Perilymphatic Fistula

Head trauma, pressure trauma — like bomb blasts; scuba diving; airplane take-offs & landings; even maybe suppressing a sneeze, or just straining — can rarely cause physical damage to the inner ear (see Diagram — Anatomy of the Ear).ย  Fluid inside the Labyrinth that normally helps control our balance may leak, causing recurring episodes of vertigo and/or hearing loss thatโ€™s provoked by straining, sneezing, coughing, etc., and also with loud noises.

Diagnosis is difficult, because the damage is so small that it doesn’t show on CT scan or MRI.  If we suspect this, we refer to ENT specialists.  They may be able to perform a surgical patch to correct the leak.

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