Meniere's Disease

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by morana0338
Last updated 6 years ago

Health & Fitness

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Meniere's Disease

What is it? The symptoms of Meniere’s disease are caused by the buildup of fluid in the compartments of the inner ear which controls balance and hearing. The buildup interferes with the normal balance and hearing signals between the inner ear and the brain. Meniere’s disease is a disorder that causes severe dizziness (vertigo), ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear. Attacks of dizziness may come on suddenly or after a short period of tinnitus or muffled hearing. Some people will have single attacks of dizziness separated by long periods of time. Other people may experience many attacks closer together over a number of days. Some who experience dizziness have it so bad that they lose their balance and fall.

Why does it matter?Meniere’s disease is a chronic condition that has no cure. Although there are techniques to minimize the impact of the symptoms, the disease is still there. Because the symptoms of the disease are episodic and occur spontaneously without much of a warning and there is no indication of the duration, many people are faced with the worrisome uncertainty for when the next episode of debilitating symptoms will strike. When an episode does strike, people and their activities are at a standstill until the symptoms improve and normal living can be resumed. This makes working, hanging out with family and friends, and being involved in other activities and tasks difficult and often anxiety provoking.

What can be done? Unfortunately there is no cure. But there are a variety of methods that have been developed to aid in the management of its symptoms. Some of the noninvasive strategies are: reduce fluid retention, a low salt diet, medication for the dizziness (vertigo) and its additional symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, diuretics to reduce the amount of fluid in the inner ear, the use of hearing aids to accommodate for the loss of hearing, and the use of rehabilitation services to retrain the body and brain how to process balance information. Some invasive strategies are: the placement of a meniett device to regulate the fluid pressure of the inner ear, middle ear injections of steroids and antibiotics, and surgeries that alter the anatomy of the inner ear.

Meniere's Disease

To learn more: - Mayo ClinicNational Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

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