What is Meniere’s Disease?

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

No one’s quite sure what causes Meniere’s disease. But it’s hard to overlook its impact. Some common symptoms of this condition are vertigo, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease seem to come from an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear, but researchers aren’t really sure what causes that buildup in the first place.

So the question is: if a condition doesn’t have an identifiable cause, how can it be treated? It’s a complex answer.

Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?

Meniere’s disease is a persistent condition that impacts the inner ear. For many individuals, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will get worse over time. Here are some of those symptoms:

Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to determine when these attacks of vertigo will occur or how long they will last.

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

Fullness in the ear: This symptom is medically known as aural fullness, the sensation of pressure in your ear.

Hearing loss: Eventually, Meniere’s disease can result in a loss of hearing.

If you notice these symptoms, it’s essential to get a definitive diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can come and go for many individuals. But eventually, symptoms may become more regular and obvious.

Treatment for Menier’s disease

Meniere’s disease is a progressive and persistent condition for which there is no known cure. But there are some ways to manage the symptoms.

The following are a few of those treatments:

  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, particularly vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of specific steroids.
  • Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your physician in some cases. This can be helpful when those specific symptoms appear. For example, medications created to help with motion sickness may help you feel less dizzy when an episode of vertigo happens.
  • Diuretic: Another type of medication that your physician may prescribe is a diuretic. The strategy is that reducing the retention of fluids might help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This medication is not used to manage acute symptoms but instead is used long-term.
  • Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease progresses and your hearing loss gets worse, you might want to get a hearing aid. Typically, a hearing aid won’t necessarily slow the advancement of your hearing loss. But it can benefit your mental health by keeping you socially engaged. There are also numerous ways hearing aids can help treat tinnitus.
  • Surgery: Occasionally, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. Normally, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is impacted by this surgery. It won’t affect the other symptoms.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive technique used when Meniere’s is especially hard to treat. Positive pressure therapy is the medical term for this therapy. This treatment involves exposing the inner ear to positive pressure in order to limit fluid buildup. Peer review has not, so far, verified the long-term advantages of this approach but it does seem promising.
  • Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy techniques that can help you preserve balance when Meniere’s disease is acting up. This approach may be a useful approach if you’re experiencing regular dizziness or vertigo.

Find the correct treatment for you

If you think you have Meniere’s disease, you should get evaluated. The advancement of Meniere’s disease might be slowed down by these treatments. But these treatments more often help you have a greater quality of life despite your condition.

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.