Continuing Professional Development: The pathophysiology of labyrinthitis

OverviewLabyrinthitis is an inflammatory response within the membranous inner ear structures in response to infection. It is a generally short-lived minor illness that has the potential to cause temporary or permanent disablement in terms of hearing loss. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting, pain in the affected ear, vertigo and fever. Subsequently, it is an illness commonly diagnosed by health practitioners working in the community setting. Understanding the pathophysiological development and the inflammatory and immune response to such an illness enables the clinician to comprehend the underlying processes of the presenting signs and symptoms, and to treat accordingly.Learning OutcomesAfter completing this module you will be able:• Describe the pathophysiology of labyrinthitis.• List the clinical symptoms associated with labyrinthitis.• Distinguish between labyrinthitis and other similar conditions.• Manage patients with a simple diagnosis of labyrinthitis.• Know the treatments and care pathways available to them as a healthcare professional, including a basic pharmacology of the most relevant medications.

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