No one’s quite sure what causes Meniere’s disease. But the impacts are difficult to ignore. Some common symptoms of this disorder are dizziness, vertigo, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to come from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but scientists aren’t really certain 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 managed? It’s a complex answer.
Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?
There’s a persistent disorder that affects the inner ear and it’s known as Meniere’s disease. For many patients, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will grow worse as time passes. Here are some of those symptoms:
Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Regrettably, there’s no way to know when these attacks of vertigo may occur or how long they could last.
Tinnitus: It’s fairly common for individuals with Meniere’s disease to have ringing in the ears or tinnitus, which can range from mild to severe.
Fullness in the ear: This symptom is medically called aural fullness, the feeling of pressure in your ear.
Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can result in hearing loss over time.
It’s critical that you get the proper diagnosis if you’re experiencing these symptoms. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can come and go for many people. But as time passes, 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 there are some ways to manage the symptoms.
The following are a few of those treatments:
- Steroid shots: Injections of specific kinds of steroids can temporarily help alleviate some Meniere’s symptoms, particularly when it comes to vertigo.
- Hearing aid: It might be time to get hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is progressing to the point where your ability to hear is faltering. The progression of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed by hearing aids. But it can benefit your mental health by keeping you socially active. Hearing aids can also help you deal with the symptoms of tinnitus in several ways.
- Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication alternative that might be prescribed by your doctor. The idea here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be minimized by reducing fluid retention. This medication is not used to treat acute symptoms but instead is used long-term.
- Medications: In some instances, your physician will be prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. This can help when those particular symptoms manifest. So, when a bout of dizziness occurs, medication for motion sickness can help alleviate that dizziness.
- Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is acting up, You can employ certain physical therapies that can help with balance. This approach may be a useful technique if you’re experiencing frequent dizziness or vertigo.
- Surgery: Sometimes, Meniere’s disease can be addressed with surgery. However, these surgical techniques will normally only affect the vertigo part of symptoms. Other Meniere’s symptoms will continue.
- Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive method used when Meniere’s is particularly challenging to manage. It’s known as positive pressure therapy. In order to minimize fluid accumulation, the inner ear is exposed to positive pressure. While positive pressure therapy is encouraging, the long-term advantages of this method have yet to be backed up by peer-reviewed research.
The key is finding the treatment that’s best for you
You should get checked out if think you might have Meniere’s disease. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes reduce the progress of your condition. More often, however, they minimize the impact that Meniere’s will have on your day-to-day life.