No one’s really certain what causes Meniere’s disease. But it’s hard to ignore its impact. Ringing in the ears, vertigo, dizziness, and hearing loss are all typical symptoms of this condition. Researchers aren’t really sure why, but for some reason, fluid can accumulate in the ears and this seems to be the root cause of Meniere’s disease.
So here’s the question: how can you treat something that doesn’t appear to have an identifiable cause? The answer is, well, complicated.
What exactly is Meniere’s disease?
There’s a persistent affliction that impacts the inner ear and it’s known as Meniere’s disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s will grow over time, for many patients, because it’s a progressive condition. Here are some of those symptoms:
Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to determine when these episodes of vertigo will occur or how long they will last.
Tinnitus: The severity of this tinnitus may 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 called 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 important that you get an accurate diagnosis if you’re experiencing these symptoms. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can come and go for many people. But as the disease advances, 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 a few of those treatments:
- Diuretic: Another type of medication that your physician may prescribe is a diuretic. The concept is that reducing the retention of fluids might help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This medication isn’t used to treat acute symptoms but instead is used long-term.
- Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease progresses and your hearing loss gets worse, you may want to get a hearing aid. Normally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily impede the progress of your hearing loss. But it can help keep you socially engaged which can improve your mental health. Hearing aids can also help you manage the symptoms of tinnitus in numerous ways.
- Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy methods that can help you maintain balance when Meniere’s disease is flaring up. This approach may be a practical technique if you’re experiencing regular dizziness or vertigo.
- Medications: In some instances, your doctor will be prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. This can help when those specific symptoms occur. So, when a bout of dizziness happens, medication for motion sickness can help alleviate that dizziness.
- Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive technique employed when Meniere’s is particularly challenging to manage. Positive pressure therapy is the medical name for this therapy. As a way to minimize fluid accumulation, the inner ear is exposed to positive pressure. Peer review has not, as of yet, confirmed the long-term advantages of this approach but it does seem encouraging.
- Surgery: In some cases, Meniere’s disease can be addressed with surgery. Normally, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is impacted by this surgery. It won’t impact the other symptoms.
- Steroid shots: Injections of certain kinds of steroids can temporarily help relieve some Meniere’s symptoms, particularly in regards to vertigo.
The key is getting the treatment that’s right for you
You should get an exam if suspect you may 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 in spite of your condition.