The cause of Meniere’s is not really understood. But it’s hard to dismiss its effects. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all common symptoms of this disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease seem to come from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but researchers aren’t really sure what causes that buildup to begin with.
So the question is: how can you deal with something that doesn’t seem to have a discernible cause? The answer is, well, complex.
Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?
Meniere’s disease is a persistent condition that impacts the inner ear. Symptoms of Meniere’s will get worse over time, for many patients, because it’s a progressive disorder. Those symptoms could include:
Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to know when these episodes of vertigo may strike or how long they will last.
Tinnitus: It’s relatively common for individuals with Meniere’s disease to have 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 sensation of pressure in your ear.
Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can lead to hearing loss over time.
It’s important that you get an accurate diagnosis if you’re experiencing these symptoms. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can appear and disappear for many individuals. But eventually, symptoms may become more consistent and obvious.
Treatment for Menier’s disease
There is no known cure for Menier’s disease which is chronic and progressive. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any treatments.
The following are a few of those treatments:
- Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, particularly vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of certain steroids.
- Surgery: In some situations, surgery is used to address Meniere’s. Normally, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is impacted by this surgery. Other Meniere’s symptoms will continue.
- Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that may be prescribed by your physician. 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 take instead of one to reduce acute symptoms.
- Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is especially hard to manage, this non-invasive strategy can be utilized. It’s called positive pressure therapy. This treatment entails subjecting the inner ear to positive pressure as a way to limit fluid accumulation. While positive pressure therapy is encouraging, the long-term benefits of this approach have not been borne out by peer-reviewed studies.
- Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your physician in some cases. If those particular symptoms show up, this can be helpful. So, when an episode of dizziness happens, medication for motion sickness can help relieve that dizziness.
- Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy methods that can help you preserve balance when Meniere’s disease is flaring up. If you’re constantly dizzy or experiencing vertigo, this approach may be warranted.
- Hearing aid: It might be time to get hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is advancing to the point where your ability to hear is faltering. The progression of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed by hearing aids. But it can help your mental health by keeping you socially active. Hearing aids can also help you manage the symptoms of tinnitus in a number of ways.
Get the right treatment for you
You should get checked out if suspect you might have Meniere’s disease. The development of Meniere’s disease might be slowed by these treatments. More often, however, they reduce the effect that Meniere’s will have on your daily life.