No one’s really sure what causes Meniere’s disease. But it’s hard to ignore its impact. Ringing in the ears, vertigo, dizziness, and hearing loss are all typical symptoms of this disease. Symptoms of Meniere’s disease appear to stem from an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear, but researchers aren’t really sure what causes that buildup to begin with.
So here’s the question: how can you treat something that doesn’t seem to have a discernible cause? It’s a complex answer.
What exactly is Meniere’s disease?
There’s a chronic condition that impacts the inner ear and it’s known as Meniere’s disease. For many individuals, Meniere’s disease is progressive, meaning symptoms will grow worse as time passes. Those symptoms may include:
Unpredictable spells of vertigo: Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell when these attacks of vertigo will occur or how long they could last.
Tinnitus: It’s relatively common for individuals with Meniere’s disease to experience ringing in the ears or tinnitus, which can range from mild to severe.
Fullness in the ear: This manifests as a sensation of pressure in your ears and is medically known as aural fullness.
Hearing loss: Meniere’s disease can result in hearing loss over time.
It’s critical that you get the proper diagnosis if you’re noticing these symptoms. For many individuals with Meniere’s, symptoms are intermittent. But over time, symptoms can become more consistent and noticeable.
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 some of those treatments:
- Steroid shots: Some symptoms of Meniere’s, particularly vertigo, can be temporarily alleviated with injections of specific steroids.
- Diuretic: Another form of medication that your physician might prescribe is a diuretic. The idea is that reducing the retention of fluids might help minimize pressure on your inner ear. This medication isn’t used to manage acute symptoms but instead is taken long-term.
- Rehabilitation: There are rehabilitation and physical therapy techniques that can help you preserve balance when Meniere’s disease is flaring up. This approach may be a useful approach if you’re experiencing frequent dizziness or vertigo.
- Surgery: Sometimes, Meniere’s disease can be treated with surgery. Normally, however, only the vertigo part of the disease is impacted by this surgery. Other Meniere’s symptoms will remain.
- Positive pressure therapy: There’s a non-invasive method employed when Meniere’s is particularly difficult to manage. It’s called positive pressure therapy. In order to limit fluid buildup, the inner ear is exposed to positive pressure. Peer review has not, so far, verified the long-term benefits of this approach but it does seem promising.
- Medications: In some instances, your doctor will be able to prescribe anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications. If those particular symptoms show up, this can be helpful. For instance, medications created to help with motion sickness could help you feel less dizzy when a bout of vertigo takes place.
- Hearing aid: As Meniere’s disease progresses and your hearing loss gets worse, you may want to get a hearing aid. Normally, a hearing aid won’t necessarily slow the advancement of your hearing loss. But it can help keep you socially active which can improve your mental health. There are also several ways hearing aids can help treat tinnitus.
Get the correct treatment for you
If you suspect you have Meniere’s disease, you should get evaluated. Treatments for Meniere’s can sometimes slow down the advancement of your condition. More often, however, they minimize the effect that Meniere’s will have on your everyday life.