What are the Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease?

What are the Symptoms of Meniere's Disease?

Meniere’s disease is a chronic inner ear disorder that affects the balance and hearing functions of the inner ear. The symptoms of Meniere’s disease can be unpredictable and vary in intensity from mild to severe. Common symptoms of Meniere’s disease include:

  1. Vertigo:
    • Recurrent episodes of severe dizziness or vertigo, often accompanied by a sensation of spinning or a feeling that the surroundings are moving.
  2. Hearing Loss:
    • Fluctuating hearing loss, often initially affecting one ear. Hearing may improve between episodes but can worsen over time.
  3. Tinnitus:
    • Tinnitus, which is a perception of ringing, buzzing, hissing, or roaring sounds in the affected ear. The intensity of tinnitus can vary.
  4. Aural Fullness:
    • A feeling of fullness or pressure in the affected ear, similar to having a plugged ear.
  5. Imbalance and Unsteadiness:
    • Problems with balance and coordination, leading to unsteadiness or difficulty walking during and between vertigo attacks.
  6. Nausea and Vomiting:
    • Nausea, vomiting, or a queasy feeling during vertigo episodes.
  7. Sensory Sensitivity:
    • Sensitivity to loud sounds (hyperacusis) or sudden noises.
  8. Postural Instability:
    • Difficulty maintaining balance, particularly in changing positions like standing up or lying down.
  9. Duration of Episodes:
    • Vertigo episodes typically last from 20 minutes to several hours, and they can occur in clusters or individually.
  10. Trigger Factors:
    • Certain triggers, such as changes in head position, stress, fatigue, excessive salt intake, caffeine, or alcohol, may worsen symptoms.

It’s important to note that Meniere’s disease can progress over time, potentially leading to more frequent and severe episodes of vertigo and hearing loss. The exact cause of Meniere’s disease is unknown, but it’s believed to be related to fluid buildup in the inner ear, disrupting the balance and hearing mechanisms.

If you suspect you have Meniere’s disease or are experiencing symptoms related to balance and hearing, it’s crucial to consult an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist for a thorough evaluation and proper diagnosis. Treatment may involve dietary modifications, medication to manage symptoms, vestibular rehabilitation, and in severe cases, surgical interventions to alleviate symptoms.

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