Our Specialties

Meniere’s Disease

Imagine knowing why you’re having severe vertigo attacks, and actually having a management plan…

People who suffer from Meniere’s Disease can find treatment and relief.

What is Meniere’s Disease?

Meniere’s Disease (MD) is named after an insightful French physician, Prosper Meniere, who in 1861 pieced together the unusual symptoms to identify a single disorder that affected hearing and balance caused by an inner ear condition. The disease is also known as primary endolymphatic hydrops.

While 255 years have passed since the disease was identified, the cause of the disease is uncertain, but researchers feel that it is related to genetics and environmental factors. Patients who suffer from Meniere’s Disease have episodes of severe vertigo with a sense that the world is spinning, and a feeling of fullness in the ear. These attacks can last from twenty minutes to four hours, and unfortunately, there is no cure.

In the inner ear, you will find a sophisticated nerve network that collects and transmits hearing (cochlear nerve) and balance (vestibular nerve) data that is transferred via the vestibulocochlear nerve to the brain. ABR’s and MRI’s are used to make sure there are no growths on this nerve.

What are the symptoms of Meniere’s Disease?

  • Repeated episodes of vertigo
  • Loss of hearing
  • Persistent ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
  • Feeling of sweating, nausea and vomiting resulting from vertigo
  • Sudden falls, a feeling of being pushed from behind
  • Headaches bordering on migraines

How do you manage or avoid a Meniere’s Disease attack?

The best way to manage the severe vertigo of MD is to lie flat and focus on an unmoving object.

The best way to avoid an attack is to reduce excess salt and stress. Regular sleep and proper diet are important, and it will also help if you contact a specialist at ENT & Audiology to develop a treatment plan.

How is Meniere’s Disease diagnosed by your doctor?

Dr. Holmes will ask you several questions about the frequency, duration and severity of your MD attacks. He will ask you environmental questions to identify potential triggers, extent of your hearing loss, the presence of tinnitus, and whether you experienced a feeling of fullness in your ears.

He will then recommend a hearing test and an ENG (electonystagmogram) test for balance. To get more data about your inner ear fluid pressure, he may suggest you take an ECOG (electrocochleography) test. Plus, he may suggest a CT (computed tomography) test or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test to rule out the presence of a growth on your hearing and balance nerve. He can then make an assessment whether your case of Meniere’s Disease is definite or probable and then develop a treatment strategy for you.

How do you treat Meniere’s Disease?

Focused Management

Despite the fact that there is no single cure for Meniere’s Disease, patients do learn to cope with the disease through a personalized strategy that can be guided by a trained ENT & Audiology specialist. Your medical team will propose a combination of diet, physical therapy, medications and surgical options to manage the disease. With your ENT & Audiology team by your side, you are not alone in your effort to control Meniere’s Disease.

Diet

Diets with low salt are advised.

Medications

Your doctor may suggest that you take anti-nausea and anti-anxiety medications to cope with or stave off Meniere’s Disease attacks. Diuretics are widely used to decrease bouts of vertigo, by reducing the fluid in the ear. Some patients have benefited from taking anti-allergy medications to prevent attacks. For those with severe bouts of vertigo with hearing loss, Dr. Holmes may recommend a steroid injection or chemical labyrinthectomy which eliminates part of the vestibular apparatus.

Hear From Our Patients

So Attentive
So Attentive
Allie G.
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He was so attentive and didn’t make you feel rushed. Most Drs are in and out as quick as possible and he made you feel like the only patient.

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