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

So here’s the question: how can you deal with something that doesn’t appear to have an identifiable cause? The answer is, well, complex.

Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?

Meniere’s disease is a persistent condition that affects the inner ear. 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 spells of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell when these episodes of vertigo may occur or how long they could last.

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

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

Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can result in hearing loss over time.

It’s critical that you get an accurate diagnosis if you’re experiencing these symptoms. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can come and go for many people. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will most likely become more persistent.

How is Meniere’s disease treated?

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

The following are some of those treatments:

  • Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy strategies that can help you maintain balance when Meniere’s disease is acting up. This approach could be a practical strategy if you’re experiencing regular dizziness or vertigo.
  • Diuretic: Another type of medication that your physician may prescribe is a diuretic. The concept here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be lessened by decreasing retention of fluid. This medication isn’t used to treat acute symptoms but instead is used long-term.
  • Surgery: In some instances, surgery is used to address Meniere’s. Normally, however, only the vertigo part of the disease is affected by this surgery. Other Meniere’s symptoms will continue.
  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, particularly vertigo, can be temporarily alleviated with injections of certain steroids.
  • Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is especially difficult to treat, this non-invasive method can be utilized. Positive pressure therapy is the medical name for this treatment. This therapy entails exposing the inner ear to positive pressure as a way to limit fluid buildup. While positive pressure therapy is promising, the long-term advantages of this approach have yet to be backed up by peer-reviewed studies.
  • Medications: In some situations, your doctor will be able to prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. This can help when those particular symptoms manifest. For instance, medications designed to help with motion sickness may help you feel less dizzy when a bout of vertigo occurs.
  • Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease progresses and your hearing loss grows worse, you might want to get a hearing aid. Normally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily impede the advancement of your hearing loss. But it can help your mental health by keeping you socially engaged. There are also numerous ways hearing aids can help treat tinnitus.

Find the best treatment 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. But these treatments more frequently help you have a greater quality of life despite 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.