No one’s really sure what causes Meniere’s disease. But it’s difficult to overlook its impact. Some prevalent symptoms of this affliction are dizziness, vertigo, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to stem from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but researchers aren’t really sure what causes that buildup in the first place.
So here’s the question: how can you treat something that doesn’t seem to have an identifiable cause? The answer is, well, complex.
Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?
Meniere’s disease is a persistent condition that affects the inner ear. For many people, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will get worse over time. Here are some of those symptoms:
Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to know when these episodes of vertigo may occur or how long they could last.
Tinnitus: The degree of this tinnitus could ebb and flow, but it’s not uncommon for those with Meniere’s Disease to experience ringing in their ears.
Fullness in the ear: This is experienced as a feeling of pressure in your ears and is medically referred to as aural fullness.
Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can lead to hearing loss over time.
It’s critical that you get the proper diagnosis if you’re noticing these symptoms. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can come and go for many people. But as the disease advances, the symptoms will likely become more consistent.
Treatment for Menier’s disease
Meniere’s disease is a progressive and chronic condition for which there is no known cure. But there are some ways to manage the symptoms.
Some of the most prevalent treatments include the following:
- Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, particularly vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of specific steroids.
- Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease progresses and your hearing loss gets worse, you may want to get a hearing aid. The advancement 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 several ways hearing aids can help manage tinnitus.
- Surgery: Sometimes, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. Normally, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is affected by this surgery. It won’t affect the other symptoms.
- Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy methods that can help you preserve balance when Meniere’s disease is flaring up. This approach may be a practical technique if you’re experiencing frequent dizziness or vertigo.
- Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive technique employed when Meniere’s is especially challenging to treat. Positive pressure therapy is the medical name for this therapy. This treatment entails subjecting the inner ear to positive pressure as a way to limit fluid accumulation. While positive pressure therapy is encouraging, the long-term advantages of this approach have not been borne out by peer-reviewed research.
- Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that might be prescribed by your doctor. The idea here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be lessened by reducing retention of fluid. This medication isn’t used to treat extreme symptoms but instead is taken long-term.
- Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your physician in some instances. This can help when those particular symptoms appear. So, when an episode of dizziness occurs, medication for motion sickness can help alleviate that dizziness.
The key is getting the treatment that’s right for you
You should get checked out if suspect you may have Meniere’s disease. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow the advancement of your condition. More often, however, they minimize the impact that Meniere’s will have on your day-to-day life.