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 ignore its effects. Some prevalent symptoms of this affliction are dizziness, vertigo, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Scientists aren’t really certain why, but for some reason, fluid can accumulate in the ears and this appears to be the root cause of Meniere’s disease.

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

Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?

There’s a persistent affliction that impacts the inner ear and it’s called Meniere’s disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s will grow as time passes, for many individuals, because it’s a progressive disease. Here are some of those symptoms:

Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to determine when these attacks of vertigo will occur or how long they will last.

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

Fullness in the ear: This symptom is medically called aural fullness, the sensation of pressure in your ear.

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

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

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 deal with the symptoms.

Some of the most prevalent treatments include the following:

  • Hearing aid: It might be time to get hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is advancing to the point where your ability to hear is faltering. Generally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily impede the advancement of your hearing loss. But it can help your mental health by keeping you socially active. There are also a number of ways hearing aids can help manage tinnitus.
  • Surgery: Occasionally, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. However, these surgical procedures will typically only impact the vertigo part of symptoms. Other Meniere’s symptoms will persist.
  • Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is especially challenging to manage, this non-invasive technique can be utilized. Positive pressure therapy is the medical term for this treatment. This therapy involves exposing the inner ear to positive pressure as a way to limit fluid accumulation. Peer review has not, as of yet, verified the long-term benefits of this method but it does seem promising.
  • Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy methods that can help you preserve balance when Meniere’s disease is flaring up. This approach may be a practical technique if you’re experiencing frequent dizziness or vertigo.
  • Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your physician in some cases. If those specific symptoms show up, this can be helpful. So, when a bout of dizziness occurs, medication for motion sickness can help relieve that dizziness.
  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of certain steroids.
  • Diuretic: Another kind of medication that your physician may prescribe is a diuretic. The idea here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be minimized by reducing retention of fluid. This medication isn’t used to manage acute symptoms but instead is taken long-term.

Get the best treatment for you

If you believe you have Meniere’s disease, you should get examined. The development of Meniere’s disease might be slowed by these treatments. But these treatments more frequently help you have a better 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.