Meniere’s disease is an abnormality in the inner ear that causes severe dizziness (vertigo), ringing or whistling in the ear (tinnitus), hearing loss, and a feeling that the ear is full or congested. Meniere’s disease usually affects only one ear.
Vertigo attacks may come on suddenly or after a short period of tinnitus or muffled hearing. Some people have an episode of vertigo only once in a while. Other people may have many attacks over several days. Some people with Meniere’s disease have dizziness so extreme that they lose their balance and fall. These episodes are called “drop seizures”.
Meniere’s disease can occur at any age, but it is more likely in adults between 40 and 60. The National Institute on Deafness and Further Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that there are currently about 615,000 people diagnosed with Meniere’s disease and that 45,500 new cases analyse each year.
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What are the Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease?
Meniere’s disease usually involves a combination of these symptoms:
- Dizziness or vertigo is extreme dizziness that prevents the sufferer from standing or sitting, often with nausea and vomiting.
- Ringing or noise in the ear (tinnitus).
- hearing loss
- A sensation of pressure in the ear.
- The most common symptoms are:
- I mareo vertigo.
- Noise in the ear.
- hearing loss
Causes of Meniere’s Syndrome
The precise causes of the disease are mysterious. However, the vertigo attacks and hearing loss that occur are suspected to be caused by increased fluid pressure in the cochlea of the inner ear, clinically called endolymphatic hydrops.
It supposes to cause hearing loss and ringing in the ears. However, it was not yet clearly understood how the excess in the liquid produces.
Experts also suspect that Meniere’s disease may cause by a virus, which can affect the inner ear. The inner ear locates near the balance organ, which is why inflammation can cause dizziness.
It notes that tinnitus and dizziness can also arise differently. It does not always have to be due to Meniere’s disease. So it recommends consulting an otorhinolaryngologist doctor for the mentioned symptoms.
Among the other possible causes not yet proven, there are:
- hereditary factors
- head injuries
Diagnosis of Meniere’s Disease
Meniere’s disease is usually diagnose and treated by otolaryngologists, a doctor who specialises in ear, nose, and throat disorders. However, to make a correct diagnosis, there is no definitive test or single symptom that can serve as proof that the disease exists. The diagnosis is base on the person’s medical history and the presence of other factors, such as:
- Two or more episodes of vertigo lasting 20 minutes.
- Ringing, roaring, or hissing in the ears.
- Temporary hearing loss.
- The sensation that the ear is full.
How is Meniere’s Disease Treated?
There is still no decisive treatment for this disease, so treatment combines medical and behavioural therapy. Medications, diet control, reduction of salt intake, improvement of eating habits and control of anxiety states are standard measures. These treatments positively affect the control and relief of symptoms in 85% of patients.
Hearing Aids for Meniere’s Syndrome
Hearing loss caused by Meniere’s disease can lead to a lower quality of life. Those affected often suffer in a social setting due to poor hearing. Hearing aids can counter these problems.
However, the provision of hearing aids is problematic due to the course of the disease. Due to fluctuating hearing ability, regular adjustments needs. In addition, patients suffer from severe noise sensitivity in the diseased ear. However, we recommend that you wear a hearing aid and protect your hearing in noisy situations by wearing custom hearing protection.
The treatment of this disease can be pharmacological, in addition to controlling the diet with a bit of salt and improving other eating habits, as well as controlling anxiety states. With medical treatment, 85% of patients own acceptably well.