Meniere’s Disease – The Symptoms You Didn’t Know About

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Meniere’s disease is a fairly rare vestibular condition that affects about 615,000 Americans (a little less than 0.2% of the population). The primary symptoms are a feeling of fullness in the affected ear, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), vertigo, and the potential for hearing loss. However, other symptoms are not due to Meniere’s. Here is an in-depth symptom list as well as a natural way to find relief.

Lesser Know Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease

When a person is dealing with Meniere’s, several other symptoms may present besides the four primary symptoms. These include:

  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog (cognitive difficulties)

You may have noticed the connection between Meniere’s and many other chronic health disorders. For example, fatigue is a common problem for those with chronic fatigue syndrome of fibromyalgia. Sensory sensitives are a common migraine symptom. Cognitive problems such as memory difficulties and concentration problems have a link to everything from fibromyalgia to post-concussion syndrome. What factor ties all of these problems together? Most begin following head or neck trauma.

Why Does Meniere’s Disease Occur?

Meniere’s disease can be associated with a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, specifically the labyrinth, one of the compartments of theear. This labyrinth consists of the following:

  • Organs of hearing: the cochlea
  • Organs of balance: otolithic organs and semicircular canals. It has two sectors:
  • The bony labyrinth
  • The membranous labyrinth: is filled with endolymph, a fluid that stimulates receptors in the balance organs whenever the body moves. These receptors then transmit signals to the brain concerning where the body currently positions and how it moves. In the cochlea, the fluid becomes compressed in reaction to sound vibrations, which excite the sensory cells and send off signals to the brain.

When Meniere’s disease occurs, the endolymph fluid builds up in the labyrinth and disrupts hearing and balance signals between the brain and the inner ear.

How Do People Get Meniere’s Disease?

The exact answer to this question remains unclear. Various theories try to answer this query. Some researchers say it has to do with the constriction of blood vessels, which is the same reasoning behind migraines.

Others in the medical community believe it may have a connection with a genetic component as it appears to run more among families. Still, some others believe it is a result of various types of allergies, viruses, or an autoimmune reaction.

Taking Care of Patients with Meniere’s Disease

Here are some of the recommendations most likely a primary care physician or ENT doctor would give to help alleviate the disorder:

  • Medications

The most life-disturbing symptom of Meniere’s disease is vertigo. Medications that can help with dizziness are diazepam, lorazepam, meclizine, and glycopyrrolate.

  • Injections

Getting an injection of gentamicin into the middle ear can be a great help with vertigo symptoms. However, this does increase the risk of losing your hearing because gentamicin includes a risk of damaging the tiny hairs of the inner ear. Some doctors may choose to use a corticosteroid shot in its place because this has lesser side effects and can reduce dizziness.

  • Salt restrictions and diuretics

Reducing the level of salt you have in your diet can assist in lowering the fluid volume that builds up in the ear. Also, water pills can help with this concern. Thus, it can help further reduce pressure in the ears.

  • Other suggested changes

Some people discover that limiting or eliminating alcohol, chocolate, and caffeine can effectively reduce symptoms. Finally, giving up smoking can also help produce positive results.

  • Cognitive therapy

It is talk therapy that helps you to focus on how you can react appropriately to life experiences. Some people find this to be very advantageous when it comes to coping with the sudden and severe attacks of Meniere’s disease.

  • Pressure pulse care

The FDA recently approved a device that can help patients with Meniere’s disease. It fits in the outer ear and delivers an irregular air pressure pulse to the middle ear that interacts on the endolymph fluid to help stop vertigo.

  • Surgery

This should be the last resort option. It can involve decompressing the endolymphatic sac or cutting off the vestibular nerve to stop vertigo from occurring.

The Upper Cervical Solution for Meniere’s and Vertigo

Meniere’s disease and its many symptoms like vertigo have a connection to a misalignment of the atlas (the top bone in the spine). This is because the atlas plays a key role in everything from brainstem function to facilitating vertebral artery flow. Getting the proper amount of blood to the ears is an important factor in the function of the vestibular system (which controls balance). Also, the proper function of the Eustachian tubes can be affected by long-term neck issues. Thus, in large case studies, Meniere’s symptoms (especially vertigo) respond favorably to upper cervical chiropractic care.

Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on the gentle and precise adjustment of the atlas. Once this vital vertebra is in the proper position, the body has the chance to heal. Blood can flow to where it needs to go, and the brainstem is once again protected by the atlas. To learn more about how upper cervical chiropractic can benefit you, find a local practitioner and schedule a consultation.

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.