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.

 

 

 

 

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Amylase Test Amylase test is done by checking the level of this protein in the blood sample and also in…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help you combat the…
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Arthritis Profile Arthritis profile is a panel of primarily blood tests used to detect the presence of arthritis or check…
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Diabetic Profile The diabetic profile is a set of tests used for testing and monitoring the various kinds of Diabetes…
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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…
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
colposcopy
Colposcopy Colposcopy is a simple, quick and non- invasive diagnostic tool to look closely inside the vulva, vagina, and…
free testosterone test
Free testosterone Free Testosterone Test measures and monitors the level of the free testosterone in the blood. Less than 4%…
Propolis: Yet another amazing gift by the bees to the humans Bee propolis is yet another generous gift by the bees bestowed on the human race. They utilize substances…
liver biopsy procedure
Liver Biopsy Liver biopsy or hepatic biopsy is a diagnostic tool that collects a sample of live tissue from the…
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Hysteroscopy Hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive tool to help specialists view the uterus to diagnose and even treat several…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the most powerful antioxidant…
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Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin production thus treating…
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dandelion weight loss
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6 arguments in favour of glucosamine and where can you find it Studies have shown that glucosamine works by preventing the breakdown of cartilage of the joints. This is usually…
Psyllium Husk: More than just an effective natural laxative Psyllium husk, or isabgol, is a popular natural laxative . But did you in addition to regulating bowels,…
Miracle extract from the root of maca: 10 ways it can help you! Maca root has been used for years in herbal medicine. Today scientific research is unearthing fresh evidence in…
Lauric Acid: 8 health benefits you can derive from coconuts Appropriate use of saturated fats containing lauric acid can provide you numerous health benefits. This is the main…
kshar sutra
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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…
GGt test
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green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does our poop turn…
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10 fantastic Superfoods you need to include in your diet from today! What exactly are superfoods and how do they battle diseases? From losing weight to looking ravishing- these superfoods…
thyroid_scan
Thyroid Scan Thyroid scan is a diagnostic procedure that aims to view the thyroid gland and detect any growths or…
creatinine
Creatinine Test The level of creatinine in the blood is a significant indicator of the health of your kidneys. This…
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The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling creeping up on…
Find all the instant ways to get rid of blackheads Blackheads - Not only are they aesthetically unappealing but if left untreated these can cause bacterial overgrowth on…
Did you know drinking alkaline water could be the healthier choice for you? Ever wondered how safe is your drinking water in terms of pH? Recent studies have revealed that Alkaline…
Ultrasound
Abdominal Ultrasound An abdominal ultrasound is used to visualize the organs inside your abdominal cavity including the liver, spleen, gall…
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CrossFit: Now get the perfectly sculpted body with this explosive gym routine CrossFit is a fitness regimen that makes use of high-intensity exercises in a shorter period to achieve muscle…
Is it possible to achieve full body detox with Master Cleanse? Master cleanse is a diet consisting of a lemonade based beverage, a salt water drink and a herbal…
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…
Tart Cherry: The healthiest excuse for taking that second serving of pie Tart cherry has been traditionally used in delectable desserts such as pies. Recent studies have revealed that its…
Hot cups for detox? Read all about the ancient technique of cupping Did you know inverted hot cups on your back can squeeze out and eject toxins from your body?…
carbamazepine
Carbamazepine / Tegretol test The carbamazepine is a drug that is used to treat epilepsy and the carbamazepine test is performed to…
Bromelain: 11 reasons why you should start adding pineapple to your pizza! If you didn't love pineapples already, here are some of the top health benefits that bromelain can bring…
Electric toothbrush vs manual toothbrush: Who wins the dental war? Manual brushes are ideal for kids as it is important to start slowly unlike the electric brushes which…
Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and high cholesterol; the…
How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely effective in treating…
leptospira Igm test
Leptospira-IgM Test A Leptospira-IgM test is a blood test which is carried out to detect anti-Leptospira IgM antibody. Leptospirosis is…
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…
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Helicobacter Pylori – IgA Test The H.pylori IgA test is a blood test used to identify the level of IgA antigen in the…
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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
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Myelography Myelography is an important diagnostic tool that is used to investigate and identify abnormalities in the spine and…
cytomegalovirus igm test
Cytomegalo Virus (CMV) – IgM Test The CMV antibodies include both IgM and IgG antibodies which are the immune system's response to a CMV…
glucose-tolerance
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test – GTT Glucose tolerance test (or Oral GTT) is used to detect the onset of diabetes or prediabetes conditions. It…
The right way to prepare Alfalfa sprouts at home Alfalfa or lusan ghas is not just a nutritious animal fodder. This flavonoid-rich herb has some amazing health…
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