What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

The cause of Meniere’s isn’t really understood. But it’s difficult to overlook its effects. Some prevalent symptoms of this disorder are dizziness, vertigo, 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 researchers aren’t really sure what causes that buildup in the first place.

So here’s the question: if a condition doesn’t have an identifiable cause, how can it be treated? The answer is, well, complex.

What exactly is Meniere’s disease?

There’s a chronic condition that impacts the inner ear and it’s known as Meniere’s disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s will grow as time passes, for many people, because it’s a progressive condition. Here are some of those symptoms:

Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Sadly, when these episodes will strike 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 manifests as a feeling of pressure in your ears and is medically known as aural fullness.

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

It’s critical that you get an accurate diagnosis if you’re noticing these symptoms. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can appear and disappear for many people. But over time, symptoms can become more regular and obvious.

Treatment for Menier’s disease

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

The following are some of those treatments:

  • Diuretic: Another form of medication that your physician might prescribe is a diuretic. The strategy is that reducing the retention of fluids might help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This is a long-term medication that you’d take instead of one to reduce extreme symptoms.
  • Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy techniques that can help you maintain balance when Meniere’s disease is flaring up. If you’re constantly dizzy or dealing with vertigo, this approach might be warranted.
  • Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease advances and your hearing loss gets worse, you may want to try a hearing aid. Generally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily slow the progress of your hearing loss. But it can benefit your mental health by keeping you socially engaged. There are also a number of ways hearing aids can help treat tinnitus.
  • Surgery: Occasionally, Meniere’s disease can be addressed with surgery. However, these surgical techniques will generally only impact the vertigo side of symptoms. It won’t impact the other symptoms.
  • Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your doctor in some instances. 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 happens.
  • Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is especially challenging to treat, this non-invasive technique can be utilized. Positive pressure therapy is the medical term for this treatment. In order to limit fluid buildup, the inner ear is exposed to positive pressure. Peer review has not, so far, confirmed the long-term benefits of this method but it does seem encouraging.
  • Steroid shots: Injections of certain kinds of steroids can temporarily help alleviate some Meniere’s symptoms, especially when it comes to vertigo.

Find the best treatment for you

You should get an exam if suspect you might have Meniere’s disease. The development of Meniere’s disease may be slowed down by these treatments. But these treatments more often 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.