Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear. It was named after French doctor Prosper Meniere who discovered that this condition comes from a problem of the ear, not the brain, as was a widely accepted belief in the 1860’s. As his discovery gained popularity, the name Meniere’s disease became associated with this condition.
Meniere’s disease is thought to be caused by an abnormal amount of fluid building up in the labyrinth, the part of the inner ear that contains the organs controlling balance and hearing. The extra fluid can cause pressure and may interfere with the signals being sent to the brain causing the symptoms of Meniere’s disease. No one is really sure why the extra fluid occurs. Some theories involve the following:
- Poor drainage due to a blockage or an abnormal structure of the ear
- Autoimmune response – the body defense mechanism misfires and attacks healthy cells
- A blow to the head or neck
Or it may be a combination of the above.
How to Know if You Might Have Meniere’s Disease
Here are 10 signs that may indicate you have Meniere’s disease.
- Vertigo: Vertigo and feeling off balance are associated with a number of different conditions, but they are vital indicators of Meniere’s disease. Meniere’s attacks the passageways of the inner ear where the balance organs are located. These are directly impacted, resulting in vertigo. Vertigo is the sensation that you or the things around you are moving. It often has a rotational component. Meniere’s can result in extreme vertigo.
- Nausea: Since the balance organs are impacted, vertigo can persist for as short as half an hour and as long as the whole day. This is frequently accompanied by nausea that will probably stay around for the entire attack.
- Deafness or damage to your hearing: Since Meniere’s disease attacks the organs of the inner ear it makes sense hearing loss can be an end result. It begins as temporary and intermittent but, if it is not cared for properly, hearing loss can become permanent. Meniere’s generally only affects one ear. As fluid builds up, sound may begin to become muffled or even seem more pronounced. It may also be distorted as it moves through the fluid. Your doctor may recommend draining the fluid to alleviate this problem.
- Odd noises in the ear: As Meniere’s begins to impact the sensory areas, false signals may be sent to the brain. This can be decoded by the brain as odd noises, such as hissing, ringing, or unexplained buzzing. Symptoms can be different for everyone. Some may just have buzzing and no balance issues. Others may have both of these and hearing loss.
- Nystagmus or jerking movements of the eye: The eyes work in conjunction with the ears to maintain one’s balance. If the brain is receiving different signals from the eyes than it is from the ears, it may result in the eyes jerking around. This is because the brain is desperately trying to make sense of what is going on with the body.
- Diarrhea or loose stool: One of the stranger symptoms of Meniere’s, it occurs because all of the systems of the body are connected. This is actually linked to vertigo attacks and nausea and the vomiting that may accompany it. Sometimes loose stools continue after the sensation of vertigo has gone away. It is vital to keep well hydrated during this time.
- Sweating and chills: This also has to do with the episodes of vertigo you may experience. Similar to diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, chills and sweating are a direct result of the sensations that vertigo causes.
- Extreme exhaustion: Interestingly, exhaustion may actually cause a flare-up of Meniere’s and lead to an attack of vertigo. If you have had previous experience with Meniere’s, we highly recommend getting sufficient rest and reducing your daily activities so as to eliminate stress on your body.
- Mood swings and irritability: People suffering from Meniere’s exhibit moodiness and erratic emotions. They may become angry or very irritable for no apparent reason. Another symptom often seen is anxiety.
- Severe headaches or migraines: If someone already suffers from migraines, Meniere’s disease can exacerbate this condition. Some evidence exists to suggest that migraines can impact the mechanisms of the inner ear. This makes Meniere’s sufferers prone to getting headaches and migraines.
Finding Natural Relief for Meniere’s Disease
If you read the above symptoms and feel you might be suffering from Meniere’s disease, do not lose hope. There is a natural solution that has been helping many sufferers find relief. Upper cervical chiropractors have seen great success in caring for their patients with Meniere’s disease. This has to do with the fact that a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine, particularly the C1 and C2 vertebrae, can negatively impact the function of the Eustachian tubes. These tubes drain excess fluid away from the ears. If Eustachian tube function becomes inhibited, Meniere’s symptoms can be the end result.
Upper cervical chiropractors have been specially trained to find and the correct the tiny misalignments in the neck that may be causing major problems in the body. It only takes a misalignment of a fraction of a millimeter to cause a number of serious health problems throughout the body, including Meniere’s disease. Our method is gentle and does not require popping or cracking of the spine or neck. Many have seen encouraging results after seeing their local upper cervical chiropractor.