What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

No one’s quite certain what causes Meniere’s disease. But it’s difficult to overlook its effects. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all common symptoms of this condition. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease seem to stem from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but scientists aren’t really sure what causes that accumulation to begin with.

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

What exactly is Meniere’s disease?

There’s a chronic affliction 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 occur and how long they will last can’t be predicted.

Tinnitus: It’s relatively 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 is experienced as a feeling of pressure in your ears and is medically called aural fullness.

Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can lead to hearing loss over time.

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 the disease advances, the symptoms will most likely become more consistent.

Treatment for Menier’s disease

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

Some of the most prevalent treatments include the following:

  • Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that may be prescribed by your physician. The concept here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be minimized by reducing retention of fluid. This is a long-term medication that you’d take as opposed to one to reduce acute symptoms.
  • Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your doctor in some instances. This can help when those particular symptoms occur. So, when a bout of dizziness happens, medication for motion sickness can help relieve that dizziness.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive technique used when Meniere’s is particularly hard to treat. It’s known as positive pressure therapy. This therapy entails 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 approach but it does seem encouraging.
  • Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy techniques that can help you preserve balance when Meniere’s disease is flaring up. This approach may be a practical approach if you’re experiencing frequent dizziness or vertigo.
  • Surgery: Occasionally, Meniere’s disease can be addressed with surgery. Typically, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is affected by this surgery. It won’t affect the other symptoms.
  • Steroid shots: Injections of specific types of steroids can temporarily help alleviate some Meniere’s symptoms, particularly when it comes to vertigo.
  • 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 advancement of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed down by hearing aids. But it can benefit your mental health by keeping you socially active. Hearing aids can also help you manage the symptoms of tinnitus in a number of ways.

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. More frequently, however, they reduce the effect that Meniere’s will have on your daily 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.