No one’s really sure what causes Meniere’s disease. But the impacts are difficult to ignore. Ringing in the ears, vertigo, dizziness, and hearing loss are all typical symptoms of this condition. Scientists aren’t really sure why, but for some reason, fluid can build up in the ears and this seems to be the underlying cause of Meniere’s disease.
So here’s the question: how can you address something that doesn’t seem to have a discernible cause? It’s a complex answer.
Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?
Meniere’s disease is a chronic disorder that affects the inner ear. For many people, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will grow 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 may strike or how long they could last.
Tinnitus: The severity of this tinnitus may ebb and flow, but it’s not abnormal for those with Meniere’s Disease to experience ringing in their ears.
Fullness in the ear: This manifests as a feeling of pressure in your ears and is medically called aural fullness.
Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can cause hearing loss over time.
It’s critical that you get an accurate diagnosis if you’re noticing these symptoms. For many individuals with Meniere’s, symptoms are intermittent. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will most likely become more persistent.
How is Meniere’s disease treated?
There is no known cure for Menier’s disease which is persistent and progressive. But there are some ways to deal with the symptoms.
Some of the most prevalent treatments include the following:
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery is used to treat Meniere’s. However, these surgical techniques will normally only affect the vertigo side of symptoms. Other Meniere’s symptoms will remain.
- Diuretic: Another type of medication that your physician may prescribe is a diuretic. The idea is that decreasing the retention of fluids could help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This medication isn’t used to manage acute symptoms but instead is taken long-term.
- Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is flaring up, You can utilize certain physical therapies that can help with balance. This approach may be a practical technique if you’re experiencing regular dizziness or vertigo.
- Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive approach used when Meniere’s is especially hard to manage. Positive pressure therapy is the medical term for this therapy. This treatment entails exposing the inner ear to positive pressure in order to limit fluid accumulation. Peer review has not, so far, confirmed the long-term advantages of this method but it does seem promising.
- Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease advances and your hearing loss grows worse, you might want to get a hearing aid. The advancement of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed by hearing aids. But it can help your mental health by keeping you socially engaged. There are also a number of ways hearing aids can help manage tinnitus.
- Steroid shots: Injections of specific kinds of steroids can temporarily help alleviate some Meniere’s symptoms, particularly in regards to vertigo.
- Medications: In some situations, your physician will be prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. If those specific symptoms appear, this can be helpful. For instance, medications created to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when an episode of vertigo takes place.
The key is getting the treatment that’s best for you
If you believe you have Meniere’s disease, you should get evaluated. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow down the advancement of your condition. More often, however, they minimize the impact that Meniere’s will have on your everyday life.