KUSA - Dr. John Torres from Premier Urgent Care answers your questions every week. If you have a medical question for Dr. John, send it to email@example.com and make sure to have Ask Dr. John in the subject line.
Hi Dr John, I have a friend battling an attack of vertigo from labyrinthitis? Can you tell me a little about this? Also what can he do for it? He is in a lot of pain. Thanks in advance, Theresa
Vertigo is an inner ear problem. One type of problem that can cause vertigo is labyrinthitis. This happens when the inner part of the ear, the part containing the semicircular canals, gets inflamed. This inflammation affects the nerves in that area and that results in balance problems. This can happen because of a bacterial or a viral infection. If it's a bacterial infection antibiotics can help get it under control. Antibiotics don't help with viruses. For either type steroids and antihistamines can help control the inflammation and spinning sensation from vertigo. For most of us labyrinthitis and its accompanying dizziness usually go away after a couple of weeks. But for some it can stay more long term. When this happens the body tends to adapt to the dizziness and the symptoms start to come under better control. Long term sufferers might also benefit from what's called Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy, VRT. This is a type of physical therapy that retrains the inner ear and helps lessen or hopefully eliminate the dizziness.
Hello Dr. John, If a person had "West Nile virus" in the past, can they get it again? Or do they have immunity? Thank you, Gloria
This is the time of the year West Nile Virus usually starts to peak. Our normal months for this are August and September and this year we are starting to see more cases right about now. As bizarre as this might seem the first case of West Nile Virus only showed up here in the US in 1999. But it has spread rather quickly. As of Aug 19th the Colorado Department of Health and Environment reports 36 human cases in Colorado. That number is probably higher since Larimer County just reported 30 human cases in that county alone. West Nile Virus symptoms usually mean flu like symptoms including fever, body aches and headaches. For some though it can be worse and can affect the nervous system resulting in meningitis, encephalitis or even paralysis and unfortunately in the worst case scenario death. As for the question of whether you can get West Nile Virus a second time the answer is most likely not. Your body builds up immunity to the virus once you've had it but experts aren't sure how long that immunity will last. So your best bet is to avoid getting bit by mosquitoes as best you can.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)