Differences between vestibular neuritis & meniere's disease

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Differences between vestibular neuritis & meniere's disease
Vestibular neuritis and Meniere's disease have vertigo in common. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of > luigi scorcia <)

Vestibular neuritis and Meniere's disease are conditions of the inner ear. At onset, the disorders can seem to be similar. They both cause distressing vertigo attacks, and they both often affect only one ear.

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Vestibular System

The vestibular system is situated in the labyrinth of the inner ear. This system detects motion and is critical for balance. An important element of the system is the vestibular nerve, which carries balance signals to the brain.


Vertigo is a troubling and disabling symptom. It is the false perception of a spinning motion. An inflamed vestibular nerve is believed to be the cause of most vertigo that originates from an inner ear condition.

Vestibular Neuritis

The primary symptom of vestibular neuritis is a sudden onset of vertigo. The vertigo can be prolonged, lasting for days or weeks, but it usually resolves without medical treatment.

Meniere's Disease

A diagnosis of Meniere's disease is usually made when other conditions, such as vestibular neuritis, are ruled out. Meniere's symptoms include vertigo, dizziness, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), hearing loss and ear pressure.


Initially, some patients with Meniere's disease are mistakenly diagnosed as having vestibular neuritis. When the vertigo attacks continue after a few weeks, accompanied by tinnitus and hearing loss, then Meniere's disease is suspected.

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