No one’s quite certain what causes Meniere’s disease. But it’s difficult to overlook its effects. Ringing in the ears, vertigo, dizziness, and hearing loss are all common symptoms of this disorder. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to come from an accumulation 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 appear to have a discernible cause? The answer is, well, complicated.
Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?
Meniere’s disease is a chronic disorder that affects the inner ear. For many people, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will grow worse over time. Here are some of those symptoms:
Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Sadly, when these bouts of vertigo will occur and how long they may last can’t be predicted.
Tinnitus: The degree of this tinnitus could ebb and flow, but it’s not abnormal for those with Meniere’s Disease to have 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: Eventually, Meniere’s disease can lead to a loss of hearing.
It’s important that you get an accurate diagnosis if you’re noticing these symptoms. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can appear and disappear for many individuals. But as time passes, symptoms can become more consistent and obvious.
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.
Some of the most common treatments include the following:
- Surgery: In some situations, surgery is used to address Meniere’s. However, these surgical procedures will generally only impact the vertigo side of symptoms. Other Meniere’s symptoms will persist.
- Steroid shots: Injections of specific types of steroids can temporarily help alleviate some Meniere’s symptoms, particularly when it comes to vertigo.
- Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is especially difficult to treat, this non-invasive strategy can be used. It’s known as positive pressure therapy. This treatment entails subjecting the inner ear to positive pressure in order to limit fluid accumulation. Peer review has not, so far, verified the long-term benefits of this method but it does seem encouraging.
- Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease progresses and your hearing loss grows worse, you might want to try a hearing aid. The advancement of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed by hearing aids. But it can benefit your mental health by keeping you socially engaged. There are also several ways hearing aids can help deal with tinnitus.
- Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is acting up, You can employ certain physical therapies that can help with balance. If you’re regularly dizzy or dealing with vertigo, this approach might be warranted.
- 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 is a long-term medication that you’d take instead of one to reduce extreme symptoms.
- Medications: In some instances, your physician will be able to prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. This can be helpful when those particular symptoms appear. So, when a bout of dizziness happens, medication for motion sickness can help decrease that dizziness.
The key is finding the treatment that’s right for you
You should get checked out if think you might have Meniere’s disease. The advancement of Meniere’s disease may be slowed by these treatments. But these treatments more frequently help you have a greater quality of life in spite of your condition.