Evanston Audiology - Evanston, IL

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

The cause of Meniere’s isn’t well understood. But it’s hard to overlook its impact. Ringing in the ears, vertigo, dizziness, and hearing loss are all typical 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 sure what causes that accumulation in the first place.

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

What exactly is Meniere’s disease?

There’s a chronic affliction that impacts the inner ear and it’s called Meniere’s disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s will grow over time, for many patients, because it’s a progressive disorder. Here are some of those symptoms:

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

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

Fullness in the ear: This manifests as a sensation of pressure in your ears and is medically referred to as aural fullness.

Hearing loss: Eventually, 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 eventually, symptoms may become more regular and noticeable.

How is Meniere’s disease treated?

Meniere’s disease is a progressive and chronic condition which has no known cure. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any treatments.

The following are some of those treatments:

  • Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that might be prescribed by your physician. The concept here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be minimized by decreasing fluid retention. This is a long-term medication that you’d take as opposed to one to decrease acute symptoms.
  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, particularly vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of specific steroids.
  • Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is flaring up, You can use certain physical therapies that can help with balance. If you’re perpetually dizzy or experiencing vertigo, this approach might be warranted.
  • Hearing aid: It may be time to get hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is progressing to the point where your ability to hear is faltering. Normally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily slow the advancement of your hearing loss. But it can help your mental health by keeping you socially engaged. Hearing aids can also help you control the symptoms of tinnitus in numerous ways.
  • Medications: In some instances, your doctor will be able to prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. If those specific symptoms manifest, this can be helpful. For example, medications created to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when a bout of vertigo happens.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive technique used when Meniere’s is particularly difficult to treat. It’s known as positive pressure therapy. As a way to minimize fluid accumulation, the inner ear is exposed to positive pressure. Peer review has not, as of yet, verified the long-term benefits of this approach but it does seem encouraging.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery is utilized to treat Meniere’s. Typically, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is impacted by this surgery. It won’t impact the other symptoms.

Find the best treatment for you

If you believe you have Meniere’s disease, you should get evaluated. The development of Meniere’s disease might be slowed down by these treatments. More frequently, however, they minimize the impact that Meniere’s will have on your everyday life.

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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.
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