The cause of Meniere’s is not really understood. But the impacts are difficult to underestimate. Ringing in the ears, vertigo, dizziness, and hearing loss are all common symptoms of this condition. 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 to begin with.
So here’s the question: how can you address something that doesn’t appear to have an identifiable cause? The answer is, well, complex.
Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?
Meniere’s disease is a chronic condition that impacts the inner ear. Symptoms of Meniere’s will grow as time passes, for many patients, because it’s a progressive disorder. Those symptoms could include:
Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Sadly, when these bouts of vertigo will occur and how long they may last can’t be predicted.
Tinnitus: It’s fairly 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 is experienced as a feeling of pressure in your ears and is medically known as aural fullness.
Hearing loss: Eventually, Meniere’s disease can result in a loss of hearing.
If you notice these symptoms, it’s essential to receive an accurate diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can appear and disappear for many individuals. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will likely become more persistent.
How is Meniere’s disease treated?
Meniere’s disease is a progressive and chronic condition for which there is no known cure. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any treatments.
Some of the most prevalent treatments include the following:
- Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is acting up, You can employ certain physical therapies that can help with balance. If you’re regularly dizzy or dealing with vertigo, this approach might be warranted.
- Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily alleviated with injections of certain steroids.
- Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive technique used when Meniere’s is especially hard to treat. Positive pressure therapy is the medical name for this treatment. As a way to minimize fluid buildup, 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 borne out by peer-reviewed research.
- Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease progresses and your hearing loss grows worse, you might want to get a hearing aid. Generally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily slow the advancement of your hearing loss. But it can help your mental health by keeping you socially active. Hearing aids can also help you deal with the symptoms of tinnitus in a number of ways.
- Diuretic: Another type of medication that your physician might prescribe is a diuretic. The strategy is that decreasing the retention of fluids could help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This medication is not used to treat acute symptoms but instead is used long-term.
- Medications: In some cases, your doctor will be prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. If those specific symptoms appear, this can be helpful. For instance, medications designed to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when an episode of vertigo happens.
- Surgery: Occasionally, Meniere’s disease can be addressed with surgery. However, these surgical techniques will normally only impact the vertigo part of symptoms. It won’t impact the other symptoms.
Find the correct treatment for you
You should get checked out if think you might have Meniere’s disease. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes reduce the advancement of your condition. But these treatments more often help you have a greater quality of life in spite of your condition.