If you are experiencing vertigo, pressure in your ears, hearing loss that fluctuates and ringing in your ears, you’re one of the millions of Americans with Ménière’s disease, an inner ear disorder that is common in Arizona and throughout the U.S.
Symptoms of Ménière’s Disease
Ménière’s disease was discovered (or more correctly, identified) in 1861 by French doctor Prosper Ménière. The condition affects about 12 out of every 1,000 people annually, which means there are almost 1,000 patients in Goodyear.
Individuals with Ménière’s disease experience episodes of varying duration; some last just a few minutes, while others persist for 24 hours or longer. Attacks are unpredictable; they may occur a few times a week, or happen only once every few years.
Most episodes are preceded by warning signs such as dizziness, loss of balance, headache and sensitivity to noise. People who suffer from attacks experience symptoms that might include vertigo, possibly severe; tinnitus; intermittent hearing loss; fullness or pressure in the ears; anxiety; blurry vision; nausea; vomiting; rapid pulse; trembling and diarrhea. Many patients are so exhausted after their episode passes, they require long periods of sleep to recover.
The exact cause of Ménière’s disease is unknown. Excess fluid in the inner ear is usually responsible for triggering the symptoms, but doctors in Goodyear are unsure what causes this buildup of fluid in the first place. It may be the result of a dysfunction of the endolymphatic sac, the organ responsible for regulating the volume and pressure of fluids in the inner ear, but the mechanism that causes this failure is a mystery. Theories include circulation disorders, viral infections, trauma, allergies, migraines and obstructions in the ear canal. Most patients in Arizona are between the ages of 40 and 60.
Treatments for Ménière’s Disease
While there is no cure for Ménière’s disease, patients in Goodyear are able to manage their symptoms through motion sickness and anti-nausea drugs, diuretics, antibiotics and oral or injectable steroids. Treatment is focused on targeting your symptoms and reducing their frequency and severity.
Lifestyle changes may also help. Patients sometimes find relief by reducing their sodium intake and limiting their consumption of caffeine, alcohol, chocolate. and MSG. Additionally, drinking plenty of fluids, giving up smoking, avoiding allergens and practicing relaxation exercises to reduce stress and anxiety often prove helpful. Those with severe symptoms might be helped by vestibular rehabilitation exercises or, in some cases, surgery.
If you are suffering from Ménière’s disease and looking for a solution, a visit to a Goodyear ear, nose and throat doctor can help you manage symptoms and improve your quality of life.