Labyrinthitis: Inflammation of the Inner Ear

Picture of ear anatomy and location of the labyrinth

Labyrinthitis is a problem inside the inner ear. It happens when the labyrinth, a part of the inner ear that helps control your balance, gets swollen and inflamed.

Labyrinthitis may cause sudden vertigo. This makes you feel like you're spinning or whirling, even though nothing around you is moving. Labyrinthitis may also cause hearing loss or a ringing in your ears (tinnitus).

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD, MD - Neurology
Last Revised October 3, 2011

Last Revised: October 3, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD, MD - Neurology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.


The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.

More to explore