The inner ear disorder, Ménière’s disease, causes short spells of vertigo, tinnitus, ear pressure, and hearing loss. The disorder was named after the French physician Prosper Meniere, who hypothesized in the 1860s that the inner ear, not the brain, was responsible for the symptoms.
Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease
Meniere’s disease is a progressive health concern that worsens over time. Hearing loss or vertigo may gradually appear with Meniere’s disease.
The following are common symptoms of Meniere’s disease:
- Dizziness with a spinning sensation
- Hearing a ringing, buzzing, or roaring sound in the ears
- Muffled hearing
Aside from the abovementioned symptoms, you may also experience the following:
- Haziness in vision
The duration of a Meniere’s attack might range from 20 minutes to 24 hours. You may experience multiple attacks within a week, or they may occur weeks or months apart. Some experience being free from Meniere’s After an episode of Meniere’s disease, you might feel drained and require rest.
As Meniere’s illness progresses, the symptoms may fluctuate. Hearing loss and tinnitus may become persistent. Vertigo may be experienced with balance and vision problems.
Meniere’s Disease Causes
Although the source of Meniere’s illness is unknown, researchers believe they have a firm grasp on how the symptoms manifest. With Meniere’s disease’s presence, the inner ear’s labyrinth that holds the structures supporting hearing and balance accumulates fluid. The excess fluid disrupts the brain signals, resulting in hearing impairment and vertigo.
It is unclear why people develop Meniere’s disease. Nonetheless, researchers have formulated several hypotheses as to what can alter the fluid in the inner ear, including:
- Blockage in the ear
- Autoimmune response
- Infections caused by a virus
- Head or ear trauma
Diagnosing Meniere’s Disease
Diagnosis will begin with a thorough evaluation of your symptoms and medical history. Then, an audiologist will conduct a series of tests to assess your hearing and balance. These examinations may include:
An audiometry assessment is a non-invasive, painless hearing test that examines your ability to distinguish between various sounds, frequencies, or pitches.
Auditory brainstem response test (ABR)
Hearing loss can be detected with the Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test. It measures the brain’s response to sound. The test is typically administered to infants and children who may not be capable of responding to behavioral hearing exams because of their age.
Vestibular-evoked myogenic potential (VEMP)
The vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) test may help evaluate saccular function and diagnose Meniere’s illness.
Electronystagmography assesses individuals with vertigo (a false impression of spinning or movement that can cause loss of balance) and other hearing and vision abnormalities.
Treating Meniere’s Disease
If Meniere’s disease is accompanied by hearing loss, a hearing aid may be the primary treatment alternative. Other treatments for Meniere’s disease may include:
Motion sickness medicines may address vertigo. In addition, medications for nausea may offer relief if you are vomiting as a side effect of Meniere’s disease.
To minimize fluid in your ear, you may be prescribed diuretics, which inhibit your body from storing fluids. In addition, it’s recommended to decrease your salt intake when on diuretics.
If your physician feels you have underlying immune system issues, steroids may be prescribed.
Therapies for Meniere’s Disease
A physical therapist will prescribe regular exercises to alleviate dizziness, imbalance, and other issues. Physical activity and light exercises like walking are also beneficial.
Many individuals with Meniere’s disease benefit from regular moderate aerobic exercise. However, don’t overdo it; try yoga or walking instead if you can’t physically handle the intense cardio activity.
Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy
Vestibular rehabilitation is a program of the head, eye, and neck motions designed to assess balance function and retrain the balance system to promote balance and stability. The greater the individualization of this balance training, the better the outcomes.
Meniere’s Disease Treatment in Rye, NY
At Audiology and Speech Solutions, we see to it that your specific hearing and balance needs are met through accurate hearing testing and evaluations.
We provide personalized and integrated care for hearing, speech, language, listening, and learning difficulties. If you suspect that you or a loved one has Meniere’s disease with hearing loss, we can help.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!