What is Meniere’s Disease?

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Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

The cause of Meniere’s is not really understood. But it’s hard to dismiss its impact. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all common symptoms of this disease. Scientists aren’t really certain why, but for some reason, fluid can build up 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 dealt with? It’s a complicated answer.

Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?

Meniere’s disease is a persistent disorder that impacts the inner ear. Symptoms of Meniere’s will grow as time passes, for many patients, because it’s a progressive disorder. 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: It’s fairly common for people with Meniere’s disease to have ringing in the ears or tinnitus, which can range from mild to severe.

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 essential to receive a definitive diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can come and go for many individuals. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will most likely become more regular.

Treatment for Menier’s disease

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

The following are some of those treatments:

  • Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy strategies that can help you preserve balance when Meniere’s disease is acting up. This approach may be a useful approach if you’re experiencing frequent dizziness or vertigo.
  • Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your physician in some cases. This can be helpful when those particular symptoms manifest. So, when an episode of dizziness occurs, medication for motion sickness can help alleviate that dizziness.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive approach used when Meniere’s is particularly difficult to treat. Positive pressure therapy is the medical name for this treatment. In order to minimize fluid buildup, the inner ear is subjected to positive pressure. Peer review has not, so far, verified the long-term benefits of this method but it does seem promising.
  • Diuretic: Another form of medication that your physician could prescribe is a diuretic. The idea is that decreasing the retention of fluids might help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This is a long-term medication that you’d take instead of one to decrease acute symptoms.
  • Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease advances and your hearing loss gets worse, you may want to get a hearing aid. Typically, a hearing aid won’t necessarily slow the progress 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.
  • Surgery: Sometimes, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. However, these surgical techniques will normally only impact the vertigo side of symptoms. Other Meniere’s symptoms will remain.
  • Steroid shots: Injections of specific types of steroids can temporarily help relieve some Meniere’s symptoms, especially in regards to vertigo.

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

You should get an exam if think you might have Meniere’s disease. The advancement of Meniere’s disease may be slowed by these treatments. But these treatments more frequently help you have a greater quality of life in spite of your condition.

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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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