Signs You May Be Suffering From Meniere's Disease
Hearing loss can have numerous causes, from trauma to genetics to conditions such as Meniere's disease. Because understanding the cause is crucial to properly treating hearing loss, review these symptoms to determine if you may be suffering from Meniere's disease.
One of the most common symptoms of Meniere's disease is bouts of vertigo. Vertigo is a sensation of spinning or dizziness that is generally caused by dysfunction in the inner ear. These vertigo spells may last anywhere from a few minutes to 24 hours. They may also come with complications such as loss of balance, nausea, vomiting, or sweating. Fall prevention and balance testing may be helpful tools for coping with vertigo.
Aural Fullness and Tinnitus
Meniere's disease is often accompanied by a sensation known as aural fullness, which is a feeling that the ear is full or plugged up. Another symptom is tinnitus, which is the sensation of ringing in the ear, whether or not there is a stimulus. Both of these symptoms may lead to discomfort and difficulty hearing.
People with Meniere's disease are also likely to experience hearing loss, particularly early on in the disease's development. Hearing loss may only manifest in one ear, and it may come and go. However, Meniere's disease may lead to some degree of permanent hearing loss.
Chronic Nature of Symptoms
Unlike some causes of hearing loss, which can result in increased difficulty hearing over time, Meniere's disease symptoms often manifest in concentrated "attacks." You may experience multiple symptoms at one time, and then not experience them at all between episodes.
Causes of Meniere's Disease
Currently, the cause of Meniere's disease is unknown. However, symptoms seem to manifest as a result of an abnormally high amount of fluid known as endolymph in the inner ear. Viral infection, immune responses, improper fluid drainage, and genetic predisposition may play a role in the accumulation of this fluid.
If you have any of the symptoms associated with Meniere's disease, especially if they come and go, it's important to be examined by a professional as soon as possible. Left untreated, Meniere's disease can lead to fatigue, impacted balance, and permanent hearing loss that may require hearing aids. If you've experienced any of these symptoms, call High Level Speech & Hearing Center at 504.345.2984 to schedule an appointment at one of our New Orleans-area offices today.