Woman leaning against wall because of recurring dizziness.

The cause of Meniere’s is not well understood. But it’s hard to overlook its impact. Some common symptoms of this condition are dizziness, vertigo, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to come from an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear, but scientists 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.

Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?

Meniere’s disease is a chronic condition that impacts the inner ear. For many patients, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will get worse as time passes. Those symptoms could include:

Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell when these attacks of vertigo may strike or how long they will last.

Tinnitus: The degree 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 sensation of pressure in your ear.

Hearing loss: Over time, Meniere’s disease can cause a loss of hearing.

It’s important that you get an accurate diagnosis if you’re noticing these symptoms. For many people with Meniere’s, symptoms are intermittent. But as time passes, symptoms may become more consistent and noticeable.

Treatment for Menier’s disease

There is no known cure for Menier’s disease which is chronic and progressive. But there are some ways to deal with the symptoms.

Some of the most common treatments include the following:

  • Surgery: Occasionally, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. However, these surgical procedures will normally only impact the vertigo part of symptoms. Other Meniere’s symptoms will remain.
  • Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy strategies that can help you preserve balance when Meniere’s disease is flaring up. If you’re regularly dizzy or experiencing vertigo, this strategy may be warranted.
  • Diuretic: Another form of medication that your physician could prescribe is a diuretic. The strategy 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.
  • Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease progresses and your hearing loss gets worse, you may want to get a hearing aid. Generally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily impede the progress of your hearing loss. 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.
  • Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive method used when Meniere’s is particularly challenging to manage. It’s known as positive pressure therapy. This therapy entails subjecting the inner ear to positive pressure as a way to limit fluid buildup. While positive pressure therapy is encouraging, the long-term benefits of this approach have not been borne out by peer-reviewed research.
  • Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your physician in some situations. If those particular symptoms appear, this can be helpful. For example, medications designed to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when a bout of vertigo occurs.
  • Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, particularly vertigo, can be temporarily alleviated with injections of specific steroids.

Get the right treatment for you

If you suspect you have Meniere’s disease, you should get examined. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow the progression of your condition. But these treatments more often help you have a greater quality of life in spite of your condition.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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