No one’s really sure what causes Meniere’s disease. But it’s difficult to overlook its effects. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all common symptoms of this disease. Scientists aren’t really sure why, but for some reason, fluid can build up in the ears and this seems to be the root cause of Meniere’s disease.
So the question is: if a condition doesn’t have an identifiable cause, how can it be managed? The answer is, well, complicated.
What exactly is Meniere’s disease?
Meniere’s disease is a persistent condition that affects the inner ear. Symptoms of Meniere’s will grow as time passes, for many patients, because it’s a progressive disorder. Here are some of those symptoms:
Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Regrettably, there’s no way to tell when these attacks of vertigo will occur or how long they could last.
Tinnitus: The intensity of this tinnitus could ebb and flow, but it’s not abnormal 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.
If you experience these symptoms, it’s essential to get an accurate diagnosis. For many individuals with Meniere’s, symptoms are irregular. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will probably become more regular.
How is Meniere’s disease treated?
Meniere’s disease is a progressive and persistent condition which has no known cure. But there are some ways to deal with the symptoms.
The following are some of those treatments:
- Medications: In some situations, your doctor will be prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. This can help when those specific symptoms manifest. So, when an episode of dizziness occurs, medication for motion sickness can help alleviate that dizziness.
- Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is especially challenging to treat, this non-invasive technique can be utilized. It’s known as positive pressure therapy. In order to limit fluid accumulation, the inner ear is subjected to positive pressure. While positive pressure therapy is promising, the long-term benefits of this approach have not been borne out by peer-reviewed research.
- Hearing aid: It might be time to get hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is progressing to the point where your ability to hear is failing. The advancement of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed down by hearing aids. But it can help your mental health by keeping you socially active. There are also a number of ways hearing aids can help deal with tinnitus.
- Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, particularly vertigo, can be temporarily alleviated with injections of certain steroids.
- Surgery: In some cases, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. However, these surgical techniques will typically only affect the vertigo part of symptoms. Other Meniere’s symptoms will continue.
- 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 useful strategy if you’re experiencing regular dizziness or vertigo.
- Diuretic: Another form of medication that your physician may prescribe is a diuretic. The idea here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be lessened by reducing fluid retention. This is a long-term medication that you’d use rather than one to decrease severe symptoms.
The key is finding the treatment that’s right for you
You should get checked out if suspect you might have Meniere’s disease. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow the progression of your condition. But these treatments more often help you have a better quality of life despite your condition.