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Author: admin | 30.09.2013 | Category: Treatment For Ear Ringing

Graham Medd had always put his sporadic dizzy spells down to a€?funny turnsa€™ or a reaction to something dodgy hea€™d eaten.But four years ago, the attacks took on a new intensity a€” Graham felt so dizzy and sick that he collapsed on the sofa. The attacks became more frequent a€” two or three times a month hea€™d feel the strange whirling and numbness in the head. Though ita€™s not clear why this build-up of fluid occurs, possible causes include an auto-immune condition a€” where your immune system starts attacking cells in the ear a€” a virus that damages the ear or simply because of the shape of the inner ear (in up to 10 per cent of cases, Menierea€™s runs in families).Some experts think it may be caused by a problem in the blood vessels a€” it has been linked to migraines, which are triggered by the narrowing and widening of blood vessels.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. This would last for a couple of hours, the room spinning as though hea€™d just staggered off a childa€™s roundabout. This is made up of a a€?labyrintha€™ of fluid-filled channels that help transmit sound vibrations to the brain.
The labyrinth is also key to our sense of balance, sensing when the head moves and transmitting this information, via the vestibular nerve, to the brain.
And after each attack, it took almost a week to recover.a€™After six months, Graham saw his GP, who prescribed anti-sickness medication, but it didna€™t help. Menierea€™s disease is thought to be caused by the pressure of this fluid changing, or the fluid building up, triggering inflammation in the inner ear.


The condition may burn itself out over two to eight years, but in some cases it can last for decades.
Faulty messages are sent to the brain so it feels as if the head is moving when ita€™s not, hence the characteristic feelings of dizziness and nausea, which can last for ten hours.Menierea€™s can also cause hearing loss and tinnitus a€” phantom ringing sounds.
A consultant recommended that Graham stick to a low-salt diet a€” this helps to draw excess fluid out of the inner ear a€” and prescribed betahistine, which reduces pressure on the fluid in the inner ear, and anti-sickness drugs. But nothing helped and Grahama€™s attacks were getting worse a€” when an attack started just as he arrived home, he would have to lie on the hall floor for hours. The dizzy spells had been going on for two years when Grahama€™s consultant told him about a trial testing injecting drugs into the ear to stop Menierea€™s.In the past, if medication didna€™t help, the only cure for Menierea€™s was surgery a€” a two-hour operation to remove some of the bone in the ear to release pressure on the fluids or to destroy the labyrinth of channels in the ear that regulate balance.
These procedures help with balance problems, but the latter would leave patients deaf on one side. Another option is to sever the vestibular nerve sending abnormal messages to the brain, but this involves brain surgery that many patients cannot face.But doctors hope drugs could ease the condition non-invasively. Because it can damage hearing and balance, gentamicin is never used on both ears a€” and up to half of patients develop Menierea€™s in both ears. The other drug on trial is the steroid prednisolone, which can dampen down inflammation in the ear temporarily.a€?We know steroids dona€™t cure Menierea€™s, but it may suppress it in 90 per cent of patients,a€™ says Mr Rea.


This is the gold standard in clinical research and we hope to be able to show which treatment is best for particular patients.a€™In May 2010, Graham went to Charing Cross Hospital for two injections into his ear. Now researchers hope that when the trial ends in two years, they will have conclusive evidence on which drug is better. In bad cases, gentamicin is one effective treatment, but it can have unpleasant side effects.
The trial will establish how true this is for sufferers.a€™Graham hopes the attacks will never return. Ita€™s wonderful not to suffer.a€™The trial is still recruiting patients with one-sided Menierea€™s disease with repeated vertigo who have not responded to other treatments for at least six months.



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