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 hard to ignore its impact. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all common symptoms of this disorder. Researchers aren’t really certain why, but for some reason, fluid can build up in the ears and this seems to be the root cause of Meniere’s disease.

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

Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?

Meniere’s disease is a persistent disorder that impacts the inner ear. For many people, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will grow worse as time passes. Here are some of those symptoms:

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

Tinnitus: The intensity of this tinnitus could 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 called aural fullness, the sensation of pressure in your ear.

Hearing loss: In the long run, Meniere’s disease can lead to a loss of hearing.

It’s critical that you get the proper diagnosis if you’re noticing these symptoms. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can appear and disappear for many individuals. But as time passes, symptoms can become more consistent and noticeable.

How is Meniere’s disease treated?

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

The following are some of those treatments:

  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of certain steroids.
  • Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is acting up, You can employ certain physical therapies that can help with balance. This approach may be a practical technique if you’re experiencing regular dizziness or vertigo.
  • Surgery: Sometimes, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. Typically, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is impacted by this surgery. It won’t affect the other symptoms.
  • Hearing aid: It might be time to try hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is progressing to the point where your ability to hear is failing. The progression of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed by hearing aids. But it can benefit your mental health by keeping you socially active. Hearing aids can also help you control the symptoms of tinnitus in a number of ways.
  • Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is especially challenging to treat, this non-invasive approach can be utilized. It’s called positive pressure therapy. This treatment involves subjecting the inner ear to positive pressure in order to limit fluid buildup. Peer review has not, as of yet, confirmed the long-term benefits of this method but it does seem promising.
  • Medications: In some cases, your physician will be able to prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. This can be helpful when those particular symptoms appear. For instance, medications designed to help with motion sickness may help you feel less dizzy when an episode of vertigo happens.
  • Diuretic: Another form of medication that your physician could prescribe is a diuretic. The concept is that reducing the retention of fluids could help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This medication is not used to treat extreme symptoms but instead is used long-term.

Get the right 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. More often, however, they minimize the effect that Meniere’s will have on your everyday life.

The content of this blog is the intellectual property of MedPB.com and is reprinted here with permission. The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive a hearing aid consultation, call today to schedule an appointment.