by Rick Alan
Meniere disease is a disorder of the labyrinth in the inner ear that causes vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and hearing problems. The labyrinth is a system of cavities and canals in the inner ear that affects hearing, balance, and eye movement.
The cause of Meniere disease is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of factors. Possible causes include:
Meniere disease is more common in adults aged 30 to 60 years. Other factors that may increase your chance of Meniere disease include:
Meniere disease may cause fluctuating symptoms, which may come on suddenly. They typically involve only one ear, but may involve both. Symptoms include:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. This will include an examination of your ears and a neurologic exam to evaluate for possible nerve damage.
Tests may include:
There is no cure for Meniere disease. Treatment focuses on managing your symptoms. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options may include 1 or more of the following:
Dietary and Lifestyle Changes
Dietary changes include:
Lifestyle changes include:
Your doctor may suggest specific vestibular exercises. These exercises use a series of eye, head, and body movements to get the body used to moving without dizziness. You may work with a physical therapist to learn these.
Consider working with a therapist or joining a support group. These can help you to cope with your symptoms.
Your doctor may recommend:
Ask your doctor if a Meniett device would be helpful to you. This device provides low-pressure pulses to the middle ear.
Surgical procedures are not always helpful, but include:
There are no current guidelines to prevent Meniere disease. However, to help reduce your risk, avoid:
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Meniere disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113932/Meniere-disease. Updated December 5, 2016. Accessed August 22, 2017.
Meniere's disease. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/menieres-disease. Updated March 2014. Accessed August 22, 2017.
Meniere's disease. National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) website. Available at: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/menieres-disease. Updated February 13, 2017. Accessed August 22, 2017.
12/3/2010 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance https://www.dynamed.com/condition/meniere-disease: Hillier S, McDonnell M. Vestibular rehabilitation for unilateral peripheral vestibular dysfunction. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(10):CD005397.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Last Updated: 7/15/2020
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