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 hard to ignore its impact. Some common symptoms of this disorder are dizziness, vertigo, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease seem to stem from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but researchers aren’t really certain what causes that buildup to begin with.

So here’s the question: if a condition 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 chronic condition that affects the inner ear and it’s known as Meniere’s disease. For many patients, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will grow worse as time passes. Here are some of those symptoms:

Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to know when these episodes of vertigo will strike or how long they will last.

Tinnitus: It’s fairly common for individuals with Meniere’s disease to experience ringing in the ears or tinnitus, which can range from mild to severe.

Fullness in the ear: This manifests as a sensation of pressure in your ears and is medically called aural fullness.

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

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 individuals. But as the disease advances, the symptoms will most likely become more regular.

Treatment for Menier’s disease

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

The following are some of those treatments:

  • Medications: In some instances, your physician will be prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. If those particular symptoms appear, this can be helpful. For example, medications designed to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when a bout of vertigo happens.
  • 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. Typically, a hearing aid won’t necessarily slow the progress of your hearing loss. But it can benefit your mental health by keeping you socially engaged. There are also numerous ways hearing aids can help manage tinnitus.
  • Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that might be prescribed by your doctor. The idea is that decreasing the retention of fluids could help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This is a long-term medication that you’d use instead of one to reduce severe symptoms.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive technique employed when Meniere’s is especially difficult to treat. It’s known as positive pressure therapy. In order to limit fluid accumulation, the inner ear is subjected to positive pressure. While positive pressure therapy is encouraging, the long-term benefits of this approach have yet to be backed up by peer-reviewed research.
  • Surgery: Sometimes, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. Normally, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is impacted by this surgery. Other Meniere’s symptoms will remain.
  • Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is acting up, You can utilize certain physical therapies that can help with balance. If you’re perpetually dizzy or experiencing vertigo, this strategy may be warranted.
  • Steroid shots: Injections of specific types of steroids can temporarily help relieve some Meniere’s symptoms, especially when it comes to vertigo.

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

If you believe you have Meniere’s disease, you should get examined. The advancement of Meniere’s disease may be slowed by these treatments. More frequently, however, they reduce the impact that Meniere’s will have on your everyday 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.