Three of the most recognizable signs and symptoms of Meniere’s disease are tinnitus, vertigo, and intermittent hearing loss. Meniere’s disease is an inner ear condition that can cause disruptions in your hearing and balance.Although medical science has not yet discovered a cure for this disease, there are several steps you can take to reduce its symptoms and minimize its effect on your day-to-day life.
Many people experience Meniere’s disease symptoms in episodes. A common starting point of these episodes is a feeling of fullness in the ear that leads to tinnitus and mild hearing loss. Vertigo is likely to come next, causing you to feel as though the room is spinning around you. You may feel nauseated and your balance may be impaired. An episode can be as short as twenty minutes and as long as four hours.
Many people who suffer from Meniere’s disease experience several such episodes in a short period of time with long periods of ‘remission’ in between. The frequency and severity of each symptom can vary from episode to episode. Vertigo can sometimes signify a more serious condition, so be sure to check in with your doctor if you find yourself experiencing this symptom.
Researchers are still working to determine the cause of Meniere’s disease, but the leading theory is that its symptoms are caused by abnormalities in fluid in the inner ear. Fluids in the inner ear must be at a certain volume and pressure in order to function properly. There are a number of factors that could trigger abnormalities in this inner ear fluid, including head trauma, viral infections, improper drainage and allergies.
While there is no known way to cure Meniere’s disease, you do have options when it comes to managing its symptoms. Anti-nausea medications can frequently help patients cope with their vertigo. Your doctor may also prescribe long-term medications to reduce fluid retention. Rehabilitation can help counteract the balance problems associated with vertigo, while hearing aids can help during episodes of hearing loss. Sitting or lying down immediately if you begin to notice vertigo can help you avoid falls, while avoiding triggers that make your symptoms worse (such as bright lights or reading) can help lessen the severity of the episode.
Meniere’s disease does carry some uncomfortable symptoms, but with the help of your doctor it does not need to significantly disrupt your life.