If you are experiencing vertigo, and intermittent hearing loss, you may be suffering from Meniere’s disease. Meniere’s disease is an inner ear condition that can cause disruptions in your hearing and balance. Although science hasn’t yet found a cure for this disease, there are several steps you can take to reduce its symptoms and minimize its impact on your day-to-day life.
Many people experience Meniere’s disease symptoms in episodes. An episode may begin with a feeling of fullness in the ear accompanied by and a decrease in hearing. After these symptoms begin to appear, clients often begin to experience vertigo, a sort of dizziness that’s often described as feeling as though the room is spinning. You may feel nauseated and your balance may be impaired. Episodes vary in length, sometimes ending as quickly as twenty minutes or lasting for hours.
Clusters of these Meniere’s disease episodes (multiple episodes occurring within a short period of time) are sometimes separated by longer, symptom-free periods of “remission”. 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. Scientists have discovered that the amount and pressure of fluid in the inner ear is critical to your hearing and balance. Triggers such as improper drainage, allergies, head trauma, and viral infection could all lead to fluid abnormalities.
Despite the fact that Meniere’s disease has no known cure, it’s symptoms can often be successfully managed. If you experience nausea during episodes of vertigo, your doctor may prescribe medications to help you feel more comfortable. Prescription medications that help reduce fluid retention can also help control the disease. Rehabilitation can help counteract the balance problems associated with vertigo, while hearing aids can help during episodes of hearing loss. Sitting or lying down immediately if you begin to notice vertigo can help you avoid falls, while avoiding triggers that make your symptoms worse (such as bright lights or reading) can help lessen the severity of the episode.
While the symptoms of Meniere’s disease can certainly pose challenges, the good news is that there are strategies for minimizing them so that clients suffering from this condition can live near-normal lives.