Home   >   Medicine   >   Ear, Nose & Throat
Ménière's Disease

Ménière's disease, an abnormality of the inner ear, is a common cause of hearing loss.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms include:

  • vertigo (illusion of movement) or dizziness,
  • tinnitus (sensation of a ringing, roaring, or buzzing sound in the ears or head),
  • fluctuating hearing loss, and
  • ear pressure or pain.

To diagnose Ménière's disease, doctors use several procedures:

  • a medical history interview and physical examination,
  • hearing and balance tests, and
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a sophisticated technique that takes detailed pictures of the inside of the body.

Causes

The symptoms of Ménière's disease are associated with a change in the fluid volume of the inner ear. Extra fluid in the inner ear can cause swelling. Experts believe that this swelling can rupture membranes in the inner ear, causing one fluid in the inner ear to mix with another fluid. The mixing of fluids may cause the symptoms of Ménière's disease.

Other possible causes of the disease include what are called 'environmental factors,' such as noise pollution and viral infections, and biological factors.

Treatment

There is no known cure for Ménière's disease, but the doctor can suggest methods to control its symptoms, such as a change in diet or medicine. For patients with persistent, debilitating vertigo, doctors have successfully used surgery and an antibiotic to treat Ménière's disease.

 

Reference:

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, USA.