The cause of Meniere’s isn’t well understood. But it’s hard to overlook its effects. Ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss are all common symptoms of this condition. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to stem from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, but researchers aren’t really sure what causes that buildup to begin with.
So the question is: how can you treat something that doesn’t seem to have an identifiable cause? It’s a complicated answer.
What exactly is Meniere’s disease?
Meniere’s disease is a chronic disorder that affects the inner ear. Symptoms of Meniere’s will get worse over time, for many patients, because it’s a progressive disorder. Those symptoms may include:
Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Sadly, when these episodes will strike and how long they will last can’t be predicted.
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 manifests as a feeling of pressure in your ears and is medically referred to as aural fullness.
Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can cause hearing loss over time.
If you notice these symptoms, it’s crucial to get a definitive diagnosis. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease can appear and disappear for many individuals. But over time, symptoms may become more consistent and obvious.
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 isn’t any way to treat it.
The following are a few of those treatments:
- Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, particularly vertigo, can be temporarily relieved with injections of certain steroids.
- Medications: In some instances, your physician will be able to prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. If those particular symptoms show up, this can be helpful. So, when an episode of dizziness happens, medication for motion sickness can help decrease that dizziness.
- Surgery: In some cases, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. However, these surgical techniques will normally only impact the vertigo part of symptoms. It won’t affect the other symptoms.
- Positive pressure therapy: When Meniere’s disease is particularly challenging to manage, this non-invasive strategy can be used. It’s known as positive pressure therapy. As a way to minimize fluid accumulation, the inner ear is exposed to positive pressure. While positive pressure therapy is encouraging, the long-term benefits of this approach have not been backed up by peer-reviewed research.
- Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease progresses and your hearing loss grows worse, you might want to get a hearing aid. Generally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily slow the advancement of your hearing loss. But it can benefit your mental health by keeping you socially engaged. There are also numerous ways hearing aids can help treat tinnitus.
- Rehabilitation: When Meniere’s disease is flaring up, You can utilize certain physical therapies that can help with balance. If you’re constantly dizzy or experiencing vertigo, this approach may be warranted.
- Diuretic: A diuretic is another medication option that might be prescribed by your doctor. The concept here is that the pressure in the inner ear can be minimized by reducing retention of fluid. This is a long-term medication that you’d use rather than one to minimize severe symptoms.
The key is finding the treatment that’s best for you
You should get an exam if suspect you might have Meniere’s disease. The development of Meniere’s disease may be slowed by these treatments. But these treatments more often help you have a greater quality of life in spite of your condition.