What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

No one’s really sure what causes Meniere’s disease. But the effects are hard to ignore. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all typical symptoms of this disorder. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease seem to come from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but researchers aren’t really sure what causes that accumulation initially.

So here’s the question: how can you treat something that doesn’t appear to have an identifiable cause? The answer is, well, complex.

What exactly is Meniere’s disease?

Meniere’s disease is a chronic condition that impacts the inner ear. For many individuals, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will grow worse as time passes. Those symptoms may include:

Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to determine when these attacks of vertigo may occur or how long they will last.

Tinnitus: The severity of this tinnitus could 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 called aural fullness, the sensation of pressure in your ear.

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

It’s important that you get the proper diagnosis if you’re experiencing these symptoms. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can appear and disappear for many people. But as the disease advances, the symptoms will most likely become more consistent.

Treatment for Menier’s disease

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

Some of the most prevalent treatments include the following:

  • Hearing aid: It might be time to get hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is progressing to the point where your ability to hear is faltering. Generally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily impede the advancement of your hearing loss. But it can help keep you socially active which can improve your mental health. Hearing aids can also help you control the symptoms of tinnitus in a number of ways.
  • Diuretic: Another form of medication that your physician could prescribe is a diuretic. The concept here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be lessened by reducing retention of fluid. This medication isn’t used to treat acute symptoms but instead is used long-term.
  • Surgery: In some instances, surgery is utilized to address Meniere’s. Normally, however, only the vertigo part of the disease is impacted by this surgery. Other Meniere’s symptoms will remain.
  • Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy techniques that can help you maintain balance when Meniere’s disease is acting up. This approach may be a useful approach if you’re experiencing regular dizziness or vertigo.
  • Medications: In some situations, your doctor will be able to prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. If those particular symptoms manifest, this can be helpful. So, when a bout of dizziness occurs, medication for motion sickness can help decrease that dizziness.
  • Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is particularly hard to treat, this non-invasive strategy can be utilized. Positive pressure therapy is the medical name for this treatment. This therapy involves exposing the inner ear to positive pressure in order to limit fluid buildup. While positive pressure therapy is encouraging, the long-term benefits of this approach have yet to be borne out by peer-reviewed research.
  • Steroid shots: Injections of certain kinds of steroids can temporarily help alleviate some Meniere’s symptoms, especially when it comes to vertigo.

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

You should get checked out if think you may have Meniere’s disease. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow the advancement of your condition. More frequently, however, they reduce 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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