What Tests Are There for Diagnosing Meniere’s Disease?


Meniere’s disease is a rare but extremely frustrating condition for people who suffer from it. One of the most bothersome symptoms of this disease is vertigo, the false sensation that you or your surroundings are moving or spinning.

Symptoms associated with Meniere’s disease are:

  • Temporary fluctuating hearing loss that can develop into a permanent one
  • A sensation of congestion or fullness in the ears
  • Tinnitus – characterized by a hissing, ringing, or buzzing noise in the ears
  • Vertigo

All of these symptoms may hit all of a sudden. However, Meniere’s disease sometimes may go into remission for a while and then come back without any warning. 

Why Does Meniere’s Disease Occur?

Meniere’s disease still has many mysteries that need solving. No one understands it completely and how it comes about. Currently, the most popular and long-accepted theory is that it is associated with an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the inner ear. The real reason for this occurring is still under investigation. However, a few theories suggest this build-up of fluid is because the ear is unable to drain fluid correctly. 

Meniere’s disease can be an abnormal immune system response due to:

  • Allergies
  • A virus
  • An injury to the neck or head

A recent finding has supported the second theory. Not everybody who has Meniere’s disease has an abnormal build-up of fluid in their inner ear. Therefore, while the first theory applies to some people, it cannot be used for all patients. 

Meniere’s patients are more susceptible to certain factors, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Stress 
  • More frequency of attacks

How Are Meniere’s Disease Patients Diagnosed?

The doctor will require your detailed medical history. Details necessary would include the following:

  • Duration
  • Intensity
  • The character of your attacks
  • Information about your hearing loss (if it has changed at all)
  • Do you have tinnitus?
  • Do you have congestion in one or both ears?

After the series of questions, a battery of tests will follow. These tests will cover:

  • Hearing

A hearing test will reveal sensory hearing loss in the afflicted ear. This test will often use speech discrimination. Words such as sit and fit included, to determine whether there is a diminished hearing capacity in the ear.

  • Balance

An electronystagmogram (ENG) will determine where your balance function lies. It will happen in a dark room where eye movements will get recorded whenever cold or warm water or air gets introduced into each ear. Since the eyes and ears work together with the nervous system, the measurements taken of the eye movements indicate how your balance rates.

  • Some Other Tests

An electrocochleography will show the amount of fluid pressure is present in the inner ear. 

    • An MRI or CT scan will rule out the possibility of a tumor on the hearing and balance nerve. 
    • ABR (auditory brainstem response) – This is a computerized test for the brain pathways and hearing nerves. 

What Can I Do During an Attack of Meniere’s Disease?

One of the best things you can do during a Meniere’s attack is to lie down flat. Try to keep your focus on a single unmoving object. People who often do this procedure report that sometimes they fall asleep and then feel better after waking up.

Below are a few care options you can try to reduce the occurrence of Meniere’s disease:

  • Reduce and manage your stress
  • Reduce your salt consumption. Doing so will reduce fluid retention in the body
  • Get enough regular exercise. Avoid excessive training to the point of over fatigue.

How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Resolves Meniere’s Disease

Some people may think that the neck and the ear don’t have much of a connection. Well, they do have a close relationship due to the nearness of the inner ear to the upper cervical spine. In fact, the ear is very near the topmost vertebra of the neck, the atlas (C1).

The atlas bone protects the brainstem. If this particular bone misaligns, for some reason, it places the brainstem in an awkward position, pressured by tension and stress. It leads to wrong signals sent to the brain about the body’s real position concerning its environment. Thus, it becomes one reason for the main symptom of Meniere’s disease to develop—vertigo. Misalignment happens more likely in people who had a neck or head trauma or injury in the past.

Results of a Meniere’s Disease Study

There was a study that observed 139 patients with Meniere’s disease. It revealed a critical and exciting conclusion. During their initial patient history and examination, an investigation showed that all 139 patients had experienced some cervical trauma. A majority of these patients reported that they had suffered from whiplash due to car accidents. These patients were each given specific upper cervical chiropractic adjustments tailored to their particular needs. After the duration of the study, 136 of the patients experienced a considerable reduction in their symptoms of Meniere’s. They reported that their vertigo attacks lessen significantly.

Upper cervical chiropractors use a similar procedure as the study in assisting their Meniere’s patients. Their method is different from traditional chiropractic because their methods do not need to crack or pop or twist the spine to put the atlas bone back into its proper position. Every adjustment uses scientific measurements and precision tailored to each patient’s specific needs. A majority of our patients also reported similar positive effects as the study mentioned earlier. 

Seek an upper cervical chiropractor near you by using the search button on our website to attain the same results.

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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.