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About Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis is an inflammation of a structure in your inner ear called the labyrinth. You have a labyrinth in your inner ears, deep in the bone at the base of your skull. It contains the delicate structures that control your hearing and balance. The symptoms of labyrinthitis can include: dizziness, a feeling of spinning or moving when you are still (vertigo), loss of balance, especially towards your affected side, feeling sick, vomiting, headache, uncontrollable flickering of your eyes (nystagmus), changes in your hearing - such as ringing in your ears (tinnitus), and deafness.

 

Western Medicine View

Viral labyrinthitis usually lasts between 1 and 3 weeks. Your body will fight the virus off on its own, so during this time treatment is designed to reduce any symptoms you are feeling. Your GP may prescribe you medicine to reduce your dizziness (vestibular suppressants) and anti-sickness medicine (anti-emetics) if you are feeling or being sick. Bacterial labyrinthitis is treated with antibiotics to fight the infection.

 

Chinese Medicine View

Acupuncture has been proved - through controlled trials - to be an effective treatment for such symptoms of labyrinthitis as nausea, vomiting and headache. The World Health Organisation also recommends acupuncture for deafness because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult*.

 

Labyrinthitis is treated in the same way as dizziness. In Chinese medicine dizziness is called Xuan Yun. Xuan means "blurred vision", while Yun means "dizziness". The symptoms may range from a very slight dizziness, to very severe vertigo with loss of balance and feeling that everything around seems to be spinning.

 

According to Chinese Medicine theory acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be prescribed to relieve the main factors effecting dizziness which are Liver-Yang, Liver-Fire, Liver-Wind and Phlegm.

 

Lifestyle Advice

You should reduce stress, as emotional strain affects the Liver and may cause Liver-Yang to rise (in the Yin-Yang medicinal theory, Yang refers to a lack of the body's essential, vital warm energy) and will cause a high amount of dizziness. Overwork and/or excessive sexual activity should be reduced, as over time this will weaken the kidneys and not enough marrow will be produced to nourish the brain, which will also cause dizziness. Greasy foods, dairy products or irregular eating should also be reduced as this will weaken the Spleen and lead to Dampness and Phlegm. When this happens and there is a deficiency of Qi (the body's essential energy) dizziness will also occur.

For personalised advice on diet and lifestyle, please ask the doctor during your consultation. Please be reminded that we offer free online health advice.

 

*CLINICAL TRIALS

 

NAUSEA AND VOMITING

Vickers AJ. Can acupuncture have specific effects on health? A systematic review of acupuncture antiemesis trials. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1996, 89(6): 303-311

Dundee JW et al. Traditional Chinese acupuncture: a potentially useful antiemetic? British Medical Journal, 1986, 293:383-384.

Dundee JW et al. Acupuncture to prevent cisplatin-associated vomiting. Lancet, 1987, 1:1083.

Ghaly RG et al. A comparison of manual needling with electrical stimulation and commonly used antiemetics. Anaesthesia, 1987, 45:1108-1110.

Weightman WM et al. Traditional Chinese acupuncture as an antiemetic. British Medical Journal, 1987, 295(6610):1379-1380.

Dundee JW et al. Acupuncture prophylaxis of cancer chemotherapy-induced sickness. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1989, 82:268-271.

Barsoum G et al. Postoperative nausea is relieved by acupressure. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1990, 83(2):86-89.

Ho RT et al. Electro-acupuncture and postoperative emesis. Anaesthesia, 1990, 45:327-329.

Ho CM et al. Effect of PC 6 acupressure on prevention of nausea and vomiting after epidural morphine for post-cesarean section pain relief. Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, 1996, 40(3):372-375.

Andrzejowski J et al. Semi-permanent acupuncture needles in the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Acupuncture-Medicine, 1996, 14(2):68-70.

McConaghy P et al. Acupuncture in the management of postoperative nausea and vomiting in patients receiving morphine via a patient-controlled analgesia system. Acupuncture-Medicine, 1996, 14(1):2-5.

Schwager KL et al. Acupuncture and postoperative vomiting in day-stay paediatric patients. Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, 1996, 24(6):674-677.

Liu SX et al. Magnetotherapy of neiguan in preventing vomiting induced by cisplatin. International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture, 1997, 8(1):39-41.

Al-Sadi M et al. Acupuncture in the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Anaesthesia, 1997, 52(7):658-661.

Stein DJ et al. Acupressure versus intravenous metoclopramide to prevent nausea and vomiting during spinal anesthesia for cesarean section. Anesthesia and Analgesia, 1997, 84(2):342-345.

Schlager A et al. Laser stimulation of acupuncture point P6 reduces postoperative vomiting in children undergoing strabismus surgery. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 1998, 8(4):529-532.

Chu YC et al. Effect of BL10 (tianzhu), BL11 (dazhu) and GB34 (yanglingquan) acuplaster for prevention of vomiting after strabismus surgery in children. Acta Anaesthesiologica Sinica, 1998, 36(1):11-16.

Alkaissi A et al. Effect and placebo effect of acupressure (P6) on nausea and vomiting after outpatient gynaecological surgery. Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, 1999, 43(3):270-274.

Shenkman Z et al. Acupressure-acupuncture antiemetic prophylaxis in children undergoing tonsillectomy. Anesthesiology, 1999, 90(5):1311-1316.

 

HEADACHE

Ahonen E et al. Acupuncture and physiotherapy in the treatment of myogenic headache patients: pain relief and EMG activity. Advances in Pain Research and Therapy, 1983, 5:571-576.

Loh L et al. Acupuncture versus medical treatment for migraine and muscle tension headaches. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 1984, 47:333-337.

Dowson DI et al. The effects of acupuncture versus placebo in the treatment of headache. Pain, 1985, 21:35-42.

Doerr-Proske H et al. [A muscle and vascular oriented relaxation program for the treatment of chronic migraine patients. A randomized clinical control groups study on the effectiveness of a biobehavioural treatment program]. Zeitschrift für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychoanalyse, 1985, 31(3):247-266 [in German].

Vincent CA. A controlled trial of the treatment of migraine by acupuncture. Clinical Journal of Pain, 1989, 5:305-312.

Tavola T et al. Traditional Chinese acupuncture in the treatment of tension-type headache: a controlled study. Pain, 1992, 48:325-329.

Kubiena G et al. Akupunktur bei Migräne. [Acupuncture treatment of migraine.] Deutsche Zeitschrift für Akunpunktur, 1992, 35(6):140-148 [in German].

Xu Z et al. [Treatment of migraine by qi-manipulating acupuncture.] Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1993, 12(3):97-100 [in Chinese].

Weinschütz T et al. Zur neuroregulativen Wirkung der Akupunktur bei Kopfschmerzpatienten. [Neuroregulatory action of acupuncture in headache patients.] Deutsche Zeitschrift für Akunpunktur, 1994, 37(5):106-117 [in German].

Chen XS et al. [Observation of penetrating acupuncture treatment of migraine in 45 cases.] Shanxi Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1997, 13(6):32-33 [in Chinese].

Liu AS et al. [“Three Scalp Needles” in the treatment of migraine.] New Tradiitional Chinese Medicine, 1997, 29(4) 25-26 [in Chinese].

 

DEAFNESS

Wang CH et al. [Clinical study on acupuncture treatment of sudden deafness.] Acupuncture Research, 1998, 23(1):5-7 [in Chinese].

 

Last Updated: December 13, 2012

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