Do I have Meniere’s Disease?
Today we are going to answer a question that I frequently hear from many patients that I see which is, “Do I have Meniere’s Disease?”
The answer is that I have met many people who have been told that they have been diagnosed with Meniere’s disease as the cause of their vertigo. Accurate diagnostic testing and assessment of the vestibular system for a Meniere’s diagnosis is a lengthy process and often incomplete.
Meniere’s Disease is Over-Diagnosed and Commonly Mis-Diagnosed
In fact, recently I met a woman who had been taking medicine for the disease for close to 20 years and following a low salt diet, but her vertigo symptom pattern did not match a typical Meniere’s disease description.
If you have been told by someone that your vertigo symptoms are due to Meniere’s disease, I highly recommend for you to seek out a vestibular specialist to do a proper evaluation of your case and consider the other potential causes of your episodes of dizziness and vertigo.
Meniere’s Symptoms fit a Pattern
People with true Meniere’s disease, or a Meniere’s syndrome, experience sporadic episodes of dizziness and vertigo that may last for hours or days, and they are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, imbalance, as well as pressure of fullness in the ear, ringing in the ear, and intermittent hearing loss which is not permanent after the episode of Meniere’s has resolved.
One ear is usually affected, but both ears can be affected in some cases.
Hearing may be gradually lost over time, but is mostly restored back to baseline after the vertigo episode is over.
Find a Specialist to Get a Second Opinion
If you are someone who is not certain whether or not you are dealing with Meniere’s disease, and you have never been properly evaluated by an inner ear specialist, I highly recommend for you to find an inner ear specialist at the Vestibular Disorders Association, Vestibular.org.
Then you can find out if you really have true Meniere’s disease or if you have something similar such as episodes of migraine headaches, which may need to be treated and managed medically in a whole different way.
New Treatment Options for True Meniere’s Disease
Meniere’s disease episodes are caused by “endolymphatic hydrops.”
Meniere’s syndrome consists of Meniere’s like episodes caused by something else in the body like the immune system or a virus. Treatment is focused on management of the vertigo episodes and identifying the underlying cause.
This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.