Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

The cause of Meniere’s is not really understood. But the effects are difficult to ignore. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all common symptoms of this disease. Scientists aren’t really certain 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: how can you address something that doesn’t seem to have a discernible cause? It’s a complicated answer.

Exactly what 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 over time. Those symptoms may include:

Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Sadly, when these bouts of vertigo will strike and how long they may 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 called aural fullness.

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

If you experience these symptoms, it’s crucial to receive a definitive diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can appear and disappear for many people. But eventually, symptoms can become more consistent and obvious.

How is Meniere’s disease treated?

There is no known cure for Menier’s disease which is chronic and progressive. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any way to treat it.

The following are a few of those treatments:

  • Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease progresses and your hearing loss gets worse, you may want to get a hearing aid. The progression of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed by hearing aids. But it can help your mental health by keeping you socially active. Hearing aids can also help you control the symptoms of tinnitus in several ways.
  • Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your doctor in some instances. This can help when those particular symptoms occur. For instance, medications created to help with motion sickness may help you feel less dizzy when an episode of vertigo takes place.
  • Diuretic: Another type of medication that your physician could 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 treat extreme symptoms but instead is taken long-term.
  • Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy strategies that can help you maintain balance when Meniere’s disease is acting up. If you’re constantly dizzy or dealing with vertigo, this strategy may be warranted.
  • Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is particularly hard to treat, this non-invasive method can be utilized. Positive pressure therapy is the medical term for this treatment. This treatment involves exposing the inner ear to positive pressure as a way to limit fluid accumulation. Peer review has not, as of yet, confirmed the long-term benefits of this method but it does seem encouraging.
  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of specific steroids.
  • Surgery: In some cases, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. Typically, however, only the vertigo part of the disease is impacted by this surgery. It won’t affect the other symptoms.

The key is getting the treatment that’s best for you

If you think you have Meniere’s disease, you should get examined. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes reduce the progression of your condition. But these treatments more often help you have a greater quality of life in spite of your condition.

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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.

Main Line Audiology Consultants, PC