Ménière’s disease is an uncommon disease characterized by hearing loss, tinnitus and impactful vertigo. It’s difficult to diagnose due to its symptoms resembling those of other diseases. It progresses slowly and significantly impacts an individual.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Ménière’s disease, you may be wondering how to manage your symptoms and still enjoy your coffee dates to Top Hat Cafe.
Symptoms of Ménière’s Disease
Ménière’s disease typically has four common symptoms:
- Varied hearing loss
- Pressure in the ears
- Tinnitus, or ringing, roaring or buzzing in one or both ears
- Vertigo or dizziness: typically the most challenging symptom, ranging from 20 minutes to 24 hours
Other symptoms can include headaches, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, abdomen pain and uncontrollable eye movements. Diagnosing Ménière’s disease requires experiencing at least two episodes of vertigo lasting 20 minutes to 12 hours, confirmed hearing loss through a hearing test and the presence of tinnitus or ear fullness.
Managing Ménière’s Disease
While there is currently no cure for Ménière’s disease, effective management strategies and lifestyle adjustments can minimize the impact of its symptoms. Consider the following options:
- Medications: A doctor can prescribe you antinausea medications to minimize the impact of symptoms.
- Diuretics can help reduce fluid pressure in the inner ear.
- Middle ear injections: Gentamicin or steroids can be used to control vertigo, but they may have side effects. Gentamicin, for example, damages the affected part of the ear, allowing the healthy part to take over balance functions, but it may result in additional hearing damage.
- Noninvasive therapies such as rehabilitation and the use of hearing aids can help improve balance and hearing.
- Surgery can be an option if vertigo attacks from Ménière’s are severe enough. Your hearing specialist can help you navigate these options.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also essential in coping with Ménière’s disease-related stress. To discuss the condition with your doctor, schedule an appointment with Pinnacle ENT Associates.