What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

The cause of Meniere’s is not really understood. But the effects are hard to dismiss. Ringing in the ears, vertigo, dizziness, and hearing loss are all typical symptoms of this disease. Researchers aren’t really certain why, but for some reason, fluid can build up in the ears and this appears to be the root cause of Meniere’s disease.

So the question is: how can you treat something that doesn’t appear to have a discernible cause? It’s a complicated answer.

Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?

There’s a chronic condition that affects the inner ear and it’s known as Meniere’s disease. For many people, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will get worse as time passes. Here are some of those symptoms:

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

Tinnitus: The degree 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 manifests 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.

If you notice these symptoms, it’s essential to get a definitive diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can come and go for many people. But as time passes, symptoms may become more regular and noticeable.

How is Meniere’s disease treated?

Meniere’s disease is a progressive and persistent condition which has no known cure. But there are a few ways to deal with the symptoms.

Some of the most common treatments include the following:

  • Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that might be prescribed by your doctor. The concept here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be minimized by reducing fluid retention. This is a long-term medication that you’d use instead of one to reduce extreme symptoms.
  • Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your doctor in some instances. If those specific symptoms appear, this can be helpful. So, when an episode of dizziness happens, medication for motion sickness can help alleviate that dizziness.
  • Hearing aid: It may be time to get hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is advancing to the point where your ability to hear is faltering. Normally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily impede the advancement of your hearing loss. But it can help keep you socially active which can improve your mental health. Hearing aids can also help you manage the symptoms of tinnitus in several ways.
  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, particularly vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of certain steroids.
  • Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is flaring up, You can utilize certain physical therapies that can help with balance. This approach could be a practical approach if you’re experiencing regular dizziness or vertigo.
  • Surgery: Occasionally, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. Typically, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is affected by this surgery. Other Meniere’s symptoms will remain.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive technique used when Meniere’s is particularly challenging to treat. Positive pressure therapy is the medical term for this therapy. This therapy involves exposing the inner ear to positive pressure in order to limit fluid buildup. Peer review has not, as of yet, verified the long-term advantages of this method but it does seem promising.

Find the correct treatment for you

If you believe you have Meniere’s disease, you should get examined. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow the advancement of your condition. But these treatments more often help you have a better 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.