The cause of Meniere’s is not really understood. But it’s difficult to dismiss its effects. Ringing in the ears, vertigo, dizziness, and hearing loss are all common symptoms of this condition. Scientists 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: 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 persistent disorder that affects the inner ear and it’s known as Meniere’s disease. For many people, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will grow worse as time passes. Those symptoms could include:
Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Regrettably, there’s no way to know when these attacks of vertigo may occur or how long they could last.
Tinnitus: It’s fairly common for people with Meniere’s disease to experience ringing in the ears or tinnitus, which can range from mild to severe.
Fullness in the ear: This symptom is medically referred to 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 essential to get an accurate diagnosis. For many individuals with Meniere’s, symptoms are intermittent. But eventually, symptoms may 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 there are a few ways to deal with the symptoms.
The following are some of those treatments:
- Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive approach used when Meniere’s is especially hard to manage. It’s called positive pressure therapy. In order to minimize fluid buildup, the inner ear is exposed to positive pressure. While positive pressure therapy is promising, the long-term advantages of this method have not been backed up by peer-reviewed studies.
- Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your doctor in some instances. This can be helpful when those specific symptoms occur. For example, medications created to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when a bout of vertigo happens.
- Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, particularly vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of certain steroids.
- Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is flaring up, You can employ certain physical therapies that can help with balance. If you’re regularly dizzy or dealing with vertigo, this approach may be warranted.
- Hearing aid: It might be time to try hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is advancing to the point where your ability to hear is faltering. The progression of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed by hearing aids. But it can benefit your mental health by keeping you socially active. There are also numerous ways hearing aids can help treat tinnitus.
- Surgery: In some cases, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. However, these surgical procedures will typically only affect the vertigo side of symptoms. Other Meniere’s symptoms will remain.
- Diuretic: Another kind of medication that your physician might prescribe is a diuretic. The idea is that reducing the retention of fluids could help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This medication is not used to manage acute symptoms but instead is taken long-term.
Find the best treatment 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 greater quality of life despite your condition.