The cause of Meniere’s isn’t really understood. But it’s hard to overlook its effects. Some prevalent symptoms of this affliction are vertigo, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease seem to stem from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but scientists aren’t really certain what causes that accumulation in the first place.
So the question is: if something doesn’t have a discernible cause, how can it be managed? The answer is, well, complex.
What exactly is Meniere’s disease?
Meniere’s disease is a chronic condition that impacts the inner ear. Symptoms of Meniere’s will get worse as time passes, for many individuals, because it’s a progressive disorder. Those symptoms may include:
Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell when these episodes of vertigo may strike or how long they will last.
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 feeling of pressure in your ears and is medically referred to as aural fullness.
Hearing loss: In the long run, Meniere’s disease can lead to a loss of hearing.
If you notice these symptoms, it’s necessary to get an accurate diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can come and go for many people. But over time, symptoms can 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:
- Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy techniques that can help you maintain balance when Meniere’s disease is acting up. If you’re constantly dizzy or dealing with vertigo, this approach might be warranted.
- Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily alleviated with injections of specific steroids.
- Medications: In some situations, your doctor will be prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. If those specific symptoms manifest, this can be helpful. For example, medications created to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when a bout of vertigo happens.
- Diuretic: Another form of medication that your physician may prescribe is a diuretic. The concept is that decreasing the retention of fluids might help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This is a long-term medication that you’d take as opposed to one to decrease extreme symptoms.
- Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease progresses and your hearing loss grows worse, you may want to get a hearing aid. 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. Hearing aids can also help you control the symptoms of tinnitus in several ways.
- Surgery: In some instances, surgery is utilized to address Meniere’s. Normally, however, only the vertigo part of the disease is impacted by this surgery. Other Meniere’s symptoms will remain.
- Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is particularly challenging to manage, this non-invasive method can be utilized. Positive pressure therapy is the medical term for this treatment. In order to minimize fluid accumulation, the inner ear is subjected to positive pressure. Peer review has not, so far, verified the long-term benefits of this approach but it does seem encouraging.
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 development of Meniere’s disease might be slowed down by these treatments. More frequently, however, they reduce the impact that Meniere’s will have on your everyday life.