Which is the best exercise or home remedies for a perilymph fistula?

A Perilymph Fistula is defined as a tear in any of the membranes separating the inner ear & the middle ear. Anatomically, the middle ear is filled with air, while the inner ear is filled with a fluid called Perilymph.  In usual cases, the fluid in the inner ear is prevented from entering the middle ear through thin membrane sheets at openings termed as Oval & Round windows.

However, these membranes are prone to rupturing & tearing, & when this happens, the perilymphatic fluid inside the inner ear flows into the middle ear.

This fluid exchange leads to a change in the pressure inside the ear, affecting the patient’s balance & hearing, as the inner ear is also home to the vestibular system, which helps the body maintain balance.

Perilymph Fistula Symptoms

Perilymph Fistula symptoms include:

  • a feeling of fullness in your ear
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • Recurrent hearing loss
  • Vertigo & dizziness
  • Mild to severe nausea that persists
  • Symptoms of memory loss
  • motion sickness
  • a sense of feeling unbalanced, or tilting to one side
  • Headaches of mild to migraine intensity
  • ringing in the ears also called tinnitus

These various Perilymph Fistula symptoms often get worse when patients either:

  • Experience altitude changes
  • Lift some heavy load
  • Perform activities that put a strain on the ears like sneezing, coughing, or laughing hard

It’s also remarkable that some people with perilymph fistula don’t experience any symptoms, while some others report feeling a bit ‘off’.

Perilymph Fistula affects only one ear in most cases, however, a case of severe head trauma can lead to bilateral perilymph fistula, i.e., perilymph fistula in both ears.

Perilymph Fistula Causes

One of the most common perilymph fistula causes is severe head trauma or barotrauma, the latter involving extreme & rapid changes in the ear pressure. The reasons for this extreme pressure change can be multiple; air travel, scuba diving, childbirth, & heavy lifting being one of those.

Other plausible Perilymph Fistula causes include:

  • Experiencing any kind of whiplash
  • Eardrum picture through accidents, injuries, or surgeries
  • Exposure to extremely loud sounds like gunfire or blaring sirens in close proximity to the ears
  • Frequently occurring severe ear infections
  • Blowing your nose excessively & harder than usual

In certain cases, perilymph fistula can be present since birth, without any known cause or condition to pin it upon. Some patients also report developing perilymph fistula symptoms without any apparent cause.
However, when this happens, it’s usually because of some underlying old injury that didn’t cause any immediate symptoms.

Perilymph Fistula Diagnosis

Medical professionals often find it difficult to give a proper perilymph fistula diagnosis. This happens because perilymph fistula symptoms, like dizziness, Vertigo, & headaches, often resemble those that occur after severe head trauma or injury. Certain general symptoms of Perilymph Fistula also largely resemble those of Meniere’s disease, which is an inner ear disorder that causes temporary or permanent hearing loss, & ringing or hissing sounds inside the inner ear. Perilymph Fistula diagnosis also depends on the exact medical history & the specific symptoms of the patient.

Your healthcare provider might give you a variety of tests to determine if you have Perilymph Fistula or not. These tests include:

  • Hearing tests
  • Balance tests
  • CT scans
  • MRI scans
  • Electrocochleography tests, which look at the activity in your inner ear with respect to sounds to determine if there’s an abnormal amount of fluid in the inner ear
  • A specific perilymph fistula test that involves tracking your eye movements while pressure is applied to your external auditory canal

Usually, a proper Perilymph Fistula diagnosis is made using a patient’s medical history & various test results. A Perilymph Fistula diagnosis is confirmed using an MRI or CT scan, coupled with surgical explorations.

Perilymph Fistula treatment

There are various options for Perilymph Fistula treatment that include exercises for perilymph fistula, home remedies for perilymph fistula, medicines, as well as surgical procedures.
Perilymph Fistula treatment also depends on the exact symptoms you experience. Medical experts begin your treatment by prescribing bed rest & restricted activity for some time. In case this rest improves your perilymph fistula symptoms, your doctor may prescribe further bed rest to you to improve your symptoms.

A rather new treatment called Blood Patch injection has also been devised to help with perilymph fistula treatment. It is often used as the first line of treatment, & involves injecting your own blood into the middle ear to help the broken window membrane repair.  It is also considered to be largely effective, with a 2016 study looking at 12 perilymph fistula patients & finding out that symptoms improved for all but one person.

Some patients might also show some improvement in their symptoms through certain home remedies like taking certain vitamins, supplements, some natural herbal tonics, & certain fluid reducing medications also called diuretics.

Your doctor might also recommend surgery to you as a perilymph fistula treatment option, especially if other treatments don’t seem to be working. Surgical procedures for perilymph fistula treatment usually take up to 30-60 minutes, & involve lifting your eardrum through your ear canals so that tissue grafts can be placed between your inner ear and middle ear.

Most perilymph fistula symptoms like dizziness often improve after surgery, but certain symptoms like hearing loss might not improve even after surgery.

Post-surgery for perilymph fistula treatment, your doctor will recommend you to rest & limit your activities for at least a few days. Further, for the next several weeks & weeks, you’ll be required to:

  • Avoid lifting weights heavier than 10 pounds
  • Avoid any activities that could cause strain on you, including diving and lifting heavyweights
  • Avoid sleeping with your head in an elevated position

To experience proper relief from your perilymph fistula symptoms & for your perilymph fistula treatment to actually work, it’s important that you actually follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations & instructions to the best of your abilities.

The recovery period post-surgery for perilymph fistula treatment might seem long by certain standards, but it is necessary that you give yourself enough time to recover or else you might develop a persistent fistula. Most perilymph fistula cases, provided that the treatment works, take about 1 month to recover.

Vertigo exercises & home remedies for perilymph fistula treatment usually don’t help in this case, as they target balance & the vestibular system. However, if your particular perilymph fistula symptoms include dizziness, headaches, & disorientation, then certain balance rehabilitation exercises might help relieve your symptoms.

It’s important to consult with your doctor regarding any exercises for perilymph fistula & home remedies for perilymph fistula, before indulging in them.

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