No one’s really certain what causes Meniere’s disease. But the effects are difficult to underestimate. Some common symptoms of this condition are vertigo, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to stem from an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear, but scientists aren’t really sure what causes that accumulation to begin with.
So the question is: how can you deal with something that doesn’t appear to have an identifiable cause? It’s a complex answer.
Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?
Meniere’s disease is a persistent condition that affects the inner ear. For many individuals, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will get worse over time. Here are some of those symptoms:
Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Sadly, when these episodes will occur and how long they will last can’t be predicted.
Tinnitus: It’s fairly common for individuals with Meniere’s disease to have 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 referred to as aural fullness.
Hearing loss: Over time, Meniere’s disease can result in a loss of hearing.
If you experience these symptoms, it’s necessary to receive a definitive diagnosis. For many individuals with Meniere’s, symptoms are intermittent. But as the disease advances, the symptoms will most likely become more consistent.
Treatment for Menier’s disease
There is no known cure for Menier’s disease which is persistent and progressive. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any treatments.
Some of the most prevalent treatments include the following:
- Medications: In some situations, your physician will be able to prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. This can help when those specific symptoms manifest. So, when a bout of dizziness occurs, medication for motion sickness can help alleviate that dizziness.
- Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is especially challenging to treat, this non-invasive strategy can be utilized. It’s called positive pressure therapy. As a way to minimize fluid accumulation, 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 backed up by peer-reviewed studies.
- Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily alleviated with injections of specific steroids.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery is utilized to treat Meniere’s. However, these surgical techniques will typically only affect the vertigo part of symptoms. Other Meniere’s symptoms will persist.
- Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy techniques that can help you maintain balance when Meniere’s disease is acting up. This approach could be a practical approach if you’re experiencing frequent dizziness or vertigo.
- Hearing aid: It might be time to get hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is advancing to the point where your ability to hear is failing. The progression of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed down by hearing aids. But it can help keep you socially engaged which can improve your mental health. There are also a number of ways hearing aids can help deal with tinnitus.
- Diuretic: Another kind of medication that your physician could prescribe is a diuretic. The idea is that reducing the retention of fluids might help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This medication is not used to manage extreme symptoms but instead is used long-term.
Find the best treatment for you
You should get an exam if think you may have Meniere’s disease. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes reduce the progression of your condition. More frequently, however, they reduce the impact that Meniere’s will have on your day-to-day life.