What is Meniere's Disease?
Meniere's Disease is a disorder that is known for affecting the inner ear. The inner ear maintains proper hearing and balance of the body. The condition of Meniere's Disease leads to vertigo and also causes the sensation of head spinning. It could also lead to hearing problems and might create a ringing sound in the ear. The Meniere's Disease is known to affect only one ear.
The NIDCD (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders) estimates that around 615,000 individuals in the United States suffer from Meniere's Disease. Every year, around 45,500 people across the world are diagnosed with Meniere's Disease. Meniere's Disease is chronic. However, with some major lifestyle changes and possible treatments, the symptoms of the Meniere's Disease can be eased out. Most of the individuals who have been diagnosed with Meniere's Disease might go into remission after a few years after the diagnosis of the disease.
How does Meniere's Disease Occur?
The exact cause of the Meniere's Disease is not known. However, scientists believe that the Meniere's Disease is caused as a result of the accumulation of fluid in the tubes of the inner ear. Some of the other suggested causes of Meniere's Disease include allergies, autoimmune disease, and even genetics.
Who is Prone to Meniere's Disease?
Mostly, people who are in their 40s & 50s are known to suffer from Meniere's Disease.
What are the Symptoms of Meniere's Disease? How is Meniere's Disease Diagnosed?
The Meniere's Disease symptoms are known to come as “attacks” or “episodes.” Some of the Meniere's Disease symptoms include:
- Loss of hearing in the affected area
- Vertigo with possible attacks that could last from anywhere between a few minutes to over 24 hours
- Loss of balance
- Tinnitus –the sensation of constant ringing in the affected ear
- Vomiting, nausea, and sweating caused due to severe vertigo
- Constant headaches
- Aural fullness –the feeling that ear is plugged or clogged
The individuals having Meniere's Disease might experience at least one of the symptoms at a single time. Here are some of them:
- Aural fullness
- Loss of hearing
Most of the individuals with Meniere's Disease do not tend to experience the related symptoms between the successive episodes. Mostly, the Meniere's Disease might also be confused with some of the other inner ear disorders including labyrinthitis.
If you are experiencing the Meniere's Disease symptoms, then your doctor might suggest some diagnostic tests for examining the hearing and overall balance of your body. The tests might also help in ruling out the other relates causes due to the symptoms.
Some of the possible tests for diagnosing Meniere's Disease include:
- Hearing tests: A hearing test –also referred to as Audiometry is used for determining whether or not you are experiencing any hearing loss. The test is performed by making use of headphones and noises in a wide range of volumes and pitches. A problem in the inner ear or some nerve in the ear could lead to loss of hearing. An ECOG (Electrocochleography) test is carried out for measuring the electrical activity in the inner ear. An ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) test will help in checking the function of the hearing nerves.
- Balance Tests: Balance tests are carried out for testing the normal functioning of the inner ear. The most commonly used balance test for diagnosing the Meniere's Disease is ENG (Electronystagmography).
What are the Complications of Meniere's Disease?
- Loss of hearing
- Lack of proper balance
- Constant headaches
What is the treatment for Meniere's Disease?
Meniere's Disease happens to be a chronic health condition with no possible cure. However, there is a wide range of possible treatments that can help with the given symptoms.
- Medication: The doctor after checking the Meniere's Disease symptoms could suggest some medication for helping with the conditions of the Meniere's Disease. Medicines that are available for motion sickness can help with conditions related to vertigo, vomiting, and nausea. When fluid accumulates inside the ear, then the doctor might advise a diuretic for reducing the amount of fluid generation in the inner ears.
- Physical Therapy: Vestibular rehabilitation exercises can help in improving the symptoms related to vertigo. A physical therapist can help you with learning the exercises.
- Hearing Aids: If you are suffering problems with hearing or loss of hearing capability, then the audiologist can fit a proper hearing aid in your inner ear.
- Surgery: An endolymphatic sac procedure could be carried out for decreasing the overall production of fluid in the inner ear and promoting proper fluid drainage.
Home Remedies for Meniere's Disease
- Limit the consumption of salt in your diet
- Reduce the amount of stress
Did You Know?
- Meniere's Disease cannot be cured. Only its symptoms can be treated.
- Meniere's Disease tends to be heredity in some cases.
- There is an association between Meniere's Disease and migraines.
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