What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

No one’s quite certain what causes Meniere’s disease. But the impacts are difficult to ignore. Ringing in the ears, vertigo, dizziness, and hearing loss are all typical symptoms of this condition. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to stem from an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear, but scientists aren’t really certain what causes that buildup to begin with.

So the question is: how can you treat something that doesn’t seem to have a discernible cause? The answer is, well, complex.

Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?

There’s a persistent condition that affects the inner ear and it’s known as Meniere’s disease. For many patients, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will get worse over time. Here are some of those symptoms:

Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to know when these episodes of vertigo will occur or how long they could last.

Tinnitus: It’s fairly 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 is experienced as a sensation of pressure in your ears and is medically called aural fullness.

Hearing loss: In the long run, Meniere’s disease can cause a loss of hearing.

It’s critical that you get the proper diagnosis if you’re noticing these symptoms. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can come and go for many individuals. But eventually, symptoms may become more consistent and noticeable.

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 aren’t any treatments.

The following are some of those treatments:

  • Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your physician in some cases. If those specific symptoms appear, this can be helpful. For example, medications created to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when a bout of vertigo takes place.
  • Surgery: In some cases, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. Typically, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is impacted by this surgery. It won’t impact the other symptoms.
  • Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is flaring up, You can use certain physical therapies that can help with balance. If you’re constantly dizzy or dealing with vertigo, this approach might be warranted.
  • Hearing aid: It may be time to try hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is progressing to the point where your ability to hear is failing. The advancement of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed by hearing aids. But it can help your mental health by keeping you socially active. There are also numerous ways hearing aids can help treat tinnitus.
  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of specific steroids.
  • Diuretic: Another type of medication that your physician may prescribe is a diuretic. The idea here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be minimized by reducing fluid retention. This medication isn’t used to manage acute symptoms but instead is taken long-term.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive method employed when Meniere’s is especially difficult to treat. Positive pressure therapy is the medical term for this therapy. In order to limit fluid buildup, the inner ear is subjected to positive pressure. While positive pressure therapy is encouraging, the long-term benefits of this approach have yet to be backed up by peer-reviewed studies.

Get the best treatment for you

If you think you have Meniere’s disease, you should get evaluated. The advancement of Meniere’s disease may be slowed by these treatments. More frequently, however, they reduce the impact that Meniere’s will have on your day-to-day life.

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.