The cause of Meniere’s isn’t well understood. But the impacts are hard to ignore. Some prevalent symptoms of this condition are vertigo, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to come from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but scientists aren’t really certain what causes that buildup to begin with.
So here’s the question: if a condition doesn’t have a discernible cause, how can it be managed? The answer is, well, complicated.
Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?
Meniere’s disease is a chronic condition that impacts the inner ear. For many people, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will get worse as time passes. Here are some of those symptoms:
Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Regrettably, there’s no way to determine when these attacks of vertigo will strike or how long they could last.
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 lead to hearing loss over time.
If you notice these symptoms, it’s essential to receive an accurate diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can come and go for many individuals. But over time, symptoms can become more regular and obvious.
Treatment for Menier’s disease
There is no known cure for Menier’s disease which is chronic and progressive. But there are some ways to deal with the symptoms.
Some of the most prevalent treatments include the following:
- Diuretic: Another kind of medication that your physician may prescribe is a diuretic. The idea here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be lessened by decreasing fluid retention. This medication isn’t used to manage extreme symptoms but instead is used long-term.
- Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, especially vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of specific steroids.
- Medications: In some situations, 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 created to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when an episode of vertigo takes place.
- Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease progresses and your hearing loss gets worse, you might want to try a hearing aid. Generally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily slow the progress of your hearing loss. But it can help keep you socially engaged which can give a boost to your mental health. Hearing aids can also help you control the symptoms of tinnitus in a number of ways.
- 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 dealing with vertigo, this approach might be warranted.
- Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is particularly difficult to treat, this non-invasive approach can be employed. Positive pressure therapy is the medical term for this treatment. This therapy entails subjecting the inner ear to positive pressure as a way to limit fluid accumulation. Peer review has not, so far, verified the long-term advantages of this method but it does seem encouraging.
- Surgery: Sometimes, Meniere’s disease can be addressed with surgery. However, these surgical techniques will generally only affect the vertigo side of symptoms. Other Meniere’s symptoms will persist.
Find the right treatment for you
You should get an exam if suspect you might have Meniere’s disease. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow the progression of your condition. But these treatments more frequently help you have a better quality of life in spite of your condition.