Ménière’s Disease


Last Updated December 20th, 2021

The ear and your balance

The inner ear has loop-shaped canals that contain fluid and fine hair-like structures. These canals help in regulating your balance. The base of the canal has sensing cells which play a major role in monitoring the position of your head in a certain direction with respect to gravity. This is signaled to the brain and it helps you to be aware of the space around you. Example: tilting your head forward. The functions of the inner ear are:

  • To monitor the body’s movements
  • To convert the sound waves into nerve signals to transport to the brain
  • Maintaining the body’s balance

A brief understanding of vertigo

  • Vertigo is a state of perplexed and spinning dizziness.
  • This is because of some problem with your inner ear or the brain or the signaling pathway between the two.
  • It affects a person’s ability to function in daily life and can lead to depression or anxiety. It is usually rooted in psychological disorders.

What is Ménière’s disease?

Ménière’s disease is a condition that is a mash-up of vertigo, tinnitus (you tend to hear a ringing sound in your ears), and progressive deafness. In simple terms, this disease is the improper functioning of the inner ear. There is no cure, but there are some treatments that can ease this condition.

 Symptoms

  • Vertigo is one of the most obvious symptoms of Ménière’s disease. The spinning feeling occurs even if you are not moving.The symptoms of Ménière’s disease vary from person to person. They can occur suddenly. The frequency and duration of this disease are
  • The symptoms of Ménière’s disease are often referred to as an “attack”. This attack can range between 2 – 4 hours.
  • You never know when a vertigo attack occurs. Vertigo can interfere with driving, while operating heavy types of equipment, climbing ladders, stairs, swimming, etc. So it is safe if you have vertigo medication in hand at all times. You can carry it in your pocket or your purse.
  • If you have this disease, it is possible that you tend to experience anxiety, stress, and depression. Such a person will feel stressed or worried. It will definitely impact the working lifestyle negatively.
  • You may find it difficult to interact with others due to the worsening hearing problems. It will affect your working tendency, jobs, driving, etc. It is important to communicate with your doctor about all this.

 

Vertigo symptomsTinnitus sounds
dizzinessringing
vomitingbuzzing
nausearoaring
irregular heartbeatwhistling
sweatingHissing

Stages of Ménière’s disease development

There are three stages:

Early stage

  • Sudden and unpredictable episodes of vertigo
  • Duration of the episodes: 20 minutes to 24 hours
  • There will be some hearing loss during these episodes which will return to normal after the episode is over.
  • Your ear feels uneasy and blocked.
  • The ear will feel full or pressurized.
  • This stage is also accompanied by

 Middle stage

  • Vertigo episodes continue but become less intense.
  • Worsening of tinnitus and hearing loss
  • The symptoms might vanish for several months.

Later stage

  • Lesser recurrence or vanishing of vertigo episodes
  • Your balance related problems continue to exist.
  • You may feel wobbly when it is dark.
  • Hearing and tinnitus get worse gradually.

Why do changes in the fluid of ear occur?

For all the inner organs to function properly, the fluid must have the ideal pressure, volume, and chemical composition. The certain factors in Ménière’s disease that alter the properties of the inner ear fluid and this triggers the confusing effects. The following are the factors that contribute to changes in the fluid present in your ear.

  • Any block in your ear or any flaw in your ear can lead to improper fluid drainage
  • The improper functioning of the immune system
  • Allergies
  • Viral infection
  • Changes in the gene related activities
  • Head trauma
  • Migraines

There is no single causative factor of Meniere’s disease. That is why it is a resultant of a combination of these above factors.

Complications

  • The sudden onset of vertigo and the future hearing loss itself is a very depressing factor of Meniere’s disease.
  • This disease can disrupt the normalcy of your life.
  • You will feel very tired, emotionally stressed, and you might get into depression as well.
  • Because this disease is characterized by vertigo, there will be more incidences of imbalances and falls or accidents.

How is it diagnosed?

The doctor will ask you about the following features:

  • The severity of the symptoms
  • The frequency of the symptoms
  • Medications being consumed
  • Past ear problems
  • General health condition
  • Any history of infectious diseases or allergies
  • Any family history of inner ear problems

 Diagnostic tests conducted 

  • Audiogram – The doctor will perform an audiogram to evaluate the hearing loss. This a hearing test where you will be subjected to varying levels of tones or pitches and this will help in determining the type, and degree of hearing loss. Here the individual listens with the headphones and indicates when a sound is heard or unheard. The data is then tabulated graphically.

Assessing your balance

  •  Electronystagmography (ENG): The ear canal will be passed with warm and cool water or air. Then, the involuntary eye movements in response will be measured. Any abnormalities will indicate an inner ear problem.
  •  Rotary-chair testing: Here, the individual will be made to sit on a chair in a small, dark booth. Electrodes are placed near the eyes. The computer-guided chair will rotate back and forth at varying speeds in a gentle manner. This will stimulate the inner balance system and causes eye movements that are recorded by a computer and monitored with an infrared camera.
  • Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP) testing: This test measures the function of certain sensors in the inner ear that detect acceleration.
  • Posturography: You will be provided with a safety harness. Then, you will be made to stand barefoot on a special platform to test your balance under various conditions.

What kind of diet changes can you include?

  • When the meal you eat is uniformly distributed throughout the day, it helps in regulating the fluid. In simpler terms, you can divide your meal into small portions for a day. Instead of taking 3 larger meals, you can consume six smaller ones.
  • Consume less salt. Less salt means less fluid retention. Here cells tend to absorb salt. As the salt is absorbed with the cell, the water molecule also gets absorbed easily (cells retain water). So more salt consumption means, more fluid retention and the converse is true as well.
  • Reduce your intake of alcohol. Alcohol causes dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic (causes tendency to urinate and even sweat). Frequent urination or sweating results in fluid This leads to dehydration. So, the cells will be of the notion to save the existing water content thereby retaining the fluid within them. The more severe the dehydration, harder will your body have to work to reserve water.
  • You now know the concept of dehydration and how the body works to save water. Dehydration need not just be because of alcohol. A hot weather condition, diarrhea, physical exercises, or traveling, can result in water loss from your body. That is why it is important to hydrate your body. Drink lots of water. It also helps in flushing out the alcohol or the toxins.
  • Refrain from foods rich in tyramine. Tyramine is an amino acid known to magnify the blood pressure thereby increasing the headaches, migraines, sweating, vision changes, vomiting, etc. It is best to avoid or limit the intake of tyramine-containingCheddar cheese, blue cheese, soybean curd, tofu, smoked meats or fish, ripe cheeses, red wine, yogurts, nuts, etc., are foods that contain tyramine.
  • Ginkgo Biloba or the Maidenhair tree is native to China and is popular in the United States and Europe. It contains flavones, glycosides, and These compounds prevent the blood cells from sticking and helps in improving the blood circulation in the inner ear.
  • GingerGinger contains compounds called gingerol, and shogaols. They have good anti-clotting properties. These components prevent blood cells from clumping thereby improving the circulation of the blood around the inner ear. You can add it to tea or boil it with water and consume the extract with honey. There are many ways in which you can incorporate ginger into your diet.
  • Butcher’s Broom – This is also called as Ruscusaculeatus. It contains compounds such as asruscogenin and neoruscogenin which improve the blood circulation.
  • Cayenne pepper has a compound called capsaicin that reduces blood stickiness and helps improve the blood flow to the inner ear and the brain. It is considered as a thermogenic herb (enhances the metabolic rate thereby increasing the heat).

 What are the treatment options for Meniere’s disease?

Medications

  • Drugs to treat motion sickness (spinning sensation along with nausea and vomiting)
  • Drugs to treat nausea
  • Diuretics to reduce fluid retention

Reduction of the amount of fluid the body retains, the fluid volume and pressure in the inner ear will improve, resulting in less severe and less frequent symptoms.

Middle ear injections

Some antibiotic or steroidal injections are made into the middle ear.

Surgery

Surgery may be an option if other treatments have not worked or if symptoms are severe. Surgery options include:

  • Endolymphatic sac decompression – The endolymphatic sac is a fluid-filled membranous structure in the inner ear. The endolymphatic decompression surgery involves removal of a small portion of the bone from the endolymphatic sac to alleviate the pressure.
  • Labyrinthectomy – a portion of the inner ear is surgically removed.
  • Vestibular nerve section – In this surgery, the nerve is cut. The vestibular nerve is a nerve conveying the response of the ear to the brain.
  • Vestibular rehabilitation therapy – This involves exercises and activities that help restore the balancing ability of your body and brain.
  • If you have a hearing loss, you can be benefitted from a hearing aid.

How to treat the condition the Ayurvedic way?

Ayurveda advocates the use of Panchakarma therapy for healing the problems associated with Meniere’s disease. This treatment helps to deeply cleanse the tissues, wash out the toxins, tackles stress and reduces deep-rooted anxiety.

It is comprised of 5 methods:

  • Removal of phlegm – Madanphala or Randiadumetorum is greatly used here as a version of medical vomiting.
  • Cleansing of the digestive system – The roots of Trivrit (Operculinaturpethum) is done here for a medical or therapeutic cleansing of the digestive system.
  • Herbal decoctions are used to inject in the abdomen as an enema procedure.
  • Nasal administration of herbal medicine to treat migraines, sinusitis, etc.
  • Blood purification is done.

All the above treatment measures help the patient achieve a balanced state of mind, body, and consciousness through detoxification and rejuvenation.

Patients undergoing this method must undergo oil massages and oil baths to sweat out the toxins. Panchakarma therapy helps in minimizing the symptoms and is also relaxing in nature.  You can consult a trained medical practitioner regarding tailoring this therapy to your body’s condition.

Facts

  • This disease usually impacts only one ear.
  • About 95% of the cases of Meniere’s disease can be managed with good medical treatment.
  • It affects both men and women equally.

 

Facts

  • The data published by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders accentuates on the fact that approximately 615,000 people in the United States have Ménière’s.

Facts

  • This disease can occur at any age, but most of the time it occurs between the age of 40 and 60 years.
  • About 60000 new cases crop up every year.

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Gallbladder surgery :Tips on post-operative care and diet What to eat post a gallbladder surgery? What are the key things to avoid if you had a…
Ear pain model
Easy and safe tips for ear wax removal you can do at home Cerumen impaction generally occurs when an external object like cotton swabs are used to remove the ear wax.…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…
DHEA wrinkles
DHEA: Now get unbelievable age defiance with this wonder hormone! DHEA is known popularly as the age-defying hormone. This supplement is widely used to slow down aging and…
Cordyceps: How the Caterpillar fungus works as a proven cancer-shield Strange as it may sound, but cordyceps or "caterpillar fungus", a fungus variety native to the Himalayas may…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
Surgery or home-remedy; what is the right way to treat a burn The treatment of a burn injury depends on its severity. You can save a life by offering the…
Coffee Enema: Turn your favorite morning beverage into a powerful colon cleanser The wonders of coffee are not just limited to waking you up every morning. You can now use…
Vitamin-D-blood-test
25-Hydroxy Vitamin D test 25-hydroxy Vitamin D test is a blood test used to measure the level of vitamin D in the…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
ureteroscopy
Ureteroscopy Ureteroscopy is the diagnostic procedure which is used for the detection of the kidney stones in addition to…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple seaweed extract that…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
Plexus Slim: Is this pink slimming drink the ultimate one-stop fat burner? How effective is Plexus Slim in helping people lose weight? What are its ingredients? Can it be safely…
liver cleanse detox
14 go-to foods that are best for a complete natural liver detox Liver cleanse can be achieved by just choosing or avoiding certain types of food. Liver itself is a detoxifying…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
EEG
Electroencephalogram – EEG EEG or electroencephalogram is a diagnostic tool used to access the functioning of neurons and brain activity to…
LFT-test
Liver Function Test – LFT LFT or Liver Function Test is a blood test used to determine the levels of hepatic enzymes which…
HSV-1_IGG
Herpes Simplex Virus I (HSV)-IgG Test Herpes simplex virus I(HSV)-IgG is an Immunoglobulin protein that acts as an antibody & stays in the blood…
apolipoprotein a1 test
Apolipoprotein -A1 (APO-A1) Test Apolipoprotein A-I (Apo-A1) constitutes 70% of protein content in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and helps in lipid metabolism.
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Hepatitis A virus infected liver
Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) Total Blood test to look for IgM antibodies to know if you are infected with Hepatitis A virus (HAV),…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean saying goodbye to…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
Jack in the box fast food
Jack In the Box : The perils of surging fast food culture in the USA Jack in the Box - How a culture of fast-food can clog your arteries, weaken your heart, fatten…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
avocado benefits
Avocado: 15 reasons why this fruit should be a staple in your diet Did you know that the word avocado literally means "testicles". Don't get grossed out as this power-packed fruit…
Cottage cheese: What can you find in this healthy chunk of fresh milk cheese? Love cheese but scared of putting on extra pounds? With cottage cheese, you can get the best of…
General adaptation syndrome: Understanding stress, one step at a time The struggle of the body to produce hormones during a stressful situation is the main theme of general…
Inversion Therapy: The anti-gravity way of healing chronic back pain Inversion therapy involves suspending a person upside dow using different types of equipment. This works by taking the…
The Cabbage Soup Diet: The healthiest way to instant weight loss Cabbage soup diet rapid weight loss diet for those who want to shed those extra pounds in less…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
phenytoin test
Phenytoin test Phenytoin is a drug that is administered mainly to epilepsy patients. The phenytoin blood test measures the level…
Rubella IgM test
Rubella IgM Test The Rubella IgM test is a blood test that is performed to diagnose the presence of the rubella…
Thyroid disorders
Thyroid Profile Thyroid profile is a panel of blood tests performed to check if an individual is suffering from any…
Unbelievable health benefits of gooseberries (and a few tasty recipes) Gooseberries are antioxidant-rich tasty fruits that can be easily added in daily diet to improve overall health and…
piles fissure fistula
Allopathy vs homeopathy vs ayurveda treatment for piles, fissures, and fistula Read to know the best form of treatment among allopathy, homeopathy,or ayurveda for piles, fissures, and fistula
Optavia diet
The features of an Optavia diet The Optavia diet endorses pre-packaged meals and snacks called "fuelings" that are tasty, low in calorie, and incorporates…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing more harm than…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…