What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

The cause of Meniere’s is not well understood. But the impacts are hard to ignore. Some prevalent symptoms of this condition are dizziness, vertigo, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Scientists aren’t really sure why, but for some reason, fluid can accumulate in the ears and this appears to be the root cause of Meniere’s disease.

So the question is: if something doesn’t have a discernible cause, how can it be managed? The answer is, well, complex.

What exactly is Meniere’s disease?

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

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

Tinnitus: The intensity of this tinnitus could ebb and flow, but it’s not abnormal 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: Eventually, Meniere’s disease can result in a loss of hearing.

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

Treatment for Menier’s disease

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

Some of the most common treatments include the following:

  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of certain steroids.
  • Surgery: In some cases, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. However, these surgical procedures will generally only affect the vertigo part of symptoms. Other Meniere’s symptoms will continue.
  • Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is acting up, You can apply certain physical therapies that can help with balance. This approach could be a practical strategy if you’re experiencing regular dizziness or vertigo.
  • Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication alternative that may be prescribed by your doctor. The concept is that reducing the retention of fluids might help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This medication isn’t used to treat acute symptoms but instead is used long-term.
  • Medications: In some cases, your doctor will be prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. If those particular symptoms appear, this can be helpful. So, when an episode of dizziness happens, medication for motion sickness can help alleviate that dizziness.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive approach employed when Meniere’s is especially difficult to manage. Positive pressure therapy is the medical name for this therapy. This therapy entails exposing the inner ear to positive pressure in order to limit fluid accumulation. Peer review has not, as of yet, confirmed the long-term benefits of this approach but it does seem promising.
  • Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease advances and your hearing loss gets worse, you may want to try a hearing aid. Generally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily impede the progress of your hearing loss. But it can help keep you socially active which can give a boost to your mental health. There are also a number of ways hearing aids can help deal with tinnitus.

Find the best treatment for you

You should get checked out if suspect you may have Meniere’s disease. 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.