Meniere’s disease is a fairly rare condition of the inner ear. Symptoms include hearing loss, loss of balance (vertigo), a feeling of fullness in your ear and tinnitus.
Typically the symptoms come on quite suddenly and are described as attacks that last from two to four hours. Typically Meniere’s disease progresses in stages:
- Early stage – sudden onset of attacks lasting from 20 minutes to 24 hours (usually two to three hours). Patients can have 6-11 attacks per year.
- Middle stage – attacks of vertigo continue be become less severe. Hearing loss and tinnitus may become worse. Patients often report the time between attacks lengthens.
- Late stage – number of vertigo attacks continues to decrease and symptoms ease. Some patients continue to have problems with balance. Hearing loss and tinnitus can become worse.
How is Meniere’s disease treated?
Typically the symptoms of Meniere’s disease are treated separately. You may be given medication to ease the symptoms of vertigo including the nausea and vomiting that accompanies it.
Physiotherapy may be prescribed to help you with any balance problems.
Treatment for tinnitus may include counselling or sound therapy. Patients are taught tips for coping and relaxation techniques.
Hearing loss may benefit from a hearing aid.
In rare cases surgery may be recommended.