The cause of Meniere’s isn’t well understood. But the effects are hard to ignore. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all common symptoms of this disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease seem to come from an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear, but researchers aren’t really certain what causes that accumulation in the first place.
So the question is: how can you deal with something that doesn’t seem to have a discernible cause? The answer is, well, complicated.
Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?
There’s a chronic condition that impacts the inner ear and it’s called Meniere’s disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s will get worse as time passes, for many individuals, because it’s a progressive condition. Those symptoms could include:
Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to determine when these attacks of vertigo may strike or how long they will last.
Tinnitus: The degree of this tinnitus could ebb and flow, but it’s not unusual for those with Meniere’s Disease to experience ringing in their ears.
Fullness in the ear: This symptom is medically called aural fullness, the feeling of pressure in your ear.
Hearing loss: In the long run, Meniere’s disease can result in a loss of hearing.
If you experience these symptoms, it’s crucial to get a definitive diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can come and go for many people. But as time passes, symptoms can 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 a few of those treatments:
- 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 faltering. The advancement of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed by hearing aids. But it can help keep you socially active which can give a boost to your mental health. Hearing aids can also help you manage the symptoms of tinnitus in several ways.
- Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy methods that can help you maintain balance when Meniere’s disease is flaring up. This approach may be a useful approach if you’re experiencing regular dizziness or vertigo.
- Diuretic: Another form of medication that your physician may prescribe is a diuretic. The concept here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be minimized by decreasing retention of fluid. This medication isn’t used to manage acute symptoms but instead is used long-term.
- Steroid shots: Injections of certain kinds of steroids can temporarily help relieve some Meniere’s symptoms, especially in regards to vertigo.
- Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive approach employed when Meniere’s is especially difficult to manage. Positive pressure therapy is the medical term for this treatment. This therapy involves exposing the inner ear to positive pressure in order to limit fluid accumulation. While positive pressure therapy is encouraging, the long-term advantages of this method have yet to be borne out by peer-reviewed studies.
- Surgery: Occasionally, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. However, these surgical procedures will normally only impact the vertigo part of symptoms. Other Meniere’s symptoms will persist.
- Medications: In some cases, your physician will be prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. If those particular symptoms appear, this can be helpful. So, when an episode of dizziness happens, medication for motion sickness can help alleviate that dizziness.
Get the correct treatment for you
If you suspect you have Meniere’s disease, you should get evaluated. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow the progression of your condition. More frequently, however, they minimize the effect that Meniere’s will have on your day-to-day life.