can last a few weeks or can cause permanent symptoms if the inflammation becomes chronic. Physiotherapy is a very effective way of minimising the symptoms of vestibular neuritis and can help prevent it developing into a more chronic condition. have experienced physiotherapists that will provide you with a full assessment of your signs and symptoms and create a personalised programme to optimise your recovery.

Vestibular physiotherapy - passive resetting exercisesAbove: Vestibular physiotherapy - passive resetting exercises

What causes vestibular neuritis?

Vestibular neuritis can be caused by viral or bacterial infections for a variety of reasons. It is important to determine the underlying cause of your condition as quickly as possible as this will help tailor the most effective treatment programme. Potential causes of vestibular neuritis include:
  • Measles/mumps (viral labyrinthitis)
  • Meningitis (bacterial labyrinthitis)
  • Glandular fever (viral labyrinthitis)
  • Benign tumours
  • Head injury
  • Cold/ flu
  • Injury to the ear
  • Bleed to the brain
  • Allergies
  • Side effect of certain drugs

What are the symptoms of vestibular neuritis?

The symptoms that you experience from vestibular neuritis depend on the severity and causes of your condition. It is important that you receive professional help as soon as you notice any of the following symptoms as this will speed up your recovery. Your physiotherapist at will devise a personalised treatment plan that is specific to your symptoms. Possible symptoms include:

Vestibular physiotherapy - passive resetting exercisesAbove: Vestibular physiotherapy - passive resetting exercises

How is vestibular neuritis diagnosed?

There is no specific test that is used to diagnose vestibular neuritis and therefore your doctor or specialist will probably use a combination of tests to confirm the condition. Possible tests include:
  • Examination of symptoms
  • Balance tests
  • Eye tests
  • Blood tests
  • Hearing tests
  • MRI/CT scans

How can physiotherapy help with vestibular neuritis?

Physiotherapy is very successful in reducing the symptoms of vestibular neuritis and can help in a number of different ways. The sooner you can start the rehabilitation process the better. Physiotherapy can help with vestibular neuritis in the following ways:
  • Improve balance
  • Reduce vertigo/dizziness
  • Reduce nausea and vomiting
  • Help you continue with an active and healthy lifestyle
  • Improve walking and standing ability
  • Reduce pain

What physiotherapy will be used to treat vestibular neuritis?

The physiotherapy used by will depend on your symptoms and the severity of the vestibular neuritis. Your treatment plan is likely to change regular as it will be personalised to your symptoms and goals. The physiotherapists at will encourage you to take an active role in your treatment as this will optimise the outcome of your physiotherapy. Physiotherapy may include:


Vestibular neuritis is inflammation of the cochlear nerve which supplies the brain with information from the inner ear. This can happen because of a viral or bacterial infection and causes a number of different symptoms including dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Physiotherapy is a successful way of managing the symptoms of vestibular neuritis and it is important that begin a treatment programme as soon as you have received an accurate diagnosis of the condition. have experienced physiotherapists that will devise you an individualised treatment programme to reduce your symptoms and help you achieve your goals.

If you require any more information and would like to speak to one of our Physiotherapist?s or would like to book an appointment, please call on 0330 088 7800 and we will be happy to help you. You can also make an appointment by booking online

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