No one’s really sure what causes Meniere’s disease. But the impacts are difficult to underestimate. Some prevalent symptoms of this affliction are dizziness, vertigo, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Researchers aren’t really sure why, but for some reason, fluid can build up in the ears and this seems to be the root cause of Meniere’s disease.
So here’s the question: if a condition doesn’t have an identifiable cause, how can it be dealt with? The answer is, well, complicated.
What exactly is Meniere’s disease?
Meniere’s disease is a persistent condition that affects the inner ear. For many patients, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will grow worse as time passes. Those symptoms may include:
Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Sadly, when these episodes will occur and how long they will last can’t be predicted.
Tinnitus: It’s relatively common for people 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 called aural fullness.
Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can cause hearing loss over time.
It’s critical that you get an accurate diagnosis if you’re experiencing these symptoms. For many people with Meniere’s, symptoms are intermittent. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will most 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 that doesn’t mean there isn’t any way to treat it.
The following are a few of those treatments:
- Hearing aid: It might be time to try hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is progressing to the point where your ability to hear is faltering. The advancement of your hearing loss won’t necessarily be slowed by hearing aids. But it can help keep you socially engaged which can improve your mental health. There are also numerous ways hearing aids can help treat tinnitus.
- Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is acting up, You can utilize certain physical therapies that can help with balance. If you’re constantly dizzy or experiencing vertigo, this approach may be warranted.
- Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is especially hard to manage, this non-invasive method can be used. Positive pressure therapy is the medical term 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 promising, the long-term benefits of this method have yet to be borne out by peer-reviewed research.
- 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. It won’t impact the other symptoms.
- Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of certain steroids.
- Medications: In some cases, your physician will be able to prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. If those specific symptoms show up, this can be helpful. For instance, medications made to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when an episode of vertigo happens.
- Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that may be prescribed by your doctor. The concept here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be lessened by reducing retention of fluid. This medication is not used to manage acute symptoms but instead is taken long-term.
The key is finding the treatment that’s right for you
You should get checked out if suspect you might have Meniere’s disease. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow the progression of your condition. More frequently, however, they reduce the impact that Meniere’s will have on your everyday life.