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Author: admin, 22.12.2013
Meniere’s disease, also called idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops, is a condition that causes attacks of vertigo (spinning sensation), hearing loss, tinnitus (roaring, buzzing, or ringing sound in the ear), and a sensation of fullness in the affected ear.
The attacks of vertigo may be accompanied by disequilibrium (feeling off-balanced), nausea and vomiting. The cause of Meniere’s disease is unknown but is thought to be caused by an abnormality in the fluids of the inner ear. There are several possible causes for Meniere’s disease but most are idiopathic or unknown . An examination will help determine if there are any other conditions that may be causing your symptoms. Auditory brain stem response (ABR), a test that uses electrodes to record how well sound signals travel along the hearing nerve to the brain. Electrocochleography (ECog) measure electrical activity in the inner ear and is often abnormal in people with Meniere’s. An MRI may be indicated to rule out other causes for symptoms similar to Meniere’s disease. Blood and allergy testing may be ordered to determine if other disorders such as infection, autoimmune, endocrine disorders or allergies are causing your symptoms. Over the counter medications such as meclizine (Antivert) and prescription diazepam (Valium) and anti-nausea medications may help control symptoms.
Injection of an antibiotic (Gentamicin) into the middle ear (through the eardrum) is used to control dizziness. Meniette device- This is a portable air pressure pulse generator that is marketed in the U.S. Endolymphatic sac decompression – This procedure places a small tube into the endolymphatic sac (inner ear) to relieve pressure in the sac. Selective vestibular neurectomy- The balance nerve is cut as it leaves the inner ear to the brain. Labyrinthectomy – The balance canal is removed, eliminating balance and hearing in that ear. RisksSome individuals are more likely to or more at risk of developing an earwax impaction. CAUTION: It's ironic that the use of a cotton applicator is one of the leading causes of earwax impaction.
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Wearing hearing aids has been such a positive experience for Marie Redfern, she wants to encourage others with hearing loss to try them, too.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), based on recent research, it is estimated there are approximately 615,000 individuals with diagnosed Meniere's disease in the United States and 45,500 newly diagnosed cases each year. Our hearing and balance systems are housed within what is called the labyrinth which has two parts: membranous and bony. Health professionals believe an increase in the endolymph fluid has the potential to cause the labrynth to swell or dialate. So although experts feel they have an idea of what contributes to Meniere's disease symptoms, they do not know exactly what causes the disease. According to the NIDCD, ongoing research is investigating many possible causes such as environmental factors, such as noise pollution and viral infections, as well as biological factors.
The diagnosis of Meniere's involves many different tests and can be a lengthy process if symptoms are not textbook.
Diagnosis will first begin with consulting a physician specializing in hearing and balance such as an otolaryngologist. An audiologist may also perform and auditory brainstem response (ABR) test (electrical activity in the hearing nerve and brain stem) and electrocochleography (recording the electrical activity of the inner ear in response to sound) to assist in confirming the diagnosis. For persons with more debilitating and severe Meniere's symptoms there are various surgical treatments that can be performed; however, these treatments most often result in a total loss of hearing and are reserved for persons who have already lost most of their hearing.
In regards to treating the hearing loss caused by Meniere's, digital hearing aids are often prescribed.
The disease itself is no fun, but with ongoing research and medical treatments persons with Meniere's are finding success in managing their symptoms. If you are experiencing Meniere's like symptoms, it does not necessarily mean you have Meniere's Disease; however, your hearing should be evaluated to determine what may be causing your symptoms. Vertigo, dizziness, a sense of ear fullness and ringing in the ears are all symptoms for a variety of illnesses, like migraine. According to Kaf, Meniere’s disease is a common disease of the inner ear affecting adults in their fourth decade of life. The current technique for objective diagnosis of Meniere disease is Electrocochleography, but Kaf knows that it lacks sensitivity to accurately detect Meniere’s disease in its early stage. Currently to test patients, an electrode is placed behind the ear and another in the ear canal. She explained that this increased speed is a stressor to the inner ear and the hearing nerve similar to a doctor putting a patient with heart condition on a treadmill while undergoing an echocardiogram (EKG).
Kaf and her research team are recruiting people who have been recently diagnosed with Meniere’s to participate in a three-hour long study. Kaf has received generous funding for this research study from the Hearing Health Foundation.
According to one study, cerumen impaction is present in 10% of children, 5% of normal healthy adults, 57% of nursing home residents and 36% in individuals with a mental handicap.


In attempts to clean the ear, earwax is actually pushed deeper resulting in blockage of the ear canal. The membranous portion of the labyrinth is necessary for hearing and balance and is filled with a fluid called endolymph.
This condition is referred to as endolymphatic hydrops and may very well play a part in symptoms of Meniere's disease. After a medical history review and a physical exam, the physician will refer the patient for a full hearing evaluation by an audiologist and typically a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). There are various hearing tests which allow the audiologist and physician to characterize the hearing loss and persons with Meniere's demonstrate common trends in their loss.
Examples of successful diet changes consist of low salt or salt free diets and no caffeine or alcohol. Wafaa Kaf, professor of audiology, has spent many of her 10 years at Missouri State researching ways to evaluate the hearing of these challenging populations. The disease is believed to be due to an abnormal increase in the amount of the inner ear fluid. She wants to improve the diagnosis process to understand the origin of the disease and its long-term effects.
Clicking sounds will be presented to the patient’s ear via earphone and the system will record responses from the inner ear and the hearing nerve, which will be analyzed by an audiologist.
Participants will be compensated $75 and will also receive free comprehensive hearing evaluations to assess hearing sensitivity and middle ear status as well as inner ear and nerve function using both the standard and the modified, experimental procedures.
The movement of endolymph within the labyrinth is what is responsible for sending signals to the brain about the body’s movement and balance.
Digital hearing aids allow the audiologist to adjust the level of amplification based on changes that may occur from time to time. Wafaa Kaf, professor of audiology in the communication sciences and disorders department at Missouri State University, these symptoms may not immediately raise a red flag to a patient with Meniere’s disease, and that’s one of the major challenges of this disease. The diagnosis is based on whether there is an abnormally large response from the inner ear compared to the hearing nerve response.
In Kaf’s research, the modification to the current measure has the potential to detect Meniere’s disease and distinguish it from other inner ear or nerve lesions. The level of severity and discomfort of the symptoms, and how often they occur varies individual to individual.
Some individuals such as the elderly, those with poor vision or other brain dysfunction, should consider other procedures as they are more likely to have persistent difficulty with balance following this procedure. There is no one predicting factor for often or severe a person will experience a Meniere's attack.



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