What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

The cause of Meniere’s isn’t well understood. But it’s difficult to overlook its impact. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all typical symptoms of this disorder. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease seem to stem from an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear, but researchers aren’t really sure what causes that buildup to begin with.

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

Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?

There’s a persistent affliction that impacts the inner ear and it’s called Meniere’s disease. For many patients, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will get worse over time. Those symptoms could include:

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

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

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

Hearing loss: In the long run, Meniere’s disease can cause a loss of hearing.

If you experience these symptoms, it’s essential to receive an accurate diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can appear and disappear for many people. But over time, symptoms can become more consistent and noticeable.

How is Meniere’s disease treated?

There is no known cure for Menier’s disease which is chronic and progressive. But there are a few ways to deal with the symptoms.

Some of the most prevalent treatments include the following:

  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of specific steroids.
  • Surgery: Occasionally, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. Normally, however, only the vertigo part of the disease is impacted by this surgery. It won’t impact 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 practical approach if you’re experiencing regular dizziness or vertigo.
  • Hearing aid: It may be time to get hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is advancing to the point where your ability to hear is faltering. The progression of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed down by hearing aids. But it can help your mental health by keeping you socially engaged. There are also several ways hearing aids can help manage tinnitus.
  • Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your physician in some cases If those particular symptoms manifest, this can be helpful. For instance, medications made to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when a bout of vertigo happens.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive technique employed when Meniere’s is particularly challenging to manage. It’s known as positive pressure therapy. In order to limit fluid accumulation, the inner ear is exposed to positive pressure. Peer review has not, so far, confirmed the long-term benefits of this method but it does seem encouraging.
  • Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication alternative that may be prescribed by your doctor. The concept here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be minimized by decreasing retention of fluid. This is a long-term medication that you’d take as opposed to one to reduce severe symptoms.

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

If you believe you have Meniere’s disease, you should get examined. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow the advancement of your condition. But these treatments more often help you have a greater quality of life in spite of your condition.

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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