What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

No one’s quite sure what causes Meniere’s disease. But it’s hard to ignore its effects. Some prevalent symptoms of this affliction are vertigo, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Researchers aren’t really sure 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 something doesn’t have an identifiable cause, how can it be treated? It’s a complex answer.

What exactly is Meniere’s disease?

Meniere’s disease is a chronic condition that affects the inner ear. For many people, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will grow worse over time. Here are some of those symptoms:

Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Regrettably, there’s no way to determine when these episodes of vertigo may strike or how long they could last.

Tinnitus: The degree of this tinnitus could 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 symptom is medically known as aural fullness, the feeling of pressure in your ear.

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

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

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 common treatments include the following:

  • Diuretic: Another form of medication that your physician may prescribe is a diuretic. The concept is that decreasing the retention of fluids could help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This medication isn’t used to manage acute symptoms but instead is used long-term.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive method employed when Meniere’s is particularly challenging to treat. Positive pressure therapy is the medical name for this therapy. This therapy involves exposing the inner ear to positive pressure as a way to limit fluid buildup. While positive pressure therapy is encouraging, the long-term benefits of this method have not been backed up by peer-reviewed studies.
  • Medications: In some instances, your doctor will be prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. This can be helpful when those particular symptoms occur. For example, medications designed to help with motion sickness may help you feel less dizzy when a bout of vertigo takes place.
  • Hearing aid: It may 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 down by hearing aids. But it can help keep you socially active which can give a boost to your mental health. Hearing aids can also help you manage the symptoms of tinnitus in numerous ways.
  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily alleviated with injections of certain steroids.
  • Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is flaring up, You can apply certain physical therapies that can help with balance. If you’re constantly dizzy or dealing with vertigo, this strategy may be warranted.
  • Surgery: In some cases, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. Normally, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is affected by this surgery. It won’t affect the other symptoms.

Get the best treatment for you

If you suspect you have Meniere’s disease, you should get evaluated. The advancement of Meniere’s disease may be slowed down by these treatments. But these treatments more often 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.