The cause of Meniere’s is not well understood. But the impacts are hard to ignore. Ringing in the ears, vertigo, dizziness, and hearing loss are all typical symptoms of this disease. 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 in the first place.
So here’s the question: if a condition doesn’t have an identifiable cause, how can it be managed? It’s a complicated answer.
What exactly is Meniere’s disease?
There’s a chronic disorder that impacts the inner ear and it’s called Meniere’s disease. For many individuals, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will get worse as time passes. Here are some of those symptoms:
Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Sadly, when these episodes will strike and how long they will last can’t be predicted.
Tinnitus: The severity of this tinnitus could ebb and flow, but it’s not unusual for those with Meniere’s Disease to experience ringing in their ears.
Fullness in the ear: This symptom is medically referred to as aural fullness, the feeling of pressure in your ear.
Hearing loss: In the long run, Meniere’s disease can result in a loss of hearing.
It’s critical that you get the proper diagnosis if you’re noticing these symptoms. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can come and go for many people. But as time passes, symptoms can become more consistent and obvious.
Treatment for Menier’s disease
Meniere’s disease is a progressive and persistent condition for which there is no known cure. But there are some ways to deal with the symptoms.
Some of the most common treatments include the following:
- Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease advances and your hearing loss grows worse, you may want to try a hearing aid. 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.
- Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that might be prescribed by your physician. The idea here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be minimized by decreasing fluid retention. This is a long-term medication that you’d take as opposed to one to minimize acute symptoms.
- Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive method used when Meniere’s is especially difficult to manage. It’s known as positive pressure therapy. This treatment entails subjecting the inner ear to positive pressure as a way 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 research.
- Surgery: Occasionally, Meniere’s disease can be addressed with surgery. Typically, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is affected by this surgery. Other Meniere’s symptoms will continue.
- Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily alleviated with injections of certain steroids.
- Medications: In some instances, your doctor will be able to prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. This can be helpful when those specific symptoms manifest. For instance, medications made to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when a bout of vertigo takes place.
- Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy techniques that can help you preserve balance when Meniere’s disease is acting up. This approach may be a practical strategy if you’re experiencing frequent dizziness or vertigo.
The key is finding the treatment that’s right for you
You should get an exam if suspect you might have Meniere’s disease. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow down the advancement of your condition. More often, however, they minimize the impact that Meniere’s will have on your day-to-day life.