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Meniere'S Disease

Overview

Ménière's disease is a disorder of the inner ear that affects hearing and balance. It is followed by dizziness and progressive hearing loss, usually in one ear. It is caused by lymphatic channel dilation.


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Causes

It is related to the excess fluid in the inner ear. The symptoms usually occur due to the presence of a middle ear infection, head trauma, an upper respiratory tract infection,  by using aspirin, smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. Ménière's symptoms in many patients are caused by the harmful effects of a herpes virus. The virus  is activated when the immune system become depressed due to trauma, infection or surgery. Symptoms  develops when the virus degrades the structure of the inner ear.


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Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms like dizziness, unilateral (in one ear) or bilateral (in both ears) hearing loss, sensation of fullness or pressure in ears, nausea, vomiting, and sweating occurs. Sometimes patients experience the feeling of being pushed or pulled (Pulsion), uncontrollable eye movements.

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Prevention

Ménière's disease is mainly caused by head injuries so wearing a helmet during bicycling, motorcycle riding and playing baseball etc. can protect us from head injuries. Ménière's disease is also related to allergies. Treating allergies with desensitization shots and eliminating the food allergens  reduces the frequency of disease.


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Treatments
Vestibular training and Medications Modern Medicine

Doctors recommend vestibular training, stress reduction, hearing aids to deal with hearing loss, and medication to reduce the feeling of nausea. Most patients are advised to adopt a low-sodium diet and avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, which reduces the symptoms of Ménière's. It is treated by using antihistamines, anticholinergics, steroids, and diuretic which lowers the pressure within the inner ear. Surgery is done if medical treatment fails.

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