By James Lukach and Stefanie Mahnke
What is Meniere's Disease?
Ménière disease is a disease of an unknown cause that affects the membranous labyrinth of the ear causing progressive deafness and attacks of tinnitus and vertigo. The diagnosis of the disease is usually based on a careful history and physical examination by a doctor, but other tests may be needed for a definitive diagnosis and to plan treatment options.
Ménière disease affects people of all ages, especially those of middle age or older. It is uncommon in children.
Interesting facts about Meniere's Disease
- According to the National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 615,000 Americans are living with the disease.
- The disease is named after a French physician who linked vertigo to inner ear disorders.
- Meniere's Disease usually only affects one ear.
- The disease usually affects people in there 40's or 50's.
A patients perspective on Meniere's Disease
Symptoms of Meniere's Disease
- Ringing in the ears
- Hearing loss
- Fullness in the ears
- Improper fluid drainage because of a blockage or anatomic abnormality
- Abnormal immune response
- Viral infection
- Genetic predisposition
- Head trauma
How is it treated?
There is no exact cure for Meniere's Disease, but your doctor can treat the symptoms. You may be prescribed motion sickness medications such as Antivert or Valium to reduce the spinning sensation of vertigo and to reduce nausea.
Your doctor may prescribe a diuretic for long term use to attempt to reduce the amount of fluid your body is holding; this may regulate the fluid volume and pressure in the ear.
Diet and Lifestyle
Some doctor's believe that diet and lifestyle can greatly impact improving symptoms. For more information, the link below is detailed diet and lifestyle suggestions.