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Meniere’s Disease Symptoms

Medically reviewed by Maushmi Sheth
Medically reviewed by Maushmi Sheth

Meniere’s disease is when an excessive amount of fluid builds up in the inner ear cavity. Since this department is responsible for spatial orientation and maintaining the balance of the human body, dysfunction of the inner ear leads to the development of characteristic symptoms.

Symptoms of Meniere’s disease. The most striking manifestation of the disease is systemic dizziness. This symptom often forces the patient to seek diagnosis and subsequent treatment of Meniere’s disease. During an attack of dizziness, a person experiences a sensation as if all the space around them is set in motion; the surrounding objects are displaced and rotated. Unlike normal dizziness, systemic dizziness causes the feeling that the body is “falling through,” tilting heavily. The sensations are so powerful that the patient cannot stand on their feet and reflexively grabs the furniture of people standing next to them and, in principle, cannot maintain an upright position of the body or even sit. The duration of an attack can last from several minutes to several days, but the average duration of an episode of vertigo is 2-7 hours.

In addition to this symptom, Meniere’s disease also manifests itself in other, less obvious, but requiring the attention of specialists, signs:

  • Decreased hearing and hearing impairment. In this case, the patient periodically notes congestion in the affected ear and a decrease in the perception of low frequencies. As the disease progresses, the decrease in hearing acuity progresses with each new attack. Without treatment for Meniere’s disease, the condition leads to complete and irreversible deafness.
  • Nausea and vomiting. During vertigo attacks, these symptoms are very common and occur for the same reason as motion sickness. Subjective sensations of rotation of the space itself and one’s body cause episodes of indomitable vomiting in the patient.
  • During attacks of systemic dizziness, there is pallor of the skin, a violation of the heart rate, excessive sweating, the inability of the patient to focus their gaze (patients have a rotational movement of the eyeballs).

At the beginning of the development of the disease, the exacerbation of the disease alternates with periods of remission, during which the patient is more or less able to restore working capacity. Treatment of Meniere’s disease at this stage is most effective, as it prevents further dysfunctions of the inner ear. 

Diagnosis and causes of Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s disease is usually classified according to the symptoms that predominate at the onset of the disease:

  • Cochlear form. The cochlear form is characterized by the onset of the disease, in which the patient has mainly auditory disorders (noise and ringing in the ears, decreased hearing acuity). It is observed in about half of all cases of the disease.
  • Vestibular form. It is diagnosed in about 20% of all cases of Meniere’s disease. The disease begins with more or less pronounced vestibular disorders and episodes of systemic dizziness.
  • Classic (or mixed) form. In this form of the disease, cochlear and vestibular symptoms occur and develop at the same time. The severity of hearing impairment and the severity of seizures may vary, but two types of symptoms are present.

Causes of Meniere’s disease. To date, the exact causes of Meniere’s disease remain unclear. There are several hypotheses and assumptions that, to a certain extent, explain the probable causes of the development of this disease:

  • complications of viral infections, as a result of which autoimmune processes develop (mechanisms of the immune system directed against the cells and tissues of one’s own body)
  • hereditary predisposition (several researchers note cases of this disease in previous generations in the family history of patients with Meniere’s disease)
  • vascular diseases in which the outflow of blood from the tissues of the inner ear is impaired, which leads to the accumulation of excess fluid in its cavity
  • metabolic disorders, in particular, water-volitional metabolism
  • traumatic injury to the inner ear
  • endocrine diseases in which estrogen deficiency is expressed
  • inflammatory and infectious diseases of the inner ear with interrupted or incorrect treatment, as a result of which negative changes develop in the tissues of the labyrinth
  • allergy.

The causes, symptoms, and treatment of Meniere’s disease are quite closely related concepts. Treatment of the disease must consider the peculiarities of the clinical picture, history, and objective diagnostic results, making it possible to assess the severity of the condition.

Symptoms of Meniere’s disease are sufficiently characteristic so that even during the initial examination, the doctor could understand what kind of disease caused the patient’s complaints.

The following diagnostic methods are used to confirm the diagnosis and assess the severity of the lesions:

  • audiometry is a method that detects hearing loss in the low-frequency range, which is characteristic of the initial stage of the disease
  • acoustic impedance measurement, which allows assessing the degree of mobility of the auditory ossicles
  • promontory test is performed to assess the condition of the auditory nerve
  • otoscopy (microotoscopy) is aimed at identifying possible pathologies of the external auditory canal and changes in the tympanic membrane
  • vestibulometry and other methods of assessing the work of the vestibular apparatus
  • MRI of the brain to exclude neoplastic diseases, including neuroma of the auditory nerve.

Depending on the characteristics of the clinical picture, the otolaryngologist can supplement the examination complex with several other diagnostic methods. They may be required to detail already identified circumstances and exclude other diseases with similar manifestations.

Treatment of Meniere’s disease also requires controlled diagnostic studies that help evaluate the effectiveness of therapy and adjust the prescription or select other methods if their insufficient effectiveness is revealed.

Treatment of Meniere’s disease

Treatment of Meniere_s disease

Treatment of Meniere’s disease has two directions: relieving attacks of systemic vertigo and preventing further changes in the inner ear.

Depending on the characteristics of the course of the disease, the presence of concomitant pathologies in the patient, the degree of dysfunction of the inner ear, and other factors, various methods of treatment can be used.

Medication. Based on the results of the diagnosis, the patient is assigned the following groups of drugs:

  • antipsychotics
  • vasodilators
  • antihistamines
  • diuretics
  • antispasmodic
  • sedatives, etc.

The combination of drugs and specific names are selected by the doctor and are taken according to the scheme indicated by them. In most cases, treatment of the symptoms of Meniere’s disease and its complications in the inner ear is done on an outpatient basis. For severe vestibular disorders accompanied by nausea and vomiting, the prescribed drugs are administered by injection.

Surgery. If the effectiveness of drug treatment is insufficient or completely absent, surgical intervention is recommended.

Depending on the identified changes in the inner ear and other factors, surgery may have the following goals:

  • It can reduce fluid pressure on the inner ear cells. For this, decompression operations are used to normalize the outflow of fluid from the ear cavity. For different indications, different methods can be used (drainage of the endolymphatic sac, perforation of the stapes base, and others).
  • Destructive surgeries allow controlled destruction of the inner ear and its innervation pathways, responsible for the onset of symptoms of Meniere’s disease. This type of intervention is indicated for severe attacks of systemic vertigo, which cannot be controlled with medication, and when changes in the inner ear cavity have reached the point where draining operations are impractical.
  • Surgery on the autonomic nervous system involves separating the channel through which there is a “translation” of erroneous signals from the inner ear to the brain; this allows you to solve the systemic dizziness problem in the most radical way.
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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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