Do you sometimes have ringing or other strange sounds in your ears? Maybe you’ve had an episode of vertigo when the world seems to spin around you. While fairly rare, when ear disorders occur, they can disrupt your life. You may have Meniere’s disease, which is one such disorder.
Dr. Nilesh Patel, a board-certified otolaryngologist in Midtown, Manhattan, treats all types of ear, nose, and throat disorders, including Meniere’s disease. Treatment can help control symptoms and improve your quality of life.
What is Meniere’s disease?
You may have never heard of Meniere’s disease because it’s not a common disorder. Meniere’s occurs when excess fluid builds up in your ear. Scientists don’t yet understand why the buildup occurs. The proper amount of fluid helps you hear and maintain balance. When there’s too much fluid, your hearing can be impaired and you can lose balance.
Symptoms of Meniere’s disease
Common symptoms of Meniere’s disease which you may have experienced include the following:
- Hearing loss
- Pressure in the ear
What many people don’t know is that headaches, nausea, and abdominal pain are also symptoms of Meniere’s disease.
Any of these symptoms can lower your quality of life significantly. For example, it may be impossible to work when you have vertigo. And tinnitus can cause severe emotional distress because you can’t turn off the abnormal sounds.
Does Meniere’s disease go away?
Perhaps you had an attack of vertigo or tinnitus, but it’s gone now. Do you need treatment? The answer is yes. If untreated, Meniere’s disease can progress and worsen, leading to permanent hearing loss and issues with balance.
You may have thought that hearing loss and balance issues are only associated with old age. But Meniere’s isn’t a disease caused by aging. It can strike in your prime, usually affecting people ages 40-60. There isn’t a cure for this ear disorder yet, but Dr. Patel provides treatments that can control your symptoms.
What can I do to ease Meniere’s symptoms?
Following are lifestyle changes that may help control your symptoms. Give them a try and see if your symptoms are more manageable.
Low salt diet
Doctors think that reducing sodium in your diet can help ease symptoms. Salt increases fluid retention, which can make the buildup in your inner ear worse. Try making a lifestyle change to a low salt diet. Check food labels and avoid packaged entrees, canned soups, and other high sodium items. Avoid processed, salty meats like bacon and salami.
Cut back on caffeine
If you drink coffee or caffeinated soda during the day, you may be aggravating your symptoms. Caffeine is a nervous system stimulator that may trigger tinnitus and migraine attacks.
Medical treatments for Meniere’s disease
Dr. Patel works with you to determine which treatments help control your symptoms. He may prescribe diuretics, medications to control vertigo, or administer steroid injections. Advances in treatment are occurring, and Dr. Patel stays abreast of them. Surgery can improve cases in which conservative treatments don’t work.
Call Nilesh Patel, MD today or book a same-day appointment online for expert treatment of ear, nose, and throat disorders.