Meniere's disease is a disorder of the labyrinth in the inner ear. The labyrinth is a system of cavities and canals in the inner ear that affects hearing, balance, and eye movement.
The Inner Ear
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An increase in the volume or pressure of fluid in the labyrinth can result in Meniere's disease. The cause of these fluid changes is unknown. Possible causes may include:
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Risk factors for Meniere's disease include:
The intensity of symptoms can vary from one person to another. Symptoms usually come on suddenly. They typically involve only one ear, but may involve both.
Symptoms may include:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. This will include an examination of your ears and a neurologic exam to evaluate for possible nerve damage.
Tests may include:
Treatment may include:
These may help limit symptoms:
Your doctor may suggest specific vestibular exercises. These exercises use a series of eye, head, and body movements to get the body used to moving without dizziness. You may work with a physical therapist to learn these.
Surgical procedures are not always helpful, and include:
There are no specific guidelines for preventing Meniere's disease. However, to help reduce your risk, avoid the following risk factors:
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
Approaching Menieres Positively
Canadian Family Physician
American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home.html .
National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/ .
The Merck Manual of Medical Information . 17th ed. Simon and Schuster, Inc.; 2000.
12/3/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Hillier S, McDonnell M. Vestibular rehabilitation for unilateral peripheral vestibular dysfunction. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(10):CD005397.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Kari Kassir, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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