No one’s really certain what causes Meniere’s disease. But the impacts are hard to underestimate. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all typical symptoms of this condition. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to stem from an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear, but researchers aren’t really sure what causes that accumulation to begin with.
So here’s the question: if a condition doesn’t have a discernible cause, how can it be managed? The answer is, well, complex.
What exactly is Meniere’s disease?
There’s a chronic affliction that impacts the inner ear and it’s called Meniere’s disease. For many people, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will grow worse as time passes. Those symptoms may include:
Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Sadly, when these episodes will strike and how long they will last can’t be predicted.
Tinnitus: The degree of this tinnitus could ebb and flow, but it’s not uncommon 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 feeling of pressure in your ear.
Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can result in hearing loss over time.
If you notice these symptoms, it’s necessary to get an accurate diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can come and go for many people. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will likely become more persistent.
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 common treatments include the following:
- Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy techniques that can help you preserve balance when Meniere’s disease is flaring up. This approach may be a practical approach if you’re experiencing frequent dizziness or vertigo.
- Diuretic: Another type of medication that your physician might prescribe is a diuretic. The strategy is that decreasing the retention of fluids might 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.
- Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is particularly challenging to treat, this non-invasive strategy can be used. It’s known as positive pressure therapy. This treatment involves exposing the inner ear to positive pressure in order to limit fluid buildup. Peer review has not, as of yet, confirmed the long-term advantages of this approach but it does seem promising.
- Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease progresses and your hearing loss gets worse, you might want to try a hearing aid. The advancement of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed by hearing aids. But it can help keep you socially engaged which can give a boost to your mental health. There are also numerous ways hearing aids can help manage tinnitus.
- Steroid shots: Injections of certain kinds of steroids can temporarily help relieve some Meniere’s symptoms, particularly in regards to vertigo.
- Surgery: Sometimes, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. Typically, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is impacted by this surgery. Other Meniere’s symptoms will persist.
- Medications: In some instances, your doctor will be prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. This can be helpful when those particular symptoms manifest. So, when an episode of dizziness occurs, medication for motion sickness can help alleviate that dizziness.
Find the right treatment for you
You should get an exam if think you might have Meniere’s disease. The advancement of Meniere’s disease may be slowed by these treatments. More frequently, however, they reduce the effect that Meniere’s will have on your daily life.