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What is perilymph fistula?

What is perilymph fistula?

Perilymph fistula or ear fistula is a health syndrome that affects the hearing ability of a person which may further result in a loss of permanent disability of hearing loss. A human inner ear consists of two membranes oval window and the round window. When a person experiences or is diagnosed with a tear in both the thin membrane and either of the one it is referred to as Perilymph fistula.

A recent survey reports that it is one such main cause of permanent disability of hearing loss in 28% of the population.

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The Oval window membrane and round window membrane separates the middle ear from the inner ear. A fluid known as perilymph is filled in your inner ear whereas air is filled in the middle ear. If either of the membranes gets cleave, the perilymph fluid passes from the inner ear to the middle ear. The leakage of Perilymph fluid changes the pressure in your middle ear. Perilymph fistula is responsible for regulating balance in the body and hearing. The change in the inner ear pressure affects the balance of a person and makes you feel dizzy which may further lead to hearing loss. A person experiencing perilymph fistula starts experiencing mild headaches which indicates an onset of a situation. Apart from this patients may even experience other perilymph fistula symptoms which make the patient quite frustrated.

The patients suffering from perilymph fistula may look completely fit to others, but face difficulty in explaining their situation to the outer world. It is advised to seek medical help and consult an expert neurologist as soon as you start experiencing perilymph fistula symptoms. An expert doctor will carry a perilymph fistula test for perilymph fistula diagnosis. After examining the underlying perilymph fistula causes closely, he would suggest the right perilymph fistula treatment and prescribe the right medications to cure the ailment. If the condition becomes severe, your doctor may recommend you to undergo surgery to recover completely. Staying calm during the surgery phase helps you in recovering from perilymph fistula symptoms within no time.

What are Perilymph fistula symptoms?

Here is a sneak peek to some common Perilymph fistula symptoms experienced by patients:

  1. Dizziness or lightheadedness
  2. Spinning sensations, known as vertigo
  3. A feeling of ear fullness
  4. Disturbance in hearing ability that comes and goes
  5. Sudden Hearing loss
  6. Difficulty in maintaining balance often to one side
  7. Ringing sensation in the ear known as Tinnitus
  8. Hyperacusis
  9. Vomiting
  10. Persistent or mild nausea
  11. Motion intolerance or motion sickness
  12. Memory loss if the case is severe
  13. Mild to severe headaches
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Perilymph fistula symptoms may get triggered due to simple daily activities like sneezing, lifting heavy weights, laughing out loudly or due to cough and cold. Perilymph fistula symptoms range from mild to severe, but some patients of Perilymph fistula do not experience any symptoms at all. A patient suffering from Perilymph fistula may experience disturbance in one ear at a time.  In some rare severe cases, patients of Perilymph fistula experience head trauma and bilateral perilymph fistulas.


What is Perilymph fistula causes?


Perilymph fistula is caused due to rapid changes in the air pressure in the inner ear. A person suffering from Perilymph fistula may experience pressure in the inner ear due to traveling in the air, scuba diving or heavy weight lifting.

In some rare cases, head trauma is one of the most common Perilymph fistula causes.

Head trauma may even lead to a whiplash injury in some cases. In some patients, Perilymph fistula is present since birth which starts appearing at a later stage.

Apart from this, an old injury can be one such reason that causes Perilymph fistula in the later stage of life.


Here are some other common Perilymph fistula causes diagnosed in patients:


  1. Ear trauma
  2. Eardrum perforated by objects
  3. Ear block
  4. A rapid increase in intracranial pressure
  5. Head trauma
  6. Old injury
  7. Exposure to very loud sounds close to your ear which includes the sound of gunfire
  8. Present since birth
  9. Head injury
  10. Ear infections or disorders
  11. When eardrum gets punctured it leads to fistulas
  12. Experiencing whiplash
  13. Blowing your nose very hard


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Perilymph fistula can be present since birth if that’s not the case above-mentioned Perilymph fistula causes leads to the occurrence of Perilymph fistula symptoms in a patient. Seek medical help immediately as soon as you start observing Perilymph fistula symptoms to get yourself diagnosed for the accurate cause. Your doctor will suggest you the right perilymph fistula treatment for a speedy recovery from an ailment. It is advised to seek medical help without any negligence as it can decrease the memory of the patient if the condition is not treated on time.


Perilymph fistula diagnosis and Perilymph fistula treatment


Perilymph fistula diagnosis is a must to get the right treatment and cure it completely. It’s not an easy task for doctors to diagnose such a condition. Many a time  Perilymph fistula symptoms like dizziness, fullness in the ear, loss of hearing ability, etc. are often taken as symptoms of  Meniere disease, an inner ear disorder. The treatments for both the disorders vary which makes it necessary for doctors to carry the Perilymph fistula test for Perilymph fistula diagnosis. He may even seek your complete medical history to examine the accurate Perilymph fistula cause.

A perilymph fistula test, Hearing tests, balance tests, CT scans, MRI scans, electrocochleography tests, etc are some of the common tests used by doctors for perilymph fistula diagnosis.

A perilymph fistula test is used to track the movement of your eyes. After diagnosing your condition your doctor will suggest the best perilymph fistula treatment.


Some common perilymph fistula treatments:


  1. Take bed Rest

If the case of perilymph fistula is not that severe, doctors recommend bed rest. He will ask you to restrict yourself from performing certain activities for the time duration. It helps in improving the condition of the patient and works well in speedy recovery.

  1. Inject you with a blood patch injection

After diagnosing the underlying cause of perilymph fistula your doctor may suggest you a blood patch injection if the case is not that mild and do not resolve with bed rest. Blood patch injection is a perilymph fistula treatment where your blood is injected in your middle ear which patches your ruptured membrane.

  1. Perilymph fistula surgery

If the case is severe and does not seem to ease with bed rest or any other perilymph fistula treatment then your doctor may suggest you undergo perilymph fistula surgery. The surgery patches the ruptured membranes. It is recommended to take proper rest once the surgery is done for recovering fast within a few weeks.

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Author Biography.

Abhinav Puri
Abhinav Puri

Abhinav Puri is a social media marketing manager and a personal healthcare blogger who has written a couple of blogs on health care and health benefits that are liked by many. He keeps herself updated with the latest in the world of social media and imparts her knowledge with her followers through her health care blogs. Sharing her views on health care remedies, an effective diet to stay fit and healthy and following a regime for a healthy lifestyle are some of the topics that hold her interest. He loves to read and travel and share her piece of knowledge with her experiences.

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