I've Been Diagnosed with Meniere's Disease: Now What?

I've Been Diagnosed with Meniere's Disease: Now What?

You never knew a problem with your ears could cause you to lose your balance and feel like the earth is spinning around you. You’ve developed vertigo. But your ear condition doesn’t stop there. You may also have a hard time hearing out of your affected ear; it always feels full, as if there’s fluid in it. Additionally, you may hear a ringing sound in your ear that you can’t stop. You never know when the symptoms are going to occur. 

You now have a name for your uncomfortable and distressing ear symptoms: Meniere’s disease. This rare ear condition can result in lasting hearing loss if left untreated. 

Researchers have found that Meniere’s patients have too much endolymph, a fluid in your inner ear that helps you maintain your balance and hearing. Because researchers don’t know why the fluid level rises in Meniere’s patients, they haven’t been able to find a cure. 

But keep a positive outlook — there are many treatment options that help relieve the pressure on your inner ear and allay your symptoms. 

Board-certified otolaryngologist Nilesh Patel, MD provides compassionate and caring treatment for Meniere's disease. He knows that what works for one person with Meniere’s disease doesn’t work for all, so he individualizes each treatment plan. It may involve a bit of trial and error, but Dr. Patel and his staff are with you every step of the way, until we find solutions that ease your symptoms. 

Following are standard treatments that work with the majority of Meniere’s patients. Dr. Patel starts with a conservative approach tothese treatments. 

Lowering your overall bodily fluid levels

A diuretic or a low-salt diet reduces how much fluid you have in your body, which researchers believe can lower the fluid level in your inner ear and relieve the pressure there. If you’re on a diuretic, you take an oral medication once a day. 

You may want to try a low-salt diet to see if it helps you. Many patients report at least some relief from symptoms by ingesting low levels of sodium. 

Motion sickness medication

If vertigo is one of your troubling symptoms, motion sickness medication may give you relief. The medication prescribed is an antihistamine that prevents signals from your ear to your brain that cause you to lose your balance. 

Steroid injection

A steroid injection into your middle ear can help ease your symptoms. Our caring staff numbs your eardrum. Dr. Patel administers an intratympanic steroid injection through your eardrum. The injection takes about a minute. You’ll lie down with your ear facing the ceiling for about 30 minutes. Then you can go home and resume your day.  

Hearing aid

A hearing aid can help you hear better if your hearing is noticeably affected by Meniere’s disease. We can refer you to a qualified audiologist. 

Vestibular therapy

If your balance is affected even when you’re not having a vertigo attack, vestibular therapy may help your balance improve, which lessens your risk for falls and other accidents. Your therapist shows you how to do exercises that help your body and brain relearn how to balance better. 

Surgery 

If no other treatments have helped you, there are surgical options that ease the pressure of the endolymph — the fluid that researchers believe is causing your symptoms. Dr. Patel reviews each option with you. 


Call Dr. Nilesh Patel or book a same-day appointment online now if you have an undiagnosed ear, nose, or throat disorder.

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