Meniere's disease is a problem with the inner ear, which is normally responsible for your balance as well as your hearing. The disease results in a sensation of spinning, also known as vertigo, a tinny, ringing sound within the ear, and problems with hearing. Fortunately, only one ear is usually involved. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, about 615,000 American adults have the disease. It is a common disease that happens to those who are between 40 and 60 years of age. With so large number of sufferers, everyone with it is eager to find out how to cure it.
Can Meniere's Disease Be Cured?
In order to cure a disease, you have to get rid of the actual cause of the disease and you need to reverse the damage it has caused. In the case of Meniere's disease cure, it means to solve the problem of the inner ear.
Unfortunately, the exactly cause of Meniere's disease isn't known. Some people believe that the disease is related to having a food allergies. Others believe the disease is related to an injury to the inner ear from an external source. Thus, there is no way to cure Meniere's disease currently, but many who suffer from the disease are able to control the symptoms of the disease by taking some lifestyle modifications and dietary changes, along with a medical plan outlined by their physician. Sometimes surgery is needed but this is rare.
How to Manage Meniere's Disease
There are things you can do to control the symptoms that will make it tolerable to live with the disease. These include the following.
1. Natural Remedies
- Try low-sodium diet. Most doctors recommend eating a low salt diet because the balance of sodium within the body can relate to inflammation. Meniere's disease is all about inflammation, which seems to trigger attacks of the disease. You can decrease the amount of fluid retention in your system by reducing the amount of sodium you take in.
- Balance carb and protein. When you eat carbs, they are digested into simple sugars, which trigger a release of insulin because of elevated blood glucose levels. When you eat protein, there is a release of glucagon that serves to control the amount of insulin in the system. Low Insulin levels and blood pressure are important to manage Meniere's disease.
- Drink water. While one of the things that contribute to Meniere's disease is excess inner ear fluid, it may actually be the result of some type of pathogen, such as bacteria or viruses in the body. If you drink a lot of fluids, this keeps the balance of water in the system so that the salts in the body are relieved in the urine and toxins are removed by the kidneys.
- Avoid inflammatory foods. Foods that trigger irritation or inflammation in the body, such as foods that are allergens to some people, can worsen Meniere's disease and you should stay away from them. Mild foods are a better idea.
- Pay attention to sugar and salt substitute. Things like MSG (which acts as a substitute for salt) and aspartame (which acts as a sugar substitute) have been related to the attack of Meniere's disease. These substances are found in almost every type of processed food. You'd better eat healthier foods, which reduces the risk of having Meniere's symptoms. It is not a Meniere's disease cure, but it improves the symptoms.
- Say no to caffeine and nicotine. Both nicotine and caffeine are stimulating, which means that they can increase the length of time of hearing loss and vertigo, and make the ears ring louder with Meniere's disease. Stay away from any foods that contain caffeine and stay away from tobacco products.
- Manage stress. Things like anxiety and stress can cause the release of the stress hormones and can worsen Meniere's disease symptoms. You may need to learn various ways to reduce stress, such as taking up meditation or yoga. If you can find books on relieving stress, this can help you reduce the stress in your life and can lessen Meniere's disease symptoms.
While not a Meniere's disease cure, medications can be used to control the symptoms of the condition. You can take medications that normally control motion sickness because these will help the nausea, vomiting, and vertigo which are symptoms of Meniere's disease.
Because excess fluid in the inner ear is a probable contributor to Meniere's disease, a diuretic may help control the symptoms. Diuretics are medications that cause the kidneys to get rid of excess fluid. The doctor may also be able to put medication inside the inner ear by injection, which will help reduce the symptoms of vertigo you may be experiencing.
3. Rehab and Hearing Aids
There are specific exercises, known as vestibular rehabilitation exercises, that can improve the vertigo you may be experiencing. The exercises will help to train the brain to balance out the differences between the ears. You need to see a physical therapist to learn these kinds of exercises.
You can see an audiologist to help with the hearing loss of Meniere's disease. This usually means you will have to have some type of hearing aids to treat the hearing loss.
For intractable vertigo, you may need a Meniett device. This treatment involves putting pressure on the middle ear of the ear in order to improve the exchange of fluidby means of a ventilation tube.
Surgery is a rare option, but it works for those who have had severe attacks of Meniere's disease and a lack of success using nonsurgical options. The procedure is known as an endolymphatic sac procedure. It decreases fluid production in the ear and helps promote drainage of fluid from the inner ear.
There is also a vestibular nerve section procedure that disconnects the nerve that normally attaches the brain to the ear. Hearing is spared while vertigo is reduced. You can also have a labyrinthectomy, in which there is a total loss of hearing because the inner ear is removed as part of the procedure.
Meniere's disease is unpredictable. The symptoms can be very severe sometimes and can disappear at other times. This can make it difficult to handle Meniere's disease. The tips and techniques described above are not a Meniere's disease cure, but they can control the symptoms.
Below, one men shares his experience with Meniere's disease.