The cause of Meniere’s isn’t really understood. But it’s difficult to dismiss its effects. Ringing in the ears, vertigo, dizziness, and hearing loss are all typical symptoms of this disorder. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to stem from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but researchers aren’t really sure what causes that buildup to begin with.
So the question is: if something doesn’t have a discernible cause, how can it be addressed? The answer is, well, complicated.
What exactly is Meniere’s disease?
There’s a persistent disorder that impacts the inner ear and it’s called Meniere’s disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s will grow over time, for many people, because it’s a progressive condition. Here are some of those symptoms:
Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Sadly, when these bouts of vertigo will strike and how long they will last can’t be predicted.
Tinnitus: It’s fairly common for individuals with Meniere’s disease to experience ringing in the ears or tinnitus, which can range from mild to severe.
Fullness in the ear: This manifests as a sensation of pressure in your ears and is medically called aural fullness.
Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can lead to 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 intermittent. But as time passes, symptoms may become more regular and noticeable.
How is Meniere’s disease treated?
There is no known cure for Menier’s disease which is persistent and progressive. But there are a few ways to manage the symptoms.
Some of the most prevalent treatments include the following:
- 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 technique if you’re experiencing frequent dizziness or vertigo.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery is utilized to treat Meniere’s. However, these surgical procedures will normally only impact the vertigo part of symptoms. It won’t impact the other symptoms.
- Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive approach used when Meniere’s is especially challenging to manage. It’s known as positive pressure 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 backed up 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. Generally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily slow the progress of your hearing loss. But it can help keep you socially active which can improve your mental health. Hearing aids can also help you deal with the symptoms of tinnitus in numerous ways.
- Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that may be prescribed by your doctor. The strategy is that reducing the retention of fluids could help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This is a long-term medication that you’d take as opposed to one to minimize acute symptoms.
- Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily alleviated with injections of certain steroids.
- Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your doctor in some instances. This can be helpful when those particular symptoms manifest. So, when a bout of dizziness happens, medication for motion sickness can help decrease that dizziness.
Get the right treatment for you
You should get an exam if think you might have Meniere’s disease. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes reduce the progression of your condition. But these treatments more often help you have a better quality of life in spite of your condition.