Understanding Meniere’s Disease

Many of us have felt dizzy after standing up too quickly or have heard ringing in our ears after attending a noisy public event. And, we’ve probably also felt fullness in our ear as the result of a bad cold or upper respiratory infection. But when those three symptoms are present together, it may be a symptom of Meniere’s disease. Health professionals believe Meniere’s disease may be caused by an improper balance of fluid in the inner ear.

This imbalance may also be affected by migraines, allergies, head trauma, viral infections, and the inability for the ear to drain properly. Meniere’s disease can cause great discomfort and interrupt daily activities. Episodes can last longer than 20 minutes, cause extensive dizziness (vertigo), a decreased ability to hear and be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. In addition to permanent hearing loss, patients may fall frequently, experience extreme nausea due to the vertigo and have an increased risk for developing depression or anxiety.

Although there’s no known cure for Meniere’s disease, your physician can recommend ways to minimize the symptoms such as medications for motion sickness and nausea as well as long-term medication to reduce the amount of fluid in your inner ear.