Meniere’s disease is an illness that impacts the inner ear and can lead to a multitude of problems, including dizziness and even hearing loss. It is uncommon for this disorder to affect both ears simultaneously. Generally, Meniere’s disease impacts only one ear. Symptoms of the disease can begin at any age, but most people first experience symptoms in young or middle-aged adulthood. While there is no cure for the disease, treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms.
Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease
The signs and symptoms of Meniere’s disease often vary from person to person. However, certain signs are consistent across most people impacted by the condition. These signs and symptoms include:
- Vertigo: Most people with the disease have recurring episodes of vertigo. People with vertigo often experience a spinning sensation that stops and starts without warning. Episodes can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.
- Hearing problems: Meniere’s disease may cause hearing loss. While hearing issues come and go initially, many people experience some level of permanent hearing loss as the disease progresses.
- Tinnitus: Many people with the disorder suffer from tinnitus, which is a consistent ringing sensation inside the ear.
Other people with the disease may experience ear discomfort or pain. After an episode, symptoms of Meniere’s disease may go away for an extended time.
Causes of Meniere’s Disease
While the cause of the disease is not entirely known, there is some indication that symptoms are caused by excess fluid in the inner ear. Factors that impact the amount of fluid in the inner ear and may contribute to the progression of the disease include:
- Incorrect fluid drainage
- Suppressed immune system
- Viral infections
- Genetic factors
Meniere’s disease is likely caused by various factors and not one underlying incident.
Complications of Meniere’s Disease
Vertigo is often the most unpredictable symptom associated with the condition. Vertigo is a dangerous ailment because it can cause disorientation and loss of balance, increasing your risk of accidents or falls. The most life-altering symptom associated with the condition is hearing loss. It is essential to see your doctor as soon as you experience signs of Meniere’s disease.
Treatment For Meniere’s Disease
While there is no cure for the condition, treatment is available to help reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms. Most of the remedies available address vertigo episodes. Unfortunately, there are not many helpful treatments for hearing loss. The best course of action to address hearing loss is seeing your doctor and diagnosing the issue early.
Some medications, including Valium and anti-nausea, can lessen the severity of vertigo attacks. Valium and anti-nausea medications should not be taken for a prolonged period. Your doctor may prescribe a diuretic to reduce the fluid buildup in the inner ear. This can help reduce the frequency of vertigo episodes. Diuretics can be used long-term if adequately monitored by a health professional.
Some people with Meniere’s disease may benefit from other procedures, including positive pressure therapy, rehabilitation, and hearing aids. Talk to your doctor to discuss the best treatment options for your situation.
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