Ménière Disease

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by curryd1
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
Psychology

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Ménière Disease

Meniere’s disease is an inner ear disorder that can be hugely debilitating to a person suffering from it. It often comes on in episodes, causing dizziness, tinnitus, nausea, vomiting, and fullness in the ear. Individuals with Meniere's disease may also have hearing loss that comes and goes.While researchers have not been able to pinpoint exactly what causes the symptoms of Meniere's disease, one consensus is that the ear might have problems draining a fluid called endolymph, a fluid it produces naturally. The poor drainage builds pressure inside the ear, putting force on the vestibular organs, which are vital in helping us to maintain balance.

Meniere's disease affects approximately 0.2% of the population, and affects men and women equally. Risk factors include family history, viral illness in the ear, and autoimmune disorders.

What is it?

A snapshot of

Ménière's

disease

Who does it affect?

Fig. 2:This audiogram shows a low-frequency sensorineural hearing loss in the left ear. Low-frequency hearing loss is typical in individuals suffering from Meniere's disease.

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Fig. 3: Musician Ryan Adams describes his battle with Meniere's disease in this Scandinavian TV interview.

More information on Meniere's disease:The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA):Evaluation and Management of Ménière's Diseasehttp://www.asha.org/aud/articles/menieres-disease-eval-management/American Hearing Research Foundation: Meniere's diseasehttp://american-hearing.org/disorders/menieres-disease/

Fig. 1: The illustration above shows an inner ear engorged with a fluid called endolymph.Below is an illustration of a normal ear.

How is it treated?

Meniere's disease has no cure, but it can be treated with the use of medication, surgery, diet, and/or the use of a noninvasive pressure pulse generator (Meniett Device).In some cases, a patient may need surgery in order to “shunt” or drain the excess endolymph from their inner ear, while in other, more severe cases, a patient may even undergo surgery in order to essentially destroy their balance organs.


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