10 Signs You Might Have Meniere’s Disease and Where To Get Help

Signs of Meniere’s Disease

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
  • Allergies
  • Viruses
  • Genetics
  • A blow to the head or neck
  • Migraines

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 worsens, 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, the brain receives false signals. The brain decodes 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 work together. This has connection to vertigo attacks, 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.

Common Conditions That Aggravate Meniere’s Symptoms

Here are some of the most common conditions that can exacerbate Meniere’s disease symptoms.

#1. Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis, a.k.a. hay fever, is a common condition that can aggravate Meniere’s disease symptoms. This is because allergies can cause inflammation in the nasal passages, affecting the pressure in the inner ear and triggering vertigo and other symptoms. If you have allergic rhinitis, be sure to consult with an allergologist or your physician.

#2. Allergic Asthma

Allergic asthma, a type of asthma triggered by allergies, can also exacerbate Meniere’s disease symptoms. Like allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma can cause inflammation in the airways and affect the pressure in the inner ear. Like in managing allergic rhinitis, you also need to consult with your physician to lessen the impacts of your condition.

#3. High Systolic Blood Pressure

High systolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats, can aggravate Meniere’s disease symptoms. This is because high blood pressure can cause damage to the blood vessels in the inner ear, leading to vertigo and hearing loss. 

#4. Having Low High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol

HDL cholesterol, also known as "good" cholesterol, plays a critical role in maintaining the health of the inner ear. Low levels of HDL cholesterol have been linked to an increased risk of Meniere’s disease symptoms, including hearing loss and vertigo.

By understanding these conditions and taking steps to manage them, patients can better manage their Meniere disease symptoms and improve their quality of life. If you suspect you have Meniere’s disease, consulting with a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment is essential to prevent your condition from taking over your life.

#5. Atlas Bone Subluxation

As a condition that roots from nerve problems within the vestibular system, Meniere’s disease is likely due to a misalignment in the upper cervical region that pinches important nerves in your vestibular system, thus interrupting the smooth communication between your inner ear and your brain. If you are not familiar with the connection between your Upper Cervical spine and inner ear, here’s how it works:

The atlas bone is the first vertebra in the neck and plays a critical role in supporting the head and neck. When the atlas bone is misaligned, it can put pressure on the nerves that control the inner ear system, leading to a range of symptoms associated with Meniere's disease.

For Meniere’s disease problems, the most recommended and effective way of addressing it and its symptoms is to seek Upper Cervical Care.

Finding Relief for Meniere’s Disease: Your Options

Surgical Intervention

Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear. It can cause a sensation of spinning or movement (referred to as vertigo), ringing in the ears, and problems with hearing. Meniere’s only affects one ear. Onset most frequently occurs between ages 40 to 50, although it can occur at any age. In the US, an estimate of 615,000 people have Meniere’s disease.

Between the years of 2010 to 2012, Dr. Jay Rubinstein and his associates were investigating a way to implant a cochlear device in patients with Meniere’s to help them with their balance issues. They used this investigational device on four patients with the intention of keeping vertigo at bay. The result? All 4 of them no longer had Meniere’s. While that sounds like good news, there’s a major downside. The surgery used to implant the device caused them all to lose their hearing in the affected ear (a result they were informed may happen).

This is similar to what happens to many Meniere’s patients who find no relief from medication. By opting for surgery, the affected ear is basically destroyed in order to stop the sensation of vertigo. People with only one ear working can learn to walk, drive, and maintain their balance. But, is there a better option than sacrificing the function of an ear?

Natural Relief Through Upper Cervical Care

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 certification 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.

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