Ménière's Disease is characterized by vertigo, hearing loss, pressure or fullness in the ear and tinnitus. The patient can suffer from serious, unpredictable and very disturbing attacks which may last anything from two to twenty-four hours
Causes of Ménière's disease
Ménière's disease is chronic and related to endolymphatic hydrops, excess fluid in the inner ear. When the lymphatic system is dilated, it can affect the drainage of endolymph, the fluid covering the ears hearing and balance structures, leading to Ménière's disease. It may result from damage to the head, deterioration of the inner ear, infections, allergies, or it may occur for unknown reasons. If this continues, the increase in pressure can seriously affect a person's balance and hearing.
Ménière's disease is unfortunately not uncommon. It has been estimated that approximately one in two thousand people suffer from it and is found equally frequently in men and women. Typically, it affects people aged 40 to 50. But it may begin as early as in childhood or as late as above the age of 60.
Treatment of Ménière's disease
In most cases, Ménière's disease can be treated with medicine used for dizziness, making it a disease one can live with. One of the newest treatment options is a Meniett, which is placed in the ear. A Meniett is an apparatus which sends pressure impulses through a plastic tube. The impulses are sent through a ventilation drain in the ear drum in the middle ear, which then affect the balance of fluid pressure in the inner ear. The Meniett-apparatus does not work for all patients, but for those it can help it can mean an end to their dizziness.