Any infection of the inner ear can cause:hearing loss, vertigo, false sense of motion, loss of equilibrium, nystagmus, motion sickness,gaze-evoked tinnitus.
That's because all of that is controlled by Cranial nerve #8, the Vestibulocochlear.
[link to en.wikipedia.org
Warning, an ear infection could make you spin around. You could lose your balance because of two things. You can't determine your location in space AND linear acceleration. The later is the sensation that detects movement, like in a car as it accelerates. The former is how you are turned relative to the visual stimuli that orients your position. Say you are hanging off of a bed upside down with your head off of the matress. Because of cranial nerve 8, you can orient yourself even under those complex circumstanes.
Now you get an ear infection. If you're driving under those circumstances, great confusion could occur. Terrible accidents. If older and walking around the house, you could fall easily and break your hip.
Be very careful if you have an ear infection and then take a shower. A lot of falls occur on the wet surface under these conditions. You'd be surprised. There's a very high incidence rate of brain damage from a fall like that. Get help when sick, and especially help elderly parents. One little change will upset the delicate balance that allows them the freedom to stay home.
You have to take an ear infection SERIOUSLY. Most people think of small children with ear infections, so they blow it off. NO.