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This is a disorder of the inner ear resulting in severe dizziness (vertigo), ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness, plugging or congestion in the ear.  It usually affects only one ear. Attacks of dizziness can come on suddenly or after a short period of tinnitus or muffled hearing. While Meniere’s disease can develop at any age, it is more likely to happen to adults between 40 and 60 years old.
Many theories exist about what causes Meniere’s disease, but to date, there are no definite answers available. One of the earliest reports of a link between allergies and Meniere’s disease was published in 1969.
The reason allergy is suspected is due to the seasonal timing, relationship to ingesting a particular food, the observation that those with Meniere’s are more likely to have allergies, bilateral ear symptoms and poor response to surgery or other treatments.  In 1992, a study showed the majority of patients with Meniere’s disease tested positive for low levels of airborne allergens and some of these patients had “hidden” food triggers. At Family Allergy & Asthma Care of Montana, we work with our ENT colleague to improve the quality of life of patients with troubling symptoms. In 1861, the French physician Prosper Meniere described a condition which now bears his name.
Causes An acute attack of Meniere’s disease is generally believed to result from fluctuating pressure of the fluid within the inner ear. Meniere’s disease can cause hair cell death, as well as mechanical changes to the ear.
Hair Cell Death The periodic admixture of perilymph and endolymph often kills hair cells in the inner ear. Mechanical Changes Mechanical disruption of the inner ear is also likely, with dilation of the utricle and saccule of the ear being a well known pathological finding. There is presently no evidence that Meniere’s disease kills the cochleovestibular nerve (Kitamura et al, 1997).
Hearing tests often begin with showing a fluctuating low-frequency sensorineural hearing loss. Treatment At the present time there is no cure for Meniere’s disease, but there are ways to manage the condition and help you control symptoms. Have you had any of the following imaging studies done as they pertain to your requested appointment?
Indiana Ear is the region’s only specialty ear clinic, and we take pride in offering top-notch sub-specialty services to diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions related the ear.
Our practice’s diverse staff allows us to offer all of our patients an effective combination of medical, surgical, and therapeutical care using a team-based approach.
In addition to our diagnostic and treatment offerings, our clinic is home to a full amplification technology dispensing and servicing center, where you can find the top hearing aids from today’s best manufacturers. No matter what your ear-related health concerns may be, we encourage you to turn to Indiana Ear for the best care in northern Indiana and surrounding regions.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates 615,000 individuals in the U.S.

Some researchers believe it is the result of constriction of blood vessels similar to those that cause migraine headaches. Total IgE levels, and specific IgE levels pertaining to tree, mold, fruit, egg, milk, wheat, corn, beef, and rice were measured. Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes episodes of vertigo, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear, and fluctuating hearing loss. These are called otolithic crisis of Tumarkin, from the original description of Tumarkin (1936). There is some controversy about this statistic however; some authors suggest that the prevalence of bilaterality is as low as 17% (Silverstein, 1992). A low-frequency sensorineural pattern is commonly found initially, but as time goes on, it usually changes into either a flat loss or a peaked pattern (click here for more information about hearing testing).
This is a gradual process over years, but frequently resulting in unilateral functional deafness. The saccule may dilate so that, in later stages, it is adherent to the underside of the stapes footplate.
Questions related to surgery scheduling, cancellation, rescheduling or pre-operative exams must be conducted via telephone or in-person with our surgical scheduling staff during normal business hours. We take pride in guiding each patient to the best possible place of care, which is why we’ve been the region’s most trusted ear healthcare providers for more than two decades.
For patients who need alternative hearing loss treatment options, we also are the region’s source of implantable devices.
We take pride in providing the most trusted ear care and offering treatment options for all ear-related medical concerns.
Other theories suggest it could be a consequence of viral infections, allergies, or autoimmune reactions.
Total IgE levels were above normal in 41% of the patient group, compared to only 19% in the control group. In Figure 1, the area of the ear affected is the entire labyrinth, which includes both the semicircular canals and the cochlea. A Meniere’s episode generally involves severe vertigo (spinning), imbalance, nausea and vomiting. These are attributed to sudden mechanical deformation of the otolith organs (utricle and saccule), causing a sudden activation of vestibular reflexes. Between the acute attacks, most people are free of symptoms or note mild imbalance and tinnitus. We suspect that this lower statistic is due to a lower duration of follow-up and that the 50% figure is more likely to be correct. It is most often attributed to viral infections of the inner ear, head injury, a hereditary predisposition, and allergy. This mechanical disruption and distortion of normal inner ear structures may result in the gradual onset of a chronic unsteadiness, even when patients are not having attacks.

The differential diagnosis is broad and includes perilymph fistula, recurrent labyrinthitis, migraine, congenital ear malformations of many kinds, syphilis, tumors, Multiple Sclerosis, etc. Please visit our Implants section to learn more about the various devices we use to treat patients who don’t find success with traditional hearing aids.
Because Meniere’s disease appears to run in families, it could be the result of genetic variations causing abnormalities in the volume or regulation of endolymph fluid in the inner ear.
Patients suddenly feel that they are tilted or falling (although they may be straight), and bring about much of the rapid repositioning themselves. Other possibilities, however, are selection bias and different patterns of the disease in different countries.
Vestibular (motion sensing) hair cells seem more resilient but there is also a slow decline in the caloric response in the diseased ear over roughly 15 years (Stahle et al, 1991). The periodic dilation and shrinkage of the utricle is also a reasonable explanation for periodic attacks of another inner ear disorder, BPPV.
The process of diagnosis usually includes hearing testing (audiometry), an ENG test, several blood tests (ANA, FTA), and an MRI scan of the head.
Following a severe attack, most people find that they are exhausted and must sleep for several hours.
This is a very disabling symptom as it occurs without warning and can result in severe injury.
Silverstein suggested that 75% of persons destined to become bilateral do so within five years.
One way for this to happen is when the drainage system, called the endolymphatic duct or sac is blocked. Finally, it also seems likely that there may be a rupture of the suspensory system for the membranous labyrinth.
This study found that the prevalence of allergy was higher in patients with Meniere’s disease than in the control group. Often destructive treatment (for example labyrinthectomy or vestibular nerve section) is the only way to manage this problem. In some cases, the endolymphatic duct may be obstructed by scar tissue, or may be narrow from birth. This might create some mechanical instability of the utricle and saccule and consequently some chronic unsteadiness. The majority of people with Meniere’s disease are over 40 years of age, with equal distribution between males and females.

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18.04.2014 admin

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