No one’s quite sure what causes Meniere’s disease. But the impacts are hard to underestimate. Some common symptoms of this condition are dizziness, vertigo, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease seem to come from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but researchers aren’t really certain what causes that accumulation to begin with.
So the question is: how can you address something that doesn’t appear to have an identifiable cause? The answer is, well, complicated.
What exactly is Meniere’s disease?
Meniere’s disease is a chronic condition that impacts the inner ear. For many people, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will get worse over time. Here are some of those symptoms:
Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Sadly, when these bouts of vertigo will strike and how long they may last can’t be predicted.
Tinnitus: It’s relatively common for individuals with Meniere’s disease to experience ringing in the ears or tinnitus, which can range from mild to severe.
Fullness in the ear: This manifests as a sensation of pressure in your ears and is medically referred to as aural fullness.
Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can cause hearing loss over time.
If you notice these symptoms, it’s necessary to get an accurate diagnosis. For many people with Meniere’s, symptoms are irregular. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will probably become more consistent.
How is Meniere’s disease treated?
Meniere’s disease is a progressive and persistent condition for which there is no known cure. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any way to treat it.
The following are some of those treatments:
- Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease progresses and your hearing loss grows worse, you may want to get a hearing aid. Typically, a hearing aid won’t necessarily impede the advancement of your hearing loss. 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 certain types of steroids can temporarily help relieve some Meniere’s symptoms, particularly when it comes to vertigo.
- Surgery: In some situations, surgery is utilized to treat Meniere’s. Typically, however, only the vertigo part of the disease is affected by this surgery. Other Meniere’s symptoms will persist.
- Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that may be prescribed by your doctor. The strategy is that decreasing the retention of fluids might help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This is a long-term medication that you’d use as opposed to one to minimize acute symptoms.
- Medications: In some instances, your physician will be able to prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. This can be helpful when those particular symptoms occur. So, when an episode of dizziness happens, medication for motion sickness can help decrease that dizziness.
- Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive method employed when Meniere’s is especially challenging to treat. It’s known as positive pressure therapy. This treatment entails subjecting the inner ear to positive pressure as a way to limit fluid buildup. Peer review has not, so far, confirmed the long-term advantages of this method but it does seem promising.
- Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy strategies that can help you maintain balance when Meniere’s disease is acting up. This approach may be a practical technique if you’re experiencing frequent dizziness or vertigo.
The key is finding the treatment that’s right for you
You should get checked out if think you may have Meniere’s disease. The development 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.