Hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer from a rare inner ear disorder called Meniere’s disease that can be debilitating to their lifestyle. If you’re experiencing symptoms of dizziness, spinning, or balance issues that isn’t caused by other identifiable conditions, you may be one of these rare people with the disease. We’ll share the common symptoms, risk factors, and treatments for Meniere’s disease.
What is Meniere’s Disease?
This simple question is one that doctors and audiologists are still figuring out. The term “disease” may not be the best word to describe it, as there is no indication of a viral infection, genetic factors, or even symptoms that accompany the condition in all patients. It is most commonly diagnosed for patients who have recurring episodes of vertigo for seemingly no other reason.
Causes of Meniere’s Disease
We don’t know what causes Meniere’s disease, but researchers suggest that a person’s genetics could play a factor. Others see a link to autoimmune disorders in which the body attacks its own cells, and still others think allergies could play a role. In some cases of Meniere’s disease, patients have abnormal amounts of fluid within the inner ear that can cause the symptoms of vertigo.
Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease
A few key characteristics of Meniere’s disease is that it’s recurrent and involves vertigo. Additional symptoms reported by patients with the condition include:
- Feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear
- Hearing loss
- Blurred vision
- Trembling and sudden weakness
- Balance problems
- Increased heart rate
People can have just one or two of these symptoms during an episode of Meniere’s, which can last between 20 minutes to several hours. This is what makes the disease so debilitating, since you don’t know when an attack might happen, normal activities such as driving become dangerous to the patient and to others.
Episodes can recur over the course of several days to once every few months. If the condition is left untreated, it can intensify and become more frequent.
How to Treat Meniere’s Disease
Treating Meniere’s disease is all about treating the specific symptoms that a person is experiencing. For issues such as tinnitus and hearing loss, a comprehensive hearing evaluation can provide a hearing solution to mask or solve these problems. Patients who experience pressure or fullness may be able to benefit from a Meniett device, which is designed to equalize pressure in the middle ear and may help prevent sensations of dizziness.
Additional treatments can be more holistic, such as changing lifestyle habits like caffeine or alcohol intake, as well as treating anxiety or fear that may make Meniere’s episodes worse.
Comprehensive Auditory Care in New Jersey
At Hearing Doctors of New Jersey, our proprietary H.E.A.R. Method™ Treatment Program will help you manage the symptoms of Meniere’s disease get your life back with custom solutions that work seamlessly with your lifestyle. This program ensures you get the right tests performed regularly to fully understand your hearing health and whether your treatment is working to perfection. We focus not just on fitting and fine-tuning hearing aids, but also with understanding how your brain is hearing. Find a solution to your Meniere’s symptoms by calling our office or contacting us online today.