What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

The cause of Meniere’s is not really understood. But the impacts are difficult to dismiss. Ringing in the ears, vertigo, dizziness, and hearing loss are all typical symptoms of this condition. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to come from an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear, but researchers aren’t really certain what causes that accumulation initially.

So here’s the question: if something doesn’t have an identifiable cause, how can it be dealt with? It’s a complicated answer.

Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?

There’s a persistent affliction that impacts the inner ear and it’s known as Meniere’s disease. For many people, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will grow worse over time. Here are some of those symptoms:

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

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 symptom is medically referred to as aural fullness, the feeling of pressure in your ear.

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

If you notice these symptoms, it’s essential to get an accurate diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can come and go for many people. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will likely become more persistent.

Treatment for Menier’s disease

There is no known cure for Menier’s disease which is persistent and progressive. But there are some ways to manage the symptoms.

The following are a few of those treatments:

  • Surgery: In some situations, surgery is used to address Meniere’s. However, these surgical techniques will normally only impact the vertigo side of symptoms. It won’t affect the other symptoms.
  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of specific steroids.
  • Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease advances and your hearing loss grows worse, you might want to try a hearing aid. Normally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily impede the advancement of your hearing loss. But it can help keep you socially engaged which can improve your mental health. There are also numerous ways hearing aids can help treat tinnitus.
  • Diuretic: Another type of medication that your physician could prescribe is a diuretic. The idea is that reducing the retention of fluids might help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This is a long-term medication that you’d use as opposed to one to reduce extreme symptoms.
  • Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is acting up, You can utilize certain physical therapies that can help with balance. This approach could 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 instances. If those specific symptoms appear, this can be helpful. So, when an episode of dizziness occurs, medication for motion sickness can help relieve that dizziness.
  • Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is especially difficult to treat, this non-invasive method can be utilized. It’s called positive pressure therapy. This therapy entails subjecting the inner ear to positive pressure in order 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.

Get the best treatment for you

You should get an exam if suspect you may have Meniere’s disease. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow the progress of your condition. More often, 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.