What is Meniere’s Disease: Symptoms & Causes

by Vanya Sharma last updated -

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A condition that can develop at any age, Meniere’s disease usually affects only one ear. As per the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, it affects almost 615000 people every year in the United States alone. Let’s take a detailed look at its symptoms and causes below.

What is Meniere’s Disease?

Meniere’s disease is a condition that affects the inner ear, which is a key element in maintaining our balance. The most notable aspects of the disease is a loss of balance, ringing in the ears (also called tinnitus) and hearing loss. People suffer from Meniere’s disease at varying levels, and the effects come and go, being quite unpredictable in their duration or severity. For some people with the condition, it is only a mild annoyance that occasionally manifests as vertigo or dizziness, while for others, it can be a debilitating condition that eventually leads to complete deafness and a permanent imbalance of the inner ear due to excess fluid.

Symptoms

There is no known cure for Meniere’s disease, although there are many suggestions and helpful treatments that manage the symptoms more than the condition itself. In terms of “classic” Meniere’s, there are four main symptoms:

Rotational Vertigo

This can last for anywhere from minutes to days and can be very mild to dangerously severe. It is recommended to sit down or lie down when this symptom strikes, as many people suffer from falls and other injuries at this point.

Hearing Loss

This can happen in one or both ears, and may actually vary depending on the “attack”. The duration and completeness of the loss vary widely.

Tinnitus

This is characterized by a ringing in the ears, ranging from mild annoyance to unbearably loud and disruptive. This can also result in a related symptom of migraines.

Pressure

Your ears often feel swollen, popped, or under pressure, the duration of which is unpredictable.

Causes

 

The causes behind Meniere’s disease are quite unknown, but the symptoms indicate towards excess fluid build-up in the inner ear. This fluid build-up which eventually may lead to Menier’s disease may be caused by the following:

  • Viral infections
  • Genetics
  • Immune reaction
  • Improper fluid drainage because of blockage

It is widely believed that there is no single reason behind the Meniere’s disease and that it happens because of a combination of different factors.

There are home remedies for Meniere’s disease but they are only preventative measures since there is no way to “cure” the disease. Properly managing the disease can reduce the severity and frequency of attacks, effectively solving your problem.

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About the Author

Vanya Sharma handles the medical expert collaboration for Organic Facts. A writer at heart, she joined the website while she was still pursuing her English Literature degree from IGNOU, Delhi, India. She is also responsible for the website’s monthly newsletter and website content and contributes to Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube regularly. Currently pursuing an e-course offered by Stanford University, ‘Introduction to Food and Health’, she aims to bring unbiased and helpful information to all those seeking to make their health and lifestyle a priority.  

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