What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

The cause of Meniere’s is not well understood. But it’s difficult to dismiss its effects. Some common symptoms of this condition are vertigo, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to stem from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but scientists aren’t really certain what causes that buildup initially.

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

What exactly is Meniere’s disease?

There’s a persistent disorder that affects the inner ear and it’s called Meniere’s disease. For many people, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will grow worse as time passes. Here are some of those symptoms:

Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Regrettably, there’s no way to know when these attacks of vertigo may occur or how long they could last.

Tinnitus: The intensity of this tinnitus may ebb and flow, but it’s not uncommon 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: In the long run, Meniere’s disease can cause a loss of hearing.

If you notice these symptoms, it’s necessary to get an accurate diagnosis. For many individuals with Meniere’s, symptoms are irregular. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will most likely become more regular.

How is Meniere’s disease treated?

Meniere’s disease is a progressive and persistent condition which has no known cure. But there are some ways to deal with the symptoms.

The following are some of those treatments:

  • Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication alternative that might be prescribed by your doctor. The strategy is that reducing the retention of fluids could help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This medication is not used to manage extreme symptoms but instead is taken long-term.
  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, particularly vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of certain steroids.
  • Surgery: Sometimes, Meniere’s disease can be addressed with surgery. Normally, however, only the vertigo part of the disease is impacted by this surgery. It won’t affect the other symptoms.
  • Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is flaring up, You can apply certain physical therapies that can help with balance. This approach may be a useful approach if you’re experiencing frequent dizziness or vertigo.
  • Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease advances and your hearing loss grows worse, you might want to try a hearing aid. Typically, a hearing aid won’t necessarily slow the advancement of your hearing loss. 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.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive method used when Meniere’s is especially difficult to treat. It’s called positive pressure therapy. As a way to minimize fluid accumulation, the inner ear is subjected to positive pressure. Peer review has not, as of yet, confirmed the long-term benefits of this method but it does seem encouraging.
  • Medications: In some instances, your physician will be able to prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. If those particular symptoms appear, this can be helpful. For example, medications made to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when a bout of vertigo occurs.

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

If you think you have Meniere’s disease, you should get evaluated. The advancement of Meniere’s disease might be slowed down by these treatments. More often, however, they minimize the impact 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.