Meniere's disease treatment
Meniere's disease is a lesion of the inner ear caused by excessive pressure. The three main symptoms are vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss. There is usually no cure for the disorder, but drugs, surgery, and vestibular rehabilitation reduce the severity and frequency of attacks.
The exact cause of Meniere's disease is not clear. However, changes in the inner ear's structure or excess fluid levels in the inner ear are known to activate it. According to statistics, 12 out of 1000 people have Meniere's disease worldwide. It can develop at any age but is most common between the ages of 40 and 60. In most cases, the illness only affects one ear. However, 10 to 15% have it in both ears.
Seizures characterize the disease. They might occur suddenly, and their frequency and duration vary. Meniere's attacks usually last from 20 minutes to 24 hours. Common symptoms that occur during a seizure include:
- Vertigo (dizziness);
Additional signs of Meniere's disease vary. These may contain nausea, vomiting, sweating, anxiety, stress, and depression.
In the early stages, the disorder causes sudden and unpredictable dizziness. During these episodes, there is some hearing loss and noise, which usually resolves once vertigo subsides. However, balance, hearing and vision problems still occur in the later stages. In addition, hearing and tinnitus typically get worse and worse. Finally, stress and emotional disturbances can trigger episodes of Meniere's symptoms.
Treatment is aimed at controlling some of the symptoms and Meniere's attacks. Changing your lifestyle, getting rid of stress and anxiety, and being less tired are crucial. Yoga, meditation, tai chi, and quitting smoking and alcohol help with this. Taking medications for nausea and motion sickness, sometimes diuretics can avoid dizziness. More specific treatment is injections of antibiotics and hormones into the middle ear.
Surgery may be an option for people if other treatments are ineffective or the symptoms are severe. Surgical options include:
- Endolymphatic decompression - is a removal of a small part of the structure in the inner ear that causes dizziness if not working correctly.
- Labyrinthectomy - is a removal of part of the inner ear.
- Vestibular nerve ligation.
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy uses exercises and activities that help the body and brain stay in balance during attacks. In addition, people with hearing loss may benefit from a hearing aid and cochlear implants.
The outlook for people with Meniere's disease is favourable, although there is no cure yet. Between 90 and 95% of patients control the condition with medical treatment.
Where can I get Meniere's disease treatment?
What are the best clinics for Meniere's disease treatment?
Who are the best doctors for Meniere's disease?
Prof. Dr. med. Barbara Wollenberg from University Hospital rechts der Isar Munich
Prof. Dr. Jordi Coromina from Teknon Medical Centre Barcelona
Prof. Dr. med. Markus Suckfull from Academic Hospital Martha-Maria Munich
Prof. Dr. med. Markus Jungehulsing from MEOCLINIC Berlin
Prof. Dr. Sami Katircioglu from Memorial Sisli Hospital Istanbul