Imagine experiencing violent bouts of dizziness, the world spinning uncontrollably around you. What if your ears incessantly rang with a high-pitched tone, muffling the world outside? What if these episodes left you with an ever-worsening hearing loss, inching you toward permanent deafness in one ear? These aren't hypothetical questions for millions of Americans suffering from Meniere's disease. They are a daily reality for a lot of people across the country. Thankfully, a study from the University of Colorado School of Medicine may finally offer hope. It has also highlighted one of the least expected Meniere’s disease triggers.
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Researchers Carol Foster, MD, and Robert Breeze, MD, have found a strong correlation between Meniere's disease and conditions that cause temporary low blood flow in the brain, like migraines. They propose that Meniere's disease attacks result from two interlinked factors: a fluid-filled inner ear malformation called endolymphatic hydrops and risk factors for vascular problems in the brain.
You might think that getting blood back into the tissues starved by Meniere's disease would solve the problem. But that's not the case. The reason is something called the ischemia-reperfusion pathway, and it adds a tricky twist to Meniere's symptoms.
First off, 'ischemia' is just a fancy word for not enough blood getting to certain tissues. In Meniere's disease, this lack of blood causes the vertigo, ringing ears, and hearing loss we associate with an attack.
But here's where it gets complex: The return of normal blood flow returns, which is called 'reperfusion,' doesn't necessarily fix things. It triggers a whole set of reactions in the ear that make the symptoms last longer. This return of blood flow can cause inflammation and oxidative stress, which are harmful conditions for the sensitive tissues in the ear.
This creates a harmful cycle: each episode of interrupted and restored blood flow leaves a little permanent damage. Over time, this adds up, making both the hearing and balance issues progressively worse.
So, in a nutshell, Meniere's disease isn't just about what happens when blood flow stops; it's also about what happens when the blood flow returns. This deeper understanding is key to grasping why Meniere's disease can be so complex and challenging to manage.
The neck, or cervical spine, is more than just a support for the head. It's a complex structure that plays a vital role in blood flow to the brain and inner ear, areas critically involved in Meniere's disease. Hence, in a huge way, misalignment of the bones in the neck, particularly the upper cervical spine, can have far-reaching implications for your health and can also serve as one of your key Meniere’s disease triggers.
When the cervical spine is misaligned, it can negatively affect the normal flow of blood and other fluids to and from the brain and ear. This disruption can lead to a sort of "traffic jam," affecting the delicate balance of fluids in the ear. Considering that Meniere's disease is deeply connected to issues of fluid balance and blood flow, neck misalignments can significantly exacerbate the symptoms of the disease.
Specialists in Upper Cervical Care focus on correcting these misalignments with gentle, precise adjustments to the atlas bone—the topmost vertebra in your cervical spine. The atlas bone is crucial for both blood flow and nervous system function. By restoring its proper alignment, an Upper Cervical doctor can facilitate better fluid dynamics and blood circulation to the affected areas.
Gentle adjustments from an Upper Cervical doctor use precise techniques to encourage natural alignment. This can help counteract the issues triggered by the misalignment, from poor blood flow to improper fluid regulation in the ears.
If you're tired of living with debilitating vertigo and worrying about Meniere’s disease triggers, don't wait. Check the Upper Cervical Awareness directory to find a nearby practice specializing in upper cervical care. It's a step towards a more balanced life and, possibly, a future where Meniere's disease doesn't hold you captive to its unpredictable and life-altering symptoms.
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.