What Is Meniere’s Disease?
Meniere's (men-yerz’) Disease is a disorder of the inner ear, the part of the ear that controls
balance as well as hearing. Too much fluid (endolymph) builds up in the inner ear and swelling
occurs. The inner ear can’t work right and symptoms develop. The cause of Meniere’s is not
known. Symptoms can be managed in many ways, with medicine or surgery.
Common symptoms include:
ξ Sudden feeling of spinning or whirling (vertigo) often for more than 20 minutes, along with
nausea, vomiting and sweating.
ξ Ringing or buzzing in the ear (tinnitus).
ξ Hearing loss, which can get worse as the disease continues.
ξ Fullness or pressure in the ear.
Meniere’s can be found by telling your symptoms to your doctor, a physical exam, a hearing test,
balance tests, and maybe scans.
How Is Meniere’s Disease Treated?
ξ Lifestyle changes – Control stress and keep a positive outlook. Try to avoid caffeine, alcohol,
ξ Low salt diet – This decreases the extra fluid build up.
ξ Medicine – these can be used to reduce fluid in the ear. Medicines may help ease the symptoms
of dizziness, nausea, or anxiety.
ξ Surgery – There are four types of procedures which can be done if medical treatment does not
· Endolymphatic Sac Decompression (ELSD): an incision is made behind the affected ear and
bone is removed. This allows for draining of excess ear fluid.
· Gentamicin: injections to ear in office.
· Vestibular Nerve Section: a nerve from a portion of the ear is cut so the brain doesn’t get
signals that trigger an attack.
· Labryinthectomy: Inner ear is surgically removed. This is only done when patients have lost
ξ Use of a Meniett Device (to apply low-pressure pulses to the ear) or inner ear injections are
also used in the office.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if
you have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your
doctor. This is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
Because each person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care
team when using this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©1/2015. University of
Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing.