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 impact. Some common symptoms of this condition are vertigo, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. 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 initially.

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

Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?

There’s a persistent disorder that affects the inner ear and it’s called Meniere’s disease. For many patients, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will get worse over time. Those symptoms could include:

Unpredictable spells 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 symptom is medically called aural fullness, the feeling of pressure in your ear.

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

If you experience these symptoms, it’s necessary to get a definitive diagnosis. For many people with Meniere’s, symptoms are irregular. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will likely become more regular.

Treatment for Menier’s disease

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

The following are a few of those treatments:

  • Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is flaring up, You can apply certain physical therapies that can help with balance. This approach may be a practical technique if you’re experiencing regular dizziness or vertigo.
  • Steroid shots: Injections of certain kinds of steroids can temporarily help alleviate some Meniere’s symptoms, particularly in regards to vertigo.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive approach employed when Meniere’s is particularly hard to treat. It’s called positive pressure therapy. This treatment entails subjecting the inner ear to positive pressure as a way to limit fluid buildup. Peer review has not, so far, confirmed the long-term benefits of this approach but it does seem promising.
  • Hearing aid: It may be time to get hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is progressing to the point where your ability to hear is failing. Normally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily impede the progress of your hearing loss. But it can benefit your mental health by keeping you socially engaged. Hearing aids can also help you control the symptoms of tinnitus in several ways.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery is used to treat Meniere’s. However, these surgical procedures will generally only impact the vertigo part of symptoms. It won’t impact the other symptoms.
  • Medications: In some situations, your physician will be prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. If those specific symptoms show up, this can be helpful. For example, medications created to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when an episode of vertigo takes place.
  • Diuretic: Another type of medication that your physician might prescribe is a diuretic. The concept is that decreasing the retention of fluids could help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This medication is not used to manage extreme symptoms but instead is taken long-term.

Find the right treatment for you

You should get checked out if suspect you might have Meniere’s disease. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow down the progress of your condition. But these treatments more frequently help you have a greater 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.