What is Meniere’s Disease?
Meniere’s Disease is a disorder or condition which is affecting the inner ear. The inner ear is responsible for maintaining proper hearing and balance of the body.
The condition of this Disease leads to vertigo and also causes the sensation of head spinning. It could also lead to hearing problems and may cause a ringing sound in the ear. This Disease is known to affect only one ear.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD estimates that around 615,000 individuals in the USA suffer from Meniere’s Disease.
Every year, around 45,500 people around the world are diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease. It is a chronic condition. However, with some major lifestyle changes and certain treatments, the symptoms of the Meniere’s Disease can be eased out.
Most of the People who have been diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease might go into remission after a few years after the diagnosis of the disease.
How does Meniere’s Disease Occur?
The exact reason for the causes of Meniere’s Disease is not known. However, Researchers believe that the Meniere’s Disease is caused as a result of the accumulation of fluid in the tubes of the inner ear.
Some of the other focused causes of Meniere’s Disease include allergies, autoimmune disease, and even genetics.
Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease
The Meniere’s Disease symptoms come as “attacks” or “episodes.” Some of the symptoms include:
- Loss of hearing in the affected area of the ear
- Vertigo with possible attacks that may last from anywhere between a few minutes to over a day
- Loss of balance
- Tinnitus – a sensation of constant ringing in the affected ear
- Sweating caused due to severe vertigo
- Constant headaches
- Aural fullness –Sensation of an ear is plugged or clogged
The person having Meniere’s Disease might experience at least one of the symptoms at a single time. Here are some of them:
- Aural fullness
- Loss of hearing
Most of the person with this disease do not tend to experience the related symptoms between the successive episodes. Mostly, this Disease might also be confused with some of the other inner ear disorders including labyrinthitis.
Diagnosis of Meniere’s Disease
If you are experiencing the above-listed symptoms, then your doctor may suggest some diagnostic tests for examining the hearing and overall balance of your body. The tests might also help in finding out the other relates causes due to the symptoms.
Some of the common tests for diagnosing this Disease include:
A hearing test –also known as Audiometry is used for determining whether you are experiencing any hearing loss. This test is performed by making use of head phones and noises in a various range of volumes and pitches.
A problem in the inner ear or some nerve in the ear may lead to loss of hearing. An Electrocochleography test (ECOG) is carried out for measuring the electrical activity in the inner ear. An Auditory Brainstem Response test (ABR) will help in checking the function of the hearing nerves.
Balance test is carried out for testing the normal functioning of the inner ear. The most commonly used balance test for diagnosing the Meniere’s Disease is Electronystagmography (ENG).
Complications of Meniere’s Disease
- Loss of hearing
- Lack of proper balance
- Constant headaches
Who is Prone to Meniere’s Disease?
Mostly, a person who is in their 40s & 50s is on higher risk of Meniere’s Disease.
Treatment for Meniere’s Disease
This Disease happens to be a chronic health condition with no proper cure. However, there is a wide range of treatments that can help reduce the symptoms.
The doctor after checking the symptoms may suggest some medication for curing with the conditions of the Meniere’s Disease.
Medicines which are available for motion sickness can help with conditions related to vertigo, vomiting, and nausea.
When fluid accumulates inside the ear, then the doctor may advise a diuretic for reducing the amount of fluid generation in the inner ears.
Vestibular rehabilitation exercises can help in relieving the symptoms related to vertigo. A physical therapist can help you with doing and learning the exercises.
If you have hearing problems or loss of hearing ability, the audiologist can fit an appropriate hearing aid inside your ear.
An endolymphatic sac procedure could be performed to reduce the total fluid production in the inner ear and to promote proper fluid drainage.
Home Remedies for Meniere’s Disease :
- Limit the intake of salt in your diet
- Stress management
Some Facts about Meniere’s Disease
- This Disease cannot be completely cured, Only its symptoms can be treated.
- This Disease tends to be heredity in some cases.
- There is a linking between Migraines and Meniere’s Disease.
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