What is Meniere’s Disease?
It is a disease of internal ear. The real cause is not known, hypertension of the inner ear fluid is suspected as a cause. One of the common reasons of vertigo caused by ear. Mostly it is one sided, 15% it can be two sided. Motly seen between 20-50 years old people and same probability in men and women.
What kind of disturbances does it cause?
*Cyclic vertigo (objects turn around yourself)
*Tinnitus (noise in the ear)
*Fullness in the affected ear
The worst symptom is “vertigo” Patient feel like turning around him/herself; a very annoying feeling.
Vertigo occurs in a cyclic manner and nausea, vomitting accompanies it. Attacks can continue from 20 minutes to 2 hours even longer sometimes. During that period people cannot do their routine work. Afterwards they feel tired and dizziness may continue for many days.
At the beginnig low frequency sounds are effected but later in the disease all the frequencies are effected.
Tinnitus and fullness of the ear may change. It can be both with or without hearing loss, can be persistant or can be felt before attacks.
The strength of the symtoms may vary from patient to patient.
How is it diagnosed?
Your physician will take a detailed history about your symptoms. Your past medical history is also important. Some tests should be asked because in between attacks physical examination could be normal.
At the effected ear low frequency sensorineual type hearing loss and decrease in word discrimination can be seen.
Electrocochleography, cranial computerized tomography, magnetic resonance can be asked to eliminate intracranial problems.
What are the treatments?
Diet and medicine: Decrease salt in diet and some diuretics are used efficiently.
Some symptomatic drugs can be prescribed to decrease the annoying feelings that can even cause panic of the patient.
Lİfe: Caffeine, alcohol and smoking is not adviced. Sleep and feeding patterns should be arranged. Stress may trigger the attacks.
Precautions: During attacks do not drive car, swim or perform dangerous works.
Corticosteroids are very effective and recently they can be given directly to the to middle ear safely.
With these precautions and treatments, the need for operation for this disesase is really decreased.