The cause of Meniere’s is not really understood. But the effects are hard to ignore. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all common symptoms of this disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease seem to come from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but scientists aren’t really certain what causes that buildup to begin with.
So here’s the question: how can you deal with something that doesn’t seem to have a discernible cause? It’s a complicated answer.
What exactly is Meniere’s disease?
There’s a persistent condition that affects the inner ear and it’s called Meniere’s disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s will get worse over time, for many people, because it’s a progressive disorder. Those symptoms may include:
Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Sadly, when these bouts of vertigo will strike and how long they may last can’t be predicted.
Tinnitus: The intensity 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 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 experience these symptoms, it’s essential to get a definitive diagnosis. For many individuals with Meniere’s, symptoms are irregular. But as time passes, symptoms can become more consistent and noticeable.
How is Meniere’s disease treated?
Meniere’s disease is a progressive and chronic condition which has no known cure. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any way to treat it.
The following are some of those treatments:
- Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy methods that can help you preserve balance when Meniere’s disease is acting up. If you’re perpetually dizzy or experiencing vertigo, this approach may be warranted.
- Surgery: In some cases, Meniere’s disease can be addressed with surgery. However, these surgical techniques will generally only impact the vertigo side of symptoms. It won’t affect the other symptoms.
- Steroid shots: Injections of certain types of steroids can temporarily help relieve some Meniere’s symptoms, particularly in regards to vertigo.
- Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that may be prescribed by your physician. The concept 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 decrease severe symptoms.
- Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is particularly challenging to treat, this non-invasive strategy can be used. It’s called positive pressure therapy. In order to minimize fluid buildup, the inner ear is subjected to positive pressure. While positive pressure therapy is promising, the long-term advantages of this approach have yet to be borne out by peer-reviewed research.
- Hearing aid: It may be time to try hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is progressing to the point where your ability to hear is failing. The progression of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed by hearing aids. But it can help keep you socially active which can improve your mental health. Hearing aids can also help you manage the symptoms of tinnitus in several ways.
- Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your physician in some situations. This can be helpful when those particular symptoms appear. So, when an episode of dizziness happens, medication for motion sickness can help alleviate that dizziness.
Find the best treatment for you
You should get checked out if think you might 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 greater quality of life despite your condition.