Meniere’s disease is a malfunctioning of the inner ear, which usually worsens over time and often prevents a person from functioning normally, resulting in a bad work performance and psychological distress. This syndrome is marked by a number of symptoms, all related to the problems of the inner ear, affecting the person’s sensory organs along with hearing and balance. As the inner ear is actually a pair of sensory organs located in the temporal bone on the side of the skull, a part of the inner ear called cochlea converts sound waves into electrical impulses which are transmitted to the brain through semicircular canals. The signals from these channels, together with the information coming from the eye and nerve endings from the skin help the brain to distinguish the right movements and position of the body. If one suffers from Meniere’s syndrome, the inner ear is filled with too much fluid, and therefore their sense of position and balance are disrupted. Sometimes the fluid can penetrate into the cochlea and cause hearing loss and strange noises coming from the ear.
Recognizing The Symptoms of Meniere’s Syndrome
A vast majority of patients with Meniere’s disease have bouts of vertigo or dizziness. Such periods of dizziness can last less than one hour, or even up to two days (these long occurrences are rare, though). After the attack, the patient often feels completely exhausted and falls asleep, waking up refreshed as if nothing happened. The attacks may be less frequent, occurring only a couple of times per year, and can become more common with time. Along with vertigo, a person suffering from this syndrome often senses a variety of problems with the hearing which may manifest themselves as a gradual hearing loss, incoherent noise in the ear, buzzing or ringing. These symptoms may even give the impression that the same tone sounds completely different in each ear. Typically, one ear is infected. The second ear may follow with time but doesn’t have to.
The occasional dizziness is sometimes accompanied by nausea and vomiting, resulting in general exhaustion. As the symptoms lead to general confusion and lack of orientation, they can have a strong effect on the psychological condition of a person by causing high levels of stress and anxiety. Individuals with irregular shaped inner ear or the temporal bone (either inherited or as a result of injury) are exposed to a greater risk of developing Meniere’s disease.
Prevention and Treatment of Meniere’s Syndrome
As the medical community has not yet been able to find a cure for Meniere’s syndrome, treatment is focused on relieving symptoms and psychological effects of the disorder. There is a possibility of an operative procedure. However, it is used only as a last resort in patients with a very severe form. This being the case, prevention is key. The best way to prevent attacks of this disease is to reduce stress in everyday life to a minimum. By relaxing and enjoying a hobby or being active, you lower stress levels, making yourself less prone to attacks of vertigo, leaving you more secure and confident in your body. There is also a possibility to try acupuncture by having an expert stimulate the acupuncture points of the ear.