Meniere’s disease is a condition of the inner ear that brings about severe vertigo attacks. Vertigo in Meniere’s can happen out of the blue. Even worse, a patient may experience “drop attacks.” Falling to the ground during a drop attack happens when the vertigo is so severe that a person loses balance.
Besides vertigo, what other symptoms indicate Meniere’s disease? In addition, what things can trigger these Meniere’s disease symptoms? Moreover, is there natural care for the symptoms of Meniere’s disease? Read on to get the answers to these critical questions.
The Cause of Meniere’s Disease
Meniere’s disease occurs when there is an excessive amount of fluid in the the inner ear (in the labyrinth to be exact), which results in increased pressure in the ear. The labyrinth is a crucial part of the inner ear as it is responsible for your sense of hearing and balance.
Endolymph is the fluid that fills the labyrinth. The gravity moves the endolymph as your body changes position, velocity, and direction of movement. Furthermore, the receptors in the inner ear relay signals to the brain about the movement of the endolymph, and the brain interprets this information to understand how the body is moving.
Too much endolymph in people with Meniere’s disease causes the transmission of inaccurate information to the brain. As a result, vertigo attacks and other Meniere’s disease symptoms ensue.
Top 4 Meniere’s Disease Symptoms
To know if you are suffering from Meniere’s disease, watch out for these four signs and symptoms:
As mentioned above, vertigo is the hallmark of Meniere’s disease. It brings recurring and severe vertigo attacks. In addition, a patient may experience nausea or vomiting. The attacks of vertigo can begin and end suddenly. Often they last anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours.
This is sound like ringing, hissing, roaring, buzzing, or whistling that is not coming from a source outside of the ear. Patients with Meniere’s disease may frequently experience tinnitus in the affected ear.
Pressure or fullness in the ear
Due to the buildup of endolymph within the inner ear, pressure can increase, resulting in the sense of fullness in the ear.
Loss of hearing
Fluctuating hearing loss may happen in the affected ear. There is also the risk of permanent hearing loss.
Possible Causes of Meniere’s Disease Symptoms
Why does excess fluid build up in the labyrinth resulting in Meniere’s disease? The exact cause remains unclear. However, doctors and medical practitioners have come up with several theories over their years of study about the condition. Some of the potential causes they acknowledge are as follows:
- Infection of the inner or middle ear
- Viral infection
- Respiratory infection
- Autoimmune reaction
- Family history of the illness
- Anxiety or stress
- Medication side-effect
- Alcohol consumption
- Head injury
Following a Meniere’s attack, patients may feel their symptoms improve and even cease to appear altogether. Some Meniere’s patients can go years between attacks, and others experience episodes only weeks apart.
Meniere’s Disease Care
There are a few ways to manage and relieve Meniere’s disease symptoms. Doctors may recommend one or all the following:
- Vestibular rehabilitation therapy – Physicians suggest this to help improve a patient’s balance.
- Medication – They also often recommended anti-nausea and motion sickness medications.
- Low-sodium diet – This helps decrease fluid retention in the body.
- Diuretics – Another way to reduce overall fluid retention in the body.
- Injections of an antibiotic or steroid into the ear – This is for more severe cases of Meniere’s.
- Surgery – Doctors recommend this only when the other relief options don’t work.
Relief Through Upper Cervical Chiropractic
When it comes to discussions about relief options for Meniere’s disease, a less talked about but effective natural form of care is upper cervical chiropractic.
Meniere’s May Originate in the Spine
Before we explain how this niche in the chiropractic profession can help bring long-lasting relief for Meniere’s disease symptoms, we would like to first explain the role of the spine in all this, especially the bones at the very top of the neck.
In general, the spine protects the spinal cord. The spinal cord works as the communication highway between the body and the brain, and the bones of the spinal column add an extra layer of protection to keep its normal function.
Your atlas (C1 vertebra), the topmost bone in the neck, is the most special and movable bone in the whole spine. However, it is very prone to misaligning. Any injury or accident can cause it to move out of its normal alignment, causing damage to that area of the spinal cord. The C1 and C2 vetebrae surround the brainstem, which connects the spinal cord and the brain.
In addition, the atlas is very close to the inner ear, and and atlas misalignment can have an impact on the ear drainage and communication. As a result, it may affect the nerves that link the inner ear and brain, which aid the body in keeping its balance.
Study Backs Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care
A 2016 study has recognized the contribution of an atlas misalignment in the development of Meniere’s disease. For six years, the researchers monitored 300 patients with Meniere’s disease, all of whom received upper cervical chiropractic care. They all had an atlas misalignment.
As a result, 97% of the patients reported significant improvement in their Meniere’s disease symptoms. They were able to bring back their normal family and social life, as well as do activities they used to do without difficulties such as driving and working. The remaining patients had fewer and less intense episodes of Meniere’s.
Upper cervical chiropractic care is an effective therapy done with precision and accuracy. Upper cervical chiropractic doctors make low-force adjustments to correct atlas alignment. This allows the healing and return of the normal functions of the body.
Start getting upper cervical chiropractic care to resolve your Meniere’s disease symptoms by clicking the button below.
Burcon MT, Health outcomes following cervical specific protocol in 300 patients with Meniere’s followed over six years. J Upper Cervical Chiropr Res 2016; Jun 2:13-23.