Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s disease is a disease of the inner ear, characterized by constant attacks of vertigo or vertigo – a feeling of rotation of the space around the body, accompanied by temporary hearing loss, tinnitus/ , and sometimes a feeling of swelling or pressure in the ear.

In most cases, the disease affects the function of only one ear.

People between the ages of 40 and 50 are more prone to the clinical condition than others, although it is possible for anyone to develop it, even children.

Although the disease is a chronic condition, there are various treatment methods that contribute to some control of symptoms, as well as limiting the impact of the clinical condition on the quality of life of the affected.

What are the symptoms?

Recurrent bouts of vertigo – where the sufferer feels as if the room or space they are in is spinning and the next moment they may lost balance.

Episodes of vertigo occur without preceding signs and usually last from 20 minutes to 2 or more, up to 24 hours. Severe vertigo can cause nausea and vomiting;

Hearing loss – the degree of hearing loss can vary especially in the initial stages of the disease, eventually most of those affected develop some degree of permanent hearing loss;

Ringing in the ears /tinnitus/ – is the perception through hearing of a ringing, buzzing, roaring, whistling or hissing sound in your ear;

Sensation of fullness in the ear – most of those affected feel that their ear is swollen or that the pressure in it is increased;

A typical attack begins with a sensation of swelling in the ear, increasing tinnitus and decreased hearing, followed by severe vertigo, often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

Such an episode usually lasts from 20 minutes to 4 hours, after the acuteness of symptoms and signs subside.

Attacks often develop with small intervals between them, but subsequently for a long time, mild clinical manifestations appear or do not appear at all, as the disease goes into remission.

What are the causes?

The cause of the disease is not well understood. It is thought to be due to the abnormal volume or composition of fluid in the inner ear.

And for this part of the ear to function properly, the fluid must be maintained at a certain volume, pressure and chemical composition.

Factors contributing to changing the properties of the fluid in the inner ear can cause the development of Ménière’s disease.

Scientists have indicated a number of risk factors such as:

• Improper fluid drainage, due to obstruction or anatomical abnormalities;
• Allergies;
• Viral infection;
• Genetic predisposition;
• Head trauma;
• Migraine;

Since no single cause of the disease has been identified, it is most likely to develop as a result of a complex of factors.

Treatment of Meniere’s disease

During an attack you can do the following:

Sit or lie down immediately when you feel dizzy. During an attack, avoid activities that may aggravate symptoms such as sudden movements, exposure to bright lights, watching television or reading;

Rest during and for some time after the symptoms subside;

Avoid driving or using machines if you often get dizzy spells, as you may cause serious accidents or injure yourself.

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