Audiology Associates of North Florida - Tallahassee, FL

Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

No one’s quite certain what causes Meniere’s disease. But it’s difficult to ignore its impact. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all typical symptoms of this condition. Experts aren’t really sure why, but for some reason, fluid can accumulate in the ears and this seems to be the underlying cause of Meniere’s disease.

So the question is: if a condition doesn’t have an identifiable cause, how can it be addressed? The answer is, well, complicated.

What exactly is Meniere’s disease?

Meniere’s disease is a chronic condition that impacts the inner ear. Symptoms of Meniere’s will get worse as time passes, for many people, because it’s a progressive condition. Here are some of those symptoms:

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

Tinnitus: The intensity of this tinnitus could ebb and flow, but it’s not abnormal for those with Meniere’s Disease to have ringing in their ears.

Fullness in the ear: This symptom is medically referred to as aural fullness, the feeling of pressure in your ear.

Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can cause hearing loss over time.

If you experience these symptoms, it’s necessary to get a definitive diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can appear and disappear for many individuals. But over time, symptoms can become more regular and noticeable.

Treatment for Menier’s disease

There is no known cure for Menier’s disease which is persistent and progressive. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any treatments.

The following are some of those treatments:

  • Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is especially challenging to treat, this non-invasive strategy can be utilized. 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. Peer review has not, as of yet, confirmed the long-term benefits of this approach but it does seem encouraging.
  • Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that may be prescribed by your doctor. The idea is that reducing the retention of fluids might help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This is a long-term medication that you’d use instead of one to reduce severe symptoms.
  • Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy techniques that can help you maintain balance when Meniere’s disease is acting up. If you’re constantly dizzy or dealing with vertigo, this strategy might be warranted.
  • Steroid shots: Injections of certain types of steroids can temporarily help alleviate some Meniere’s symptoms, especially in regards to vertigo.
  • Medications: In some cases, your doctor will be able to prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. This can help when those particular symptoms occur. For instance, medications made to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when an episode of vertigo occurs.
  • Hearing aid: It might be time to try 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 impede the advancement of your hearing loss. But it can help keep you socially engaged which can give a boost to your mental health. Hearing aids can also help you control the symptoms of tinnitus in numerous ways.
  • Surgery: Occasionally, Meniere’s disease can be addressed with surgery. Normally, however, only the vertigo part of the disease is impacted by this surgery. Other Meniere’s symptoms will persist.

The key is getting the treatment that’s right for you

If you believe you have Meniere’s disease, you should get examined. The development of Meniere’s disease might be slowed by these treatments. But these treatments more frequently help you have a better quality of life in spite of your condition.

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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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