The cause of Meniere’s is not really understood. But it’s difficult to overlook its effects. Some common symptoms of this affliction are vertigo, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. Scientists aren’t really certain 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 the question is: if a condition doesn’t have a discernible cause, how can it be treated? The answer is, well, complicated.
What exactly is Meniere’s disease?
Meniere’s disease is a persistent disorder that affects the inner ear. For many individuals, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will grow worse over time. Those symptoms may include:
Unpredictable bouts of vertigo: Regrettably, there’s no way to tell when these episodes of vertigo may strike or how long they will last.
Tinnitus: It’s relatively common for individuals with Meniere’s disease to have ringing in the ears or tinnitus, which can range from mild to severe.
Fullness in the ear: This is experienced 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.
If you experience these symptoms, it’s crucial to receive an accurate diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can appear and disappear for many people. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will most likely become more regular.
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 aren’t any treatments.
The following are a few of those treatments:
- Steroid shots: Injections of specific types of steroids can temporarily help relieve some Meniere’s symptoms, particularly in regards to vertigo.
- Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that might be prescribed by your physician. The concept is that reducing the retention of fluids might help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This medication is not used to manage extreme symptoms but instead is taken long-term.
- Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is acting up, You can employ certain physical therapies that can help with balance. If you’re perpetually dizzy or dealing with vertigo, this approach might be warranted.
- Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive technique used when Meniere’s is particularly challenging to treat. Positive pressure therapy is the medical term for this therapy. In order to limit fluid accumulation, the inner ear is exposed to positive pressure. Peer review has not, as of yet, confirmed the long-term benefits of this approach but it does seem promising.
- Surgery: In some situations, surgery is used to address Meniere’s. However, these surgical procedures will typically only impact the vertigo part of symptoms. Other Meniere’s symptoms will persist.
- Medications: Anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medications can be prescribed by your doctor in some instances. This can be helpful when those particular symptoms appear. So, when an episode of dizziness happens, medication for motion sickness can help decrease that dizziness.
- Hearing aid: It may be time to get hearing aids if Meniere’s disease is progressing to the point where your ability to hear is faltering. Generally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily slow the advancement of your hearing loss. But it can help your mental health by keeping you socially engaged. There are also numerous ways hearing aids can help manage tinnitus.
The key is getting the treatment that’s best for you
You should get an exam if think you may have Meniere’s disease. The advancement of Meniere’s disease may be slowed down by these treatments. But these treatments more often help you have a greater quality of life in spite of your condition.