Meniere's disease is a disorder of the inner ear. It can cause severe dizziness, a roaring sound in your ears called tinnitus, hearing loss that comes and goes and the feeling of ear pressure or pain. It usually affects just one ear. It is a common cause of hearing loss.

Attacks of dizziness may come on suddenly or after a short period of tinnitus or muffled hearing. Some people have single attacks of dizziness once in a while. Others may have many attacks close together over several days. Some people with Meniere's disease have "drop attacks" during which the dizziness is so bad they lose their balance and fall.

Scientists don't yet know the cause. They think that it has to do with the fluid levels or the mixing of fluids in the canals of your inner ear. Doctors diagnose it based on a physical exam and your symptoms. A hearing test can check to see how it has affected your hearing.

There is no cure. Treatments include medicines to control dizziness, limiting salt in your diet, and taking water pills. A device that fits into the outer ear and delivers air pulses to the middle ear can help. Severe cases may require surgery.

NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Symptoms of Meniere's Disease

The following features are indicative of Meniere's Disease:
  • recurring episodes of vertigo
  • hearing loss
  • tinnitus
  • aural fullness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sweating
  • drop attacks
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • pain
  • discomfort
  • uncontrollable eye movements

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Common Causes of Meniere's Disease

The following are the most common causes of Meniere's Disease:
  • excess endolymph production
  • endolymphatic duct blockage
  • constrictions in blood vessels
  • viral infections
  • autoimmune reactions
  • genetic factors
  • environmental factors

Risk Factors for Meniere's Disease

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Meniere's Disease:
  • alcohol use
  • allergy
  • smoking
  • stress
  • use of certain medicines
  • head injury
  • genetic factor

Prevention of Meniere's Disease

No, it is not possible to prevent Meniere's Disease.
  • family history of the disease

Occurrence of Meniere's Disease

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Meniere's Disease cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Extremely rare less than 1000 cases

Common Age Group

Meniere's Disease can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Meniere's Disease can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Meniere's Disease

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Meniere's Disease:
  • Audiometry test: To assess how well the patient detect sounds at different pitches and volumes
  • Videonystagmography (VNG): To evaluate balance function by assessing eye movement
  • Rotary-chair testing: To measures inner ear function based on eye movement
  • Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP) testing: To evaluate changes in the affected ears
  • Posturography: To reveal which part of the balance system the patient rely on the most and which parts may cause problems
  • Video head impulse test (vHIT): To measure eye reactions to abrupt movement
  • Electrocochleography (ECoG): To determine if there is an abnormal buildup of fluid in the inner ear

Doctor for Diagnosis of Meniere's Disease

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Meniere's Disease:
  • Otolaryngologist

Complications of Meniere's Disease if untreated

Yes, Meniere's Disease causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Meniere's Disease is left untreated:
  • fatigue
  • emotional stress
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • risk of falls
  • accidents while driving or operating heavy machinery

Procedures for Treatment of Meniere's Disease

The following procedures are used to treat Meniere's Disease:
  • Endolymphatic sac procedure: To alleviate vertigo by decreasing fluid production or increasing fluid absorption
  • Vestibular nerve section surgery: To correct problems with vertigo while attempting to preserve hearing in the affected ear
  • Labyrinthectomy: To remove both balance and hearing function from the affected ear
  • Hearing aid device: To improve hearing
  • Meniett device: To improve symptoms of vertigo, tinnitus and aural pressure

Self-care for Meniere's Disease

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Meniere's Disease:
  • Limit salt: Helps decreasing fluid retention
  • Manage stress: Helps reducing the severity of symptoms
  • Diet: By eating a well-balanced, healthy diet
  • Exercise: Do exercise regularly to stay active
  • Caffeine: Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption
  • Avoid driving a car or operating heavy machinery: Could reduce accidents and injury
  • Rest during and after attacks: Do not rush to return to normal activities
  • Sit or lie down when feeling dizzy: By avoiding things that can make signs and symptoms worse

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Meniere's Disease

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Meniere's Disease:
  • Rehabilitation therapy: Helps improving the balance
  • Relaxation therapy: Meditation and yoga helps relieving stress

Patient Support for Treatment of Meniere's Disease

The following actions may help Meniere's Disease patients:
  • Join support group: By talking to patients with similar disorder

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Meniere's Disease.
Dizziness and Vertigo
Ear Disorders
Hearing Disorders and Deafness

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