Meniere’s disease is a disease of the inner ear. The disease causes loss of hearing ability and problems in balancing. Various treatment options are available to manage the disease. If you have any symptoms of Meniere’s disease, consult your doctor to avoid complications.
Meniere’s disease affects the inner part of the ear. In most patients, the condition involves only one ear. Although the disease may occur at any age, people between the age of 40 years and 60 years are more vulnerable to this disease. It is considered a chronic condition, and the treatment aims to manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life.
The inner ear is responsible for balance and hearing. Any problem in the inner ear causes a problem in hearing and balancing. Many people with this condition go into a remission stage within one year after their diagnosis with Meniere’s disease.
Symptoms Of Meniere’s Disease
The symptoms of Meniere’s disease are not persistent. The symptoms of this condition come and go. Following are some of the symptoms of Meniere’s disease:
Ringing in the ear: You may experience ringing in your ears, a condition medically known as tinnitus. The condition may cause ringing, buzzing, whistling, hissing, or roaring sound in the ears.
Vertigo: You may also experience vertigo, which may come and go. It is a type of spinning sensation. Vertigo may occur without any warning and usually lasts for a few minutes to several hours.
Fullness in the ear: You may also experience fullness in the ear, which is affected by Meniere’s disease. You may feel that there is air pressure in your ears, and your ear is plugged.
Hearing loss: In Meniere’s disease, there is an impact on the hearing capacity. Your hearing capacity may either be affected, or you may have a hearing loss.
Loss of balance: In severe episodes of vertigo, you may lose your balance and may fell. Severe vertigo may result in nausea. This is because, apart from hearing, the ear also maintains balance.
Causes Of Meniere’s Disease
The exact reason for Meniere’s disease is unknown. It is probably due to the accumulation of fluid in the inner part of the ear. Researchers believe that fluid accumulation may be due to the following reasons:
- Autoimmune disease
- An anatomic disorder that results in improper drainage
- Genetic factors
- Infection such as viral infection
Risks For Meniere’s Disease
Meniere’s disease may develop in any person. However, some people are more prone to develop this condition due to the presence of various risk factors. These risk factors include:
- Hormonal disorders
- Autoimmune disease
- Viral infection
- Pressure changes
When To Call A Doctor
You should book an appointment with your doctor if:
- You have a problem with balancing.
- You experience fullness and pressure in the ears.
- You experience a change in hearing ability.
- You experience nausea and vomiting.
- You have spinning motion.
- Any other symptoms that may be the cause of your concern.
Diagnosis Of Meniere’s Disease
You doctor may perform the following tests to diagnose Meniere’s disease:
Symptomatic evaluation: Your doctor may evaluate your condition based on your symptoms. He may ask you various questions about your condition and the length of nausea and vomiting.
Hearing ability: The doctor may perform audiometry to determine the status of your hearing. During this test, the doctor evaluates the hearing ability by playing various sounds at different pitches. This also provides information about whether you can differentiate between two sounds.
Balancing ability: Your doctor may implement various methods to judge your balancing ability. These methods include Posturography, Vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP) testing, Videonystagmography, Electrocochleography, Electronystagmography, and Rotary-chair testing.
Treatment For Meniere’s Disease
Your doctor may provide you the following treatment for treating Meniere’s disease:
Medications: Various medications are available to manage the symptoms of Meniere’s disease. These are diazepam to manage motion sickness and promethazine to control nausea and vomiting.
Injections: In some patients, injections of Gentamicin and steroids also improve the symptoms of this condition.
Surgery: When non-invasive therapies are unable to prevent and manage the symptoms of Meniere’s disease, the doctor may advise you to undergo surgery. Some of the surgical techniques include Labyrinthectomy, Endolymphatic sac procedure, and Vestibular nerve section.
Other options: Other options for managing Meniere’s disease are rehabilitation, positive pressure therapy, and hearing aid.
Complications Of Meniere’s Disease
Untreated Meniere’s disease may result in the following complications:
- Loss of hearing
- Fatigue and stress
- Loss of balance
- Reduced quality of life
Prevention Of Episodes Of Meniere’s Disease
Through the following measures, you can prevent the episodes of Meniere’s disease:
- Limit the consumption of salts, glutamate, and caffeine
- Avoid traveling for longer periods.
- Eat at regular intervals