What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

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

So the question is: if something doesn’t have a discernible cause, how can it be treated? It’s a complex answer.

What exactly is Meniere’s disease?

There’s a persistent condition that impacts the inner ear and it’s known as Meniere’s disease. For many individuals, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will grow 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 severity of this tinnitus could ebb and flow, but it’s not abnormal for those with Meniere’s Disease to have ringing in their ears.

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

Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can lead to hearing loss over time.

It’s important that you get an accurate diagnosis if you’re experiencing these symptoms. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can appear and disappear for many people. But over time, symptoms can become more regular and obvious.

Treatment for Menier’s disease

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

The following are a few of those treatments:

  • Diuretic: Another kind of medication that your physician could prescribe is a diuretic. The idea here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be minimized by reducing retention of fluid. This is a long-term medication that you’d use rather than one to decrease extreme symptoms.
  • Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your physician in some instances. This can be helpful when those particular symptoms manifest. For instance, medications made to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when an episode of vertigo takes place.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive approach used when Meniere’s is especially hard to treat. Positive pressure therapy is the medical name for this treatment. This treatment involves subjecting the inner ear to positive pressure in order to limit fluid buildup. Peer review has not, so far, verified the long-term advantages of this method but it does seem promising.
  • Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is acting up, You can utilize certain physical therapies that can help with balance. This approach may be a useful strategy if you’re experiencing frequent dizziness or vertigo.
  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily alleviated with injections of certain steroids.
  • Hearing aid: It may be time to try hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is progressing to the point where your ability to hear is faltering. The progression of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed by hearing aids. But it can help keep you socially active which can give a boost to your mental health. Hearing aids can also help you control the symptoms of tinnitus in several ways.
  • Surgery: In some cases, Meniere’s disease can be addressed with surgery. Typically, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is affected by this surgery. It won’t impact the other symptoms.

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

If you believe you have Meniere’s disease, you should get evaluated. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow the advancement of your condition. More frequently, however, they reduce 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.