Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease and Ways to Get Relief

December 16, 2018|Vertigo / Dizziness| by Harrison Salisbury
Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease and Ways to Get Relief

Meniere’s disease can be a very inconvenient and anxiety-provoking disease. Without warning, a vertigo episode could come upon you making you feel as though the environment around you is spinning out of control. Other issues associated with this disease are extreme interruptions to your balance system and problems with your hearing that can even include hearing loss. Looking closer at this condition can help us to better understand it and help to find the right professional assistance and care you may need.

What Is Meniere’s Disease?

Prosper Meniere, a French physician, described the condition in 1861, and it is now named after him. He was the first to recognize that the symptoms you will see listed below began in the inner ear and not the brain, as was the general belief at that time.

  • Vertigo — a sensation that you or the things around you are spinning
  • Tinnitus — a ringing or other type of noise in the ear
  • A feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear
  • Fluctuating hearing loss

Meniere’s disease affects the entire labyrinth of the ear, including the semicircular canals and the cochlea.

Prior to a person having an episode of Meniere’s, he or she may experience a feeling of fullness in the ear, hearing fluctuations, or tinnitus. These episodes usually coincide with severe vertigo, feeling off balance, nausea, and vomiting, and they are may last from two to four hours. Following the attack, most people are exhausted and feel the need to sleep for several hours. The duration of these symptoms varies from person to person and episode to episode. Sometimes they are short “shocks,” while other instances are more like a constant feeling of being off balance.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and vertigo, download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.

One of the more unbearable symptoms is something called a “drop attack”, which is when you unpredictably fall to the ground. In these cases, you may feel as though you are tilting or falling and try to readjust yourself. Falling to the ground is a common occurrence, and it is both disturbing and dangerous since it can cause severe injury depending on the circumstances at the time of the attack.

Sometimes Meniere’s disease episodes happen in clusters. The sufferer has quite a few attacks in a short amount of time, only to be free of symptoms for years before the next one happens. When it comes to symptoms in the ears, usually only one ear is affected; however, it can eventually progress to be an issue in both ears. People who develop Meniere’s disease are usually over the age of forty, and there is no discrepancy between genders. Migraines are included in the Meniere’s disease symptom line up for some people, which could be caused by a genetic component or the same problem leading to multiple problems.

 

How Does Meniere’s Disease Develop?

The most accepted theory about Meniere’s is that it is caused by buildup of fluid in the inner ear. However, not everyone agrees to this because not all people who have Meniere’s have fluid buildup. There are some people who have fluid buildup but do not have Meniere’s. While the fluid buildup may be behind some people’s condition, it is probably not the only reason that Meniere’s happens. Currently there are some theories regarding the immunologic function of the endolymphatic sac. These means that immune disease could be a contributing factor in a percentage of Meniere’s disease cases. Genetics also have an impact for some patients. There is also a link between TMD (joint problems in the jaw), the cervical spine (remember this as you continue reading), eustachian tube dysfunction, and autonomic nervous system problems.

 

Tips on Alleviating Some Meniere’s Symptoms

The inner ear is impacted by certain substances that are present in your blood and other fluids of the body. For example, foods that are high in sugar or salt can cause increases of these substances in your blood and, in turn, change the concentration of substances in your ear. We recommend that you try to limit these contributors to avoid imbalances. Keeping your caffeine and alcohol intake under control will also help. Here are a few ways that can help lower the amount of Meniere’s episodes you are experiencing:

  • Eat a similar amount of food at each meal and avoid skipping meals. Evenly distribute your food and fluid intake throughout the day.
  • Stay hydrated by taking in plenty of fluids as well as ramping up your fluid intake if you plan to exercise or be out in the heat.
  • Keep alcohol to one glass of wine or one beer daily.
  • Avoid MSG, popular in Asian cooking, as it contains a lot of sodium and can trigger migraines as well as Meniere’s symptoms.
  • Be wise about your sodium intake, as salt can cause fluctuations in the inner ear fluid pressure, worsening your symptoms. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and stay away from as many canned or processed foods as possible. Your intake should not exceed 1000 mg of sodium daily.

 

Professional Help for Meniere’s Disease

Sometimes, the common link between Meniere’s disease and migraines may actually have to do with the upper cervical spine, as mentioned above. A misalignment here puts the brainstem under stress and can cause a number of health problems throughout the body. If the brainstem is unable to communicate properly with the brain about the body’s location, vertigo can be the end result. A misalignment here can also hinder the fluid from draining properly from the ears due to a lesion that grows on the eustachian tube over many years. Here at Brain & Spine Upper Cervical Chiropractic in West Jordan, Utah, we use a gentle method in order to correct the alignment of the bones in the upper neck. The C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) are often the bones that are more likely to shift out of place. With our adjustment technique, there is no need to crack or pop the back or neck to get positive results, which is one of the benefits of the care we provide that our patients really appreciate. Our adjustments are precise, and the corrections typically stay longer than regular chiropractic adjustments. This has led to many of our patients seeing a decrease in Meniere’s disease. Some see it go away and not return. With these incredible results, we invite you to come in for a free consultation so we can discuss how we can help you in your unique case.

 

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Salisbury, call our West Jordan office at 801-823-2523. You can also click the button below. If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.