When it comes to vestibular disorders, Meniere’s disease may not be incredibly common (about 1 in 500 people), but it certainly is one of the more recognizable issues that affect the ear and can lead to severe bouts of vertigo. We’re going to provide you with the most essential information about this health condition, especially when it comes to finding natural relief.
The Difference Between Meniere’s Disease and Endolymphatic Hydrops
Let’s begin by clearing up one of the most glaring misconceptions about this condition. You need to understand the difference between Meniere’s disease and endolymphatic hydrops because many people, even some physicians, do not. So let’s take a closer look at these two conditions.
What Is Endolymphatic Hydrops?
Endolymph is the fluid of the inner ear. Its movement helps the body to determine things such as spatial orientation and balance. Endolymphatic hydrops refers to an overabundance of this liquid. This can occur for a number of reasons. For one thing, the body may be producing or retaining too many fluids. For another, there may be something preventing the eustachian tubes from draining away excess fluid as they should. Inflammation can undoubtedly play a role.
What Is Meniere’s Disease?
This is a condition that presents with four primary symptoms.
- Vertigo – Vertigo is a false sensation of movement. Often a person feels like he or she is spinning, falling, or tilting; or the room around the person may seem to move.
- Hearing loss – Hearing loss grows worse as Meniere’s progresses. A hearing test can reveal how far along this syndrome is by determining if only low tones have been lost or if high sounds are beginning to fade as well.
- Tinnitus – Tinnitus is a ringing, buzzing, or whooshing sound in the ear that is not being caused by external stimuli. Increased tinnitus is also associated with increased hearing loss of Meniere’s patients.
- A feeling of pressure in the affected ear(s) – The ear may feel full, especially during a symptom flare-up. Usually, only one ear is affected. However, a person can have Meniere’s in both ears from the onset of the condition, and it becomes more likely that both ears will be affected the longer someone has the condition.
Also, the underlying cause of Meniere’s disease is unknown. While a person may also have endolymphatic hydrops at times, Meniere’s disease is a separate condition with its own symptom set. At most, the overabundance of fluid in the ears would be another symptom and not the underlying cause of the condition.
What Can Trigger a Symptom Flare-up for Meniere’s Patients?
There is no cure for Meniere’s disease. The objective of medical care is to reduce the frequency of flare-ups by increasing the amount of time between them. One way to do this is to know what triggers your flare-ups and to avoid these things if possible. Here are some of the most common triggers for Meniere’s disease attacks.
- Other illnesses
- High-salt diet
- Foods that you are allergic or sensitive to
- Changes in pressure
- Emotional distress
- Overexertion (either physical or mental)
How Long Does a Flare-Up of Meniere’s Last?
The answer will vary from person to person and from episode to episode. For example, vertigo bouts tend to last at least 20 minutes, but they can go on as long as all day. You may have attacks close together, or you may go so long between the attacks that you begin to wonder if you even have the condition anymore. This syndrome is very unpredictable in nature, and this can make it challenging to find adequate care.
Tips to Help You Limit Attacks
Since the best way to combat Meniere’s is to extend the time between attacks, here are some things that you can do.
- Get educated – Learn about your triggers and other things about this condition. Don’t be afraid to inform friends and family so they can help you to avoid triggers.
- Change your diet – Avoid anything that you have an allergy or sensitivity to. Cut back on salt intake, which will stop your body from retaining as many fluids. Drink more water because you don’t want to get dehydrated now that you are eating less salt. Cut back on inflammatory foods like refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, highly processed foods, fast food, and the like.
- Speak with a doctor – Get an official diagnosis and learn what you can from your family doctor.
If a Meniere’s attack does strike, go to a safe and comfortable place to rest until it ends. If you need to go to the doctor, have someone else drive you. It can be dangerous to get behind the wheel during a Meniere’s episode.
Try This Natural Way to Get Help for Meniere’s Disease
Upper cervical chiropractors have been able to help hundreds of Meniere’s patients to cope with symptoms in case studies. This is because we practice a specific form of chiropractic that focuses on just the top two bones in the neck. When these bones are out of alignment, they can affect the central nervous system, but also the ears. For example, the surrounding soft tissue may shift to keep the head balanced, and this can change the way that ears drain.
If you are living with Meniere’s disease, especially if you have a history of head or neck injury, why not give upper cervical chiropractic care a try. This specific form of chiropractic may be just the natural help that you need.