What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

The cause of Meniere’s is not really understood. But the effects are difficult to dismiss. Some prevalent symptoms of this affliction are vertigo, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to come from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but scientists aren’t really sure what causes that accumulation initially.

So here’s the question: how can you address something that doesn’t appear to have a discernible cause? It’s a complicated answer.

What exactly is Meniere’s disease?

There’s a chronic affliction that impacts the inner ear and it’s known as Meniere’s disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s will get worse as time passes, for many individuals, because it’s a progressive disease. Here are some of those symptoms:

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

Tinnitus: The severity of this tinnitus could ebb and flow, but it’s not unusual for those with Meniere’s Disease to have ringing in their ears.

Fullness in the ear: This is experienced as a sensation of pressure in your ears and is medically known as aural fullness.

Hearing loss: Eventually, Meniere’s disease can cause a loss of hearing.

It’s important that you get the proper diagnosis if you’re experiencing these symptoms. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can come and go for many people. But as time passes, symptoms may become more regular and noticeable.

Treatment for Menier’s disease

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

Some of the most common treatments include the following:

  • Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is especially difficult to treat, this non-invasive technique can be used. Positive pressure therapy is the medical name for this treatment. As a way to limit fluid buildup, the inner ear is subjected to positive pressure. Peer review has not, as of yet, verified the long-term advantages of this approach but it does seem encouraging.
  • Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy techniques that can help you maintain balance when Meniere’s disease is flaring up. This approach could be a useful approach if you’re experiencing regular dizziness or vertigo.
  • Steroid shots: Injections of specific kinds of steroids can temporarily help alleviate some Meniere’s symptoms, especially when it comes to vertigo.
  • Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your doctor in some situations. This can be helpful when those particular symptoms appear. So, when an episode of dizziness occurs, medication for motion sickness can help alleviate that dizziness.
  • Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that may be prescribed by your doctor. The concept is that reducing the retention of fluids could help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This is a long-term medication that you’d use instead of one to reduce acute symptoms.
  • Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease advances and your hearing loss gets worse, you may want to try a hearing aid. The progression of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed by hearing aids. But it can help keep you socially active which can give a boost to your mental health. There are also numerous ways hearing aids can help treat tinnitus.
  • Surgery: In some instances, surgery is utilized to treat Meniere’s. However, these surgical procedures will generally only affect the vertigo side of symptoms. It won’t impact the other symptoms.

The key is finding the treatment that’s right for you

If you suspect you have Meniere’s disease, you should get evaluated. The development 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 daily 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.