Tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vertigo (dizziness) and sporadic hearing loss are three of the more recognizable signs of a condition called “Meniere’s disease”. Meniere’s disease is an inner ear disorder that may cause disruptions in your hearing and balance.Despite the fact that doctors can’t yet cure this disorder, there are nonetheless things you can do to lessen the symptoms and reduce their effect on your way of life.
The symptoms of Meniere’s disease tend to occur in clusters of episodes. A common starting point of these episodes is a feeling of fullness in the ear that leads to tinnitus and mild hearing loss. Vertigo is likely to come next, causing you to feel as though the room is spinning around you. This dizziness may also come with nausea, vomiting and balance problems. An episode can be as short as twenty minutes and as long as four hours.
Many people who suffer from Meniere’s disease experience several such episodes in a short period of time with long periods of ‘remission’ in between. The frequency and severity of each symptom can vary from episode to episode. Vertigo can sometimes signify a more serious condition, so be sure to check in with your doctor if you find yourself experiencing this symptom.
Researchers are still working to determine the cause of Meniere’s disease, but the leading theory is that its symptoms are caused by abnormalities in fluid in the inner ear. Fluids in the inner ear must be at a certain volume and pressure in order to function properly. There are a number of factors that could trigger abnormalities in this inner ear fluid, including head trauma, viral infections, improper drainage and allergies.
Despite the fact that Meniere’s disease has no known cure, it’s symptoms can often be successfully managed. People who experience nausea as a result of vertigo can use anti-nausea medications to alleviate their symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe long-term medications to reduce fluid retention. Hearing aids offer a proven solution for episodes of hearing loss, while rehabilitation has been shown to improve balance during episodes of vertigo. Be sure to sit or lie down immediately if you are experiencing vertigo, and avoid triggers such as television or bright lights to help lessen an episode’s severity.
Although there are some unpleasant symptoms associated with Meniere’s disease, there are steps that you can take to manage your episodes and reduce the impact they have on your life.