The cause of Meniere’s is not well understood. But it’s hard to overlook its effects. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all typical symptoms of this disorder. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to come from an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear, but researchers aren’t really sure what causes that accumulation initially.
So here’s the question: if a condition doesn’t have an identifiable cause, how can it be addressed? It’s a complex answer.
What exactly is Meniere’s disease?
There’s a chronic disorder that impacts the inner ear and it’s known as Meniere’s disease. For many patients, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will get worse over time. Here are some of those symptoms:
Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to determine when these attacks of vertigo may occur or how long they could last.
Tinnitus: The intensity of this tinnitus may ebb and flow, but it’s not uncommon for those with Meniere’s Disease to have ringing in their ears.
Fullness in the ear: This symptom is medically known as aural fullness, the sensation of pressure in your ear.
Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can result in 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 irregular. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will likely become more persistent.
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 some of those treatments:
- Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is particularly hard to manage, this non-invasive method can be utilized. 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 buildup. While positive pressure therapy is encouraging, the long-term advantages of this method have yet to be borne out by peer-reviewed studies.
- Hearing aid: It may be time to try 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 down by hearing aids. But it can benefit your mental health by keeping you socially active. There are also a number of ways hearing aids can help manage tinnitus.
- Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy strategies that can help you maintain balance when Meniere’s disease is flaring up. This approach could be a practical approach if you’re experiencing regular dizziness or vertigo.
- Diuretic: Another type of medication that your physician could prescribe is a diuretic. The concept here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be lessened by decreasing retention of fluid. This medication isn’t used to manage extreme symptoms but instead is taken long-term.
- Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, particularly vertigo, can be temporarily alleviated with injections of certain steroids.
- Surgery: In some situations, surgery is utilized to treat Meniere’s. However, these surgical procedures will typically only affect the vertigo side of symptoms. It won’t affect the other symptoms.
- Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your physician in some cases. This can help when those particular symptoms manifest. So, when a bout of dizziness happens, medication for motion sickness can help relieve that dizziness.
The key is finding the treatment that’s best for you
If you suspect you have Meniere’s disease, you should get evaluated. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes reduce the progress of your condition. More frequently, however, they reduce the effect that Meniere’s will have on your day-to-day life.