What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

No one’s really certain what causes Meniere’s disease. But it’s difficult to dismiss its impact. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all common symptoms of this disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to come from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but scientists aren’t really certain what causes that buildup initially.

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

What exactly is Meniere’s disease?

There’s a persistent condition that affects the inner ear and it’s called Meniere’s disease. For many individuals, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will get worse as time passes. Those symptoms may include:

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

Tinnitus: It’s fairly common for individuals with Meniere’s disease to have ringing in the ears or tinnitus, which can range from mild to severe.

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 cause a loss of hearing.

If you notice these symptoms, it’s crucial to receive an accurate diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can appear and disappear for many people. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will probably 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 manage the symptoms.

Some of the most common treatments include the following:

  • Steroid shots: Injections of specific kinds of steroids can temporarily help alleviate some Meniere’s symptoms, especially when it comes to vertigo.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery is used to treat Meniere’s. Typically, however, only the vertigo part of the disease is affected by this surgery. It won’t impact the other symptoms.
  • Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease advances and your hearing loss grows worse, you may want to get a hearing aid. 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. There are also numerous ways hearing aids can help treat tinnitus.
  • Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your doctor in some cases. If those specific symptoms manifest, this can be helpful. For instance, medications designed to help with motion sickness may help you feel less dizzy when an episode of vertigo takes place.
  • Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is acting up, You can apply certain physical therapies that can help with balance. This approach may be a practical strategy if you’re experiencing frequent dizziness or vertigo.
  • Diuretic: Another kind of medication that your physician may prescribe is a diuretic. The concept here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be lessened by decreasing fluid retention. This medication is not used to manage acute symptoms but instead is used long-term.
  • Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is particularly difficult to treat, this non-invasive method can be employed. It’s called positive pressure therapy. This therapy entails exposing the inner ear to positive pressure in order to limit fluid buildup. While positive pressure therapy is promising, the long-term benefits of this approach have yet to be borne out by peer-reviewed research.

Find the right treatment for you

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