How is perilymph fistula diagnosed?

Dizziness is one of the common conditions diagnosed in a majority of people at least once in a lifetime irrespective of age and gender. It can be caused due to ample reasons right from simple dehydration to more severe causes. Out of varied conditions diagnosed, that are responsible for causing permanent hearing loss and dizziness, Perilymph fistula is one such cause that makes it difficult to lead a normal life with it. It is suggested to get your condition diagnosed on time with an expert neurologist without any delay as soon as you start observing some perilymph fistula symptoms. Your doctor may suggest you for various vertigo tests or perilymph fistula tests to identify the underlying perilymph fistula causes and suggest the right perilymph fistula treatment accordingly. If the case is severe he may even suggest perilymph fistula surgery for complete recovery. In this article, we will share a detailed insight into what is perilymph fistula? What are some of the common perilymph fistula symptoms? What are perilymph fistula causes? And what is the right perilymph fistula treatment? Let’s get started!

What is perilymph fistula?

A human ear consists of two membranes known as the oval window and the round window that separates your middle ear filled with air from the inner ear that is filled with a fluid called perilymph. A tear or rupture in both or either of the one membrane is known as perilymph fistula (PLF).

The tear in the membrane allows the fluid to flow from your inner ear to the middle ear thus resulting in causing pressure changes in the ear. The presence of the perilymph fistula and changes in air pressure in the middle ear directly affect the inner ear. It is responsible for causing a hearing imbalance and makes it difficult for you to maintain balance and you start feeling dizzy all of a sudden. Soon after this a person starts experiencing perilymph fistula symptoms. Mild headaches experienced by patients experiencing perilymph fistula calls towards the onset of a condition. A person experiencing perilymph fistula symptoms looks completely fine to the outer world but in reality they are experiencing frustrating situations and finding it difficult to deal with it.

It is advised to seek medical help to get yourself diagnosed as soon as you experience any perilymph fistula symptoms. An expert neurologist will examine the underlying perilymph fistula causes closely and would suggest the best perilymph fistula treatment or the surgery if the case is severe. It is advised to be patient and maintain calm when you are in a phase of perilymph fistula surgery recovery.

Diagnosis for Perilymph Fistula

Perilymph fistula symptoms are quite similar to the symptoms of an inner ear disorder known as Meniere disease which causes hearing imbalances and problems in maintaining balance. Diagnosing such a condition is not an easy task as it looks similar to Meniere disease. Both conditions look similar but require different treatments to cure completely. It becomes necessary for doctors to diagnose the condition accurately.

Your doctor will seek your complete medical history before asking you to go for any perilymph fistula test to diagnose the condition.

Your doctor may use certain tests to diagnose the condition listed below:

  • A perilymph fistula test
  • Hearing tests
  • Balance tests
  • CT scans
  • MRI scans
  • Electrocochleography tests

Electrocochleography tests help the doctor to examine the activity inside your inner ear in response to external sound to identify the abnormal fluid pressure whereas a perilymph fistula test tracks the movement of your eyes when the pressure is exerted on an external auditory canal.

A doctor can use a combination of tests to diagnose the condition. Sometimes an MRI, CT Scan can be performed for confirmation of the condition.

Common Perilymph Fistula Symptoms

When do you need to visit a doctor for a perilymph fistula diagnosis? is the question that might be coming in your mind. An onset of certain symptoms requires you to seek medical help and visit a neurologist immediately.

A person experiences many Perilymph Fistula symptoms ranging from mild to severe. The symptoms are not noticeable to the other people but are quite frustrating for the one who is experiencing it, thus causing hindrance in daily chores. If the case is severe a patient may experience head trauma along with other Perilymph fistula symptoms which results in causing bilateral perilymph fistulas. Changes in altitudes may sometimes trigger the symptoms in some patients. The brain is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid, simple activities like sneezing, laughing, lifting weights, etc. exerts pressure on cerebrospinal fluid resulting in making Perilymph Fistula symptoms worse.

Here is a list of some common Perilymph fistula symptoms:

  1. Dizziness
  2. Spinning sensations (known as vertigo)
  3. Ear fullness
  4. Disturbance in hearing ability
  5. Hearing loss
  6. Unsteadiness or balance issues
  7. Tinnitus (ringing sensation in the inner ear)
  8. Hyperacusis
  9. Nausea & Vomiting
  10. Motion sickness
  11. In rare case, it results in memory loss
  12. Headaches

Perilymph Fistula Causes

A rapid change in the air pressure is one such cause of Perilymph fistula. Change in air pressure is experienced due to various things right from air travel or by lifting heavy weights or going undersea. Apart from it, there are several possible Perilymph Fistula causes, let’s have a look at some:

  1. Head trauma, in some severe cases it may result in whiplash injury
  2. Ear trauma
  3. Eardrum perforated by objects
  4. Ear blockage
  5. An increase in intracranial pressure
  6. Old injury
  7. Exposure to very loud sounds
  8. Present since birth
  9. Head injury
  10. Ear disorders or infections
  11. Rupture of eardrum

In some rare cases, the condition is present since birth while others may experience Perilymph fistula due to the above-mentioned causes that give rise to Perilymph fistula symptoms. It is recommended to seek medical help for a complete diagnosis of the condition to get the right Perilymph fistula treatment on time for a speedy recovery.

Perilymph Fistula Treatment

Once you are diagnosed with Perilymph Fistula, your doctor may suggest you with certain treatments depending on the severity of the condition. Here is a list of certain Perilymph Fistula treatment doctors generally recommend to the patients:

  1. Complete bed rest

If the case is mild, the doctor may suggest the patient of Perilymph Fistula for bed rest as it may improve the condition in a shorter period.

  1. Blood patch injection

Blood patch injection is another perilymph fistula treatment suggested by doctors nowadays. To patch the torn membrane, the blood is injected in the middle ear to cure perilymph fistula.

  1. Perilymph fistula surgery

If the case is severe, then your doctor may suggest undergoing perilymph fistula surgery. The surgery helps to patch the ruptured membranes. It is advised to maintain your calm after the surgery is done and restrict certain activities like lifting weights, climbing, etc. during perilymph fistula surgery recovery.

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