What is Meniere disease?
Meniere disease is a problem with your inner ear that causes episodes of severe dizziness, hearing loss, and ringing in one of your ears.
Symptoms come on suddenly, and you may feel sick to your stomach and throw up
An attack of dizziness usually lasts 1 to 6 hours but sometimes lasts up to 24 hours
Meniere disease affects only one ear
Meniere disease usually happens in people ages 20 to 50
Attacks usually come and go
Eventually you may lose some or all of your hearing in the ear that's affected
What causes Meniere disease?
Sometimes Meniere disease runs in families. Some doctors think it might be caused by poor circulation or problems with your immune system Overview of the Immune System The immune system is your body's defense system. It helps protect you from illness and infection. The immune system's job is to attack things that don’t belong in your body, including: Germs... read more .
What are the symptoms of Meniere disease?
The most common symptoms are:
Severe dizziness that comes on suddenly for no clear reason and lasts several hours
Feeling sick to your stomach and throwing up
Ringing in just one ear (tinnitus)
Decreased hearing in the same ear
The dizziness doesn't get worse or better when you move around.
You may also have:
Feeling of fullness or pressure in your ear, sometimes before the dizziness
How can doctors tell if I have Meniere disease?
Doctors suspect Meniere disease based on your symptoms.
There's no test to say for sure that you have Meniere disease. But doctors sometimes do an MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) MRI is a test that uses a machine with a powerful magnet to make pictures of the inside of your body. A computer creates a series of detailed pictures. Each picture looks like a slice taken... read more (magnetic resonance imaging) to be sure something else isn't causing your symptoms. You'll usually have a hearing test.
How do doctors treat Meniere disease?
Doctors usually give you medicine to treat the dizziness, nausea, and throwing up. They advise you not to take part in any activities that increase the risk of falling.
To cut down on the number of attacks, doctors may suggest these changes to your diet:
Low in salt
Doctors may also:
Give you a diuretic (medicine that makes you urinate [pee] more)
Sometimes, give you corticosteroids as a pill or a shot
Doctors can’t stop your hearing from getting worse with time. You may need a hearing aid.
If you have severe dizziness and medicine doesn't help, doctors may:
Do surgery to get rid of some of the fluid in your inner ear
Inject a medicine through your ear drum
As a last resort, cut the nerves in your ear that control balance