A perilymph fistula (PLF) is a tear in either one of the membranes separating your middle and inner ear. Read on to find out what it is, its effects and effects, and how the Therapy Consultants can help you with recovery.
Your middle ear is filled with air. Your inner ear, on the other hand, is filled with fluid called perilymph. Usually, thin membranes at openings called oval and round windows separate your inner and middle ear. These membranes can rupture or tear, which can cause perilymphatic fluid from your inner ear to flow into your middle ear. This fluid exchange can cause pressure changes that affect your balance and hearing.
- A feeling of fullness in your ear
- Sudden hearing loss
- Hearing loss that comes and goes
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Persistent, mild nausea
- Memory loss
- Motion sickness
- A sense of being unbalanced, often to one side
- Ringing in the ears
Dizziness while laughing, coughing, performing strenuous workouts, or lifting heavy weights.
We must keep in mind that perilymph fistulas tend to only affect one ear at a time. However, severe head trauma can lead to bilateral perilymph fistulas in rare cases.
Perilymph fistulas can happen after you experience head trauma or barotrauma (involving extreme and rapid changes in pressure). These extreme pressure changes can occur from a range of things, including air travel, scuba diving, childbirth, and heavy lifting.
Other potential causes include:
- Experiencing whiplash
- Puncturing your eardrum
- Being exposed to very loud sounds, including gunfire or sirens, close to your ear
- Serious or frequent ear infections
- Blowing your nose very hard
- Perilymph fistulas can also be present at birth in some cases.
Some people report developing spontaneous perilymph fistulas with no apparent cause. However, in these cases, the root cause could be an old injury or something that didn’t cause immediate symptoms.
It can be difficult to diagnose a perilymph fistula. Symptoms that appear after trauma, such as dizziness, could be linked to other conditions, such as traumatic brain injury with a concussion.
General symptoms of perilymph fistula are also very similar to those of Ménière’s disease, an inner ear disorder that causes balance difficulties and hearing loss. Treatment approaches for the two conditions differ, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from your healthcare provider.
There are several options for treatment, depending on the symptoms you experience.
Referral to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist is very important, the ENT specialist may decide to recommend bed rest, use of patch injection, or perform other surgical procedures to manage the root of the problem. A follow-up vestibular rehabilitation will help with full recovery. We are ready to be part of your team to full recovery at Therapy Consultants.
Contact us today at 915-503-1333
Let’s be part of your recovery team. “You Don’t Have To live With It”