What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

The cause of Meniere’s isn’t really understood. But the impacts are difficult to dismiss. Some common symptoms of this condition are dizziness, vertigo, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to come from an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear, but scientists aren’t really sure what causes that buildup to begin with.

So the question is: how can you deal with something that doesn’t seem to have a discernible cause? It’s a complex answer.

Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?

There’s a persistent disorder that affects the inner ear and it’s known as Meniere’s disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s will grow as time passes, for many people, because it’s a progressive disease. Those symptoms may include:

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

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

Fullness in the ear: This symptom is medically known as aural fullness, the feeling of pressure in your ear.

Hearing loss: Eventually, Meniere’s disease can cause a loss of hearing.

If you notice these symptoms, it’s necessary to receive a definitive diagnosis. For many individuals with Meniere’s, symptoms are intermittent. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will most likely become more regular.

Treatment for Menier’s disease

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.

The following are a few of those treatments:

  • Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that may be prescribed by your physician. The concept here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be lessened by reducing fluid retention. This is a long-term medication that you’d take instead of one to reduce acute symptoms.
  • Surgery: In some situations, surgery is utilized to address Meniere’s. However, these surgical procedures will normally only affect the vertigo part of symptoms. Other Meniere’s symptoms will remain.
  • Medications: In some cases, your doctor will be prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. This can help when those specific symptoms occur. For example, medications designed to help with motion sickness may help you feel less dizzy when a bout of vertigo takes place.
  • Steroid shots: Injections of specific types of steroids can temporarily help alleviate some Meniere’s symptoms, particularly when it comes to vertigo.
  • Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is acting up, You can utilize certain physical therapies that can help with balance. This approach could be a useful strategy if you’re experiencing regular dizziness or vertigo.
  • 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 failing. The advancement of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed by hearing aids. But it can help keep you socially engaged which can give a boost to your mental health. Hearing aids can also help you manage the symptoms of tinnitus in several ways.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive method employed when Meniere’s is especially hard to treat. Positive pressure therapy is the medical term for this therapy. This therapy entails subjecting the inner ear to positive pressure as a way to limit fluid accumulation. While positive pressure therapy is promising, the long-term benefits of this method have yet to be borne out by peer-reviewed studies.

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

You should get an exam if think you might have Meniere’s disease. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow down the advancement of your condition. More frequently, however, they minimize the effect 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.