No one’s really sure what causes Meniere’s disease. But the effects are difficult to ignore. Ringing in the ears, vertigo, dizziness, and hearing loss are all common symptoms of this disorder. Researchers 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 here’s the question: if something doesn’t have a discernible cause, how can it be treated? It’s a complicated answer.
Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?
There’s a persistent affliction that impacts the inner ear and it’s called Meniere’s disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s will get worse over time, for many patients, because it’s a progressive condition. Those symptoms may include:
Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to determine when these attacks of vertigo will occur or how long they will last.
Tinnitus: It’s relatively 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 symptom is medically called aural fullness, the feeling of pressure in your ear.
Hearing loss: Over time, Meniere’s disease can result in a loss of hearing.
If you experience these symptoms, it’s crucial to receive an accurate diagnosis. For many individuals with Meniere’s, symptoms are intermittent. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will probably become more persistent.
How is Meniere’s disease treated?
Meniere’s disease is a progressive and chronic condition which has no known cure. But there are some ways to deal with the symptoms.
The following are a few of those treatments:
- Surgery: Occasionally, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. Normally, however, only the vertigo part of the disease is affected by this surgery. Other Meniere’s symptoms will continue.
- Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your doctor in some situations. If those particular symptoms manifest, this can be helpful. For instance, medications created to help with motion sickness may help you feel less dizzy when a bout of vertigo takes place.
- Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy strategies that can help you maintain balance when Meniere’s disease is acting up. If you’re perpetually dizzy or experiencing vertigo, this strategy may be warranted.
- Steroid shots: Injections of specific types of steroids can temporarily help relieve some Meniere’s symptoms, particularly in regards to vertigo.
- Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease advances and your hearing loss gets 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 keep you socially active which can give a boost to your mental health. Hearing aids can also help you control the symptoms of tinnitus in numerous ways.
- Diuretic: Another type 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 reducing retention of fluid. This medication is not used to manage acute symptoms but instead is taken long-term.
- Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is especially hard to manage, this non-invasive technique can be used. Positive pressure therapy is the medical name for this therapy. In order to limit fluid accumulation, the inner ear is subjected to positive pressure. Peer review has not, as of yet, confirmed the long-term advantages of this approach but it does seem encouraging.
Get the correct treatment for you
You should get an exam if suspect you may have Meniere’s disease. The development of Meniere’s disease might be slowed down by these treatments. But these treatments more frequently help you have a greater quality of life in spite of your condition.