What Is Meniere’s Disease?
In a nutshell, Meniere’s disease is a disorder or abnormality in the inner ear that causes dizziness or loss of balance – often there is the general illusion that the world is spinning around. It is usually only in one ear, though it can progress to the other if the conditions are the same. Menier’s sufferers are sometimes thought to be under the influence of alcohol when out as they may stagger in pretty much the same way as a drunk person.
What About A Cure?
It is generally accepted that there is no cure available as such, although steps can be taken to alleviate and perhaps control the symptoms of meneirs. A change of diet, lifestyle habits, and actual surgery may have to be implemented to see a general improvement.
For this reason we talk more about ‘remedies’ than ‘cures’ for menier’s disease. This is in fact similar to many treatments for tinnitus sufferers where the condition is controlled rather than ‘cured’.
What Causes Meniere’s?
Both the environment and heredity play a part with meniere’s sufferers, each individual is different. However it is estimated that for at least 10% of sufferers the condition is genetic – runs in the family. This could be due to an irregularity in the inner ear that creates blood-flow restriction, or a auto-immune deficiency that the sufferer has inherited.
Viral infections that may cause a build-up of fluid in the inner ear, can also be responsible for causing meniers symptoms. Excessive fluid in the membranous labyrinth of the inner ear known as the endolymphatic system, can also cause dizziness and loss of balance, which in turn can be an indication of meniere’s disease.
The age group between 40-60 in both men & women tends to be the most suseptable. Excessive noise as well as food and drink or diet, can also be influential with meniere’s sufferers. Similar to tinnitus sufferers, it can also be caused or exacerbated by medication – especially medication that leads to high blood pressure in the user.
What are the Symptoms?
The symptoms are recurring bouts of severe vertigo (similar to the feelings of standing on the edge of a cliff for some sufferers), general dizziness, and the feeling the the world is spinning under their feet. Hearing loss – full (in extreme cases) or partial (more common) – and all the symptoms of tinnitus, including whining, ringing or rushing noises in the ears can be attributable to meniere’s disease.
People suffering from meniere’s disease aften feel a ‘fullness’ or pressure in the affected ear or ears. This may lead to headaches or general feelings of pressure in the side of their head.
In extreme cases it can or may, lead to sudden collapse and injury amongst sufferers – also known as ‘drop attacks.
What To Do About It?
The first thing to be done is to seek professional medical advice! As with all illness or sicknesses it is imperative that the right condition is both diagnosed and treated. However from an alternative medicine point of view – or just practical common sense – it would make sense to avoid any situations or foods that may well exaccerbate the problem.
Many of the courses available to tinnitus sufferers are very relevant to meniere’s sufferers in-as-much as they include life-style changes that are beneficial to both parties.