What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

The cause of Meniere’s isn’t well understood. But the effects are difficult to underestimate. Some prevalent symptoms of this condition are vertigo, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Scientists aren’t really certain why, but for some reason, fluid can accumulate in the ears and this seems to be the root cause of Meniere’s disease.

So the question is: if a condition doesn’t have a discernible cause, how can it be addressed? It’s a complex answer.

Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?

There’s a chronic affliction that impacts the inner ear and it’s known as Meniere’s disease. For many patients, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will get worse over time. Here are some of those symptoms:

Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Sadly, when these bouts of vertigo will occur and how long they will last can’t be predicted.

Tinnitus: The degree of this tinnitus may ebb and flow, but it’s not uncommon for those with Meniere’s Disease to experience ringing in their ears.

Fullness in the ear: This symptom is medically known as aural fullness, the sensation of pressure in your ear.

Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can cause hearing loss over time.

If you notice these symptoms, it’s necessary to get a definitive diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can appear and disappear for many individuals. But eventually, symptoms can become more consistent and noticeable.

Treatment for Menier’s disease

There is no known cure for Menier’s disease which is persistent and progressive. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any way to treat it.

Some of the most common treatments include the following:

  • Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is flaring up, You can utilize certain physical therapies that can help with balance. This approach may be a useful strategy if you’re experiencing frequent dizziness or vertigo.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive approach employed when Meniere’s is particularly difficult to manage. It’s called positive pressure therapy. As a way to minimize fluid buildup, the inner ear is exposed to positive pressure. Peer review has not, so far, verified the long-term benefits of this method but it does seem promising.
  • Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your doctor in some cases. This can help when those particular symptoms manifest. So, when an episode of dizziness occurs, medication for motion sickness can help alleviate that dizziness.
  • Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that might be prescribed by your physician. The concept here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be minimized by decreasing fluid retention. This medication isn’t used to manage extreme symptoms but instead is taken long-term.
  • Hearing aid: It may be time to try hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is advancing to the point where your ability to hear is failing. Normally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily slow the progress of your hearing loss. But it can help keep you socially engaged which can improve your mental health. Hearing aids can also help you deal with the symptoms of tinnitus in several ways.
  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, particularly vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of specific steroids.
  • Surgery: Sometimes, Meniere’s disease can be addressed with surgery. Normally, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is impacted by this surgery. Other Meniere’s symptoms will remain.

Find the correct treatment for you

You should get an exam if suspect you may have Meniere’s disease. The advancement of Meniere’s disease might be slowed down by these treatments. More frequently, however, they minimize the effect that Meniere’s will have on your day-to-day life.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.


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