What is meniere disease?

Meniere disease (also known as meniere’s disease) is a condition of the inner ear that can cause episodic vertigo, fluctuating hearing loss, sensations of an ear fullness or pressure and ringing in the ears. Spells can last several minutes to hours.

What causes meniere disease? How is it diagnosed?

The disease is caused by fluid build up in the inner ear, but it is unknown what causes the fluid build up. There is no test for meniere disease, but balance and hearing tests help make the diagnosis. Additionally, your provider may also want certain blood tests or an MRI to rule out other disorders.

How is it treated?

There are many different options for treatment and reducing your bothersome symptoms. These may include the following:

  • Diet changes (decrease salt, MSG additive, caffeine and alcohol)
  • Medications to treat dizziness and nausea
  • Medications to reduce fluid build up or swelling within the inner ear
  • Vestibular (balance) therapy
  • A hearing aid

If the above options do not help your symptoms, more aggressive treatment, including injections into your inner ear and surgery, may be considered. These treatments generally make your hearing worse, so other options are exhausted before these are performed.