No one’s quite certain what causes Meniere’s disease. But it’s difficult to overlook its impact. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all common symptoms of this disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease seem to come from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but researchers aren’t really sure what causes that accumulation in the first place.
So here’s the question: if something doesn’t have a discernible cause, how can it be treated? It’s a complex answer.
Exactly what is Meniere’s disease?
Meniere’s disease is a chronic condition that affects the inner ear. Symptoms of Meniere’s will grow over time, for many patients, because it’s a progressive condition. Those symptoms could include:
Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to know when these episodes of vertigo may occur or how long they could last.
Tinnitus: It’s relatively common for people with Meniere’s disease to have ringing in the ears or tinnitus, which can range from mild to severe.
Fullness in the ear: This symptom is medically known as aural fullness, the sensation of pressure in your ear.
Hearing loss: Eventually, Meniere’s disease can lead to a loss of hearing.
It’s critical that you get an accurate diagnosis if you’re experiencing these symptoms. For many people with Meniere’s, symptoms are irregular. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms will likely become more consistent.
Treatment for Menier’s disease
There is no known cure for Menier’s disease which is persistent and progressive. But there are some ways to deal with the symptoms.
The following are some of those treatments:
- Steroid shots: Injections of certain kinds of steroids can temporarily help alleviate some Meniere’s symptoms, particularly when it comes to vertigo.
- Diuretic: Another type of medication that your physician may prescribe is a diuretic. The concept is that reducing the retention of fluids could help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This medication isn’t used to manage extreme symptoms but instead is used long-term.
- Surgery: Sometimes, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. Normally, however, only the vertigo side of the disease is affected by this surgery. Other Meniere’s symptoms will continue.
- Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is particularly difficult to manage, this non-invasive strategy can be employed. Positive pressure therapy is the medical term for this therapy. In order to limit fluid buildup, the inner ear is exposed to positive pressure. While positive pressure therapy is promising, the long-term advantages of this method have yet to be backed up by peer-reviewed studies.
- Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease advances and your hearing loss grows worse, you might want to try a hearing aid. Normally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily impede the progress 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 treat tinnitus.
- Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy techniques that can help you preserve balance when Meniere’s disease is acting up. If you’re regularly dizzy or experiencing vertigo, this strategy might be warranted.
- Medications: In some instances, your doctor will be prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. If those particular symptoms manifest, this can be helpful. For example, medications made to help with motion sickness may help you feel less dizzy when an episode of vertigo occurs.
The key is getting the treatment that’s best for you
If you believe you have Meniere’s disease, you should get examined. The development of Meniere’s disease might be slowed down by these treatments. But these treatments more often help you have a greater quality of life despite your condition.