Ménière's Disease - Topic Overview
What is Ménière's disease?
Ménière's (say "men-YEERS") disease is an
inner ear problem that affects your hearing and balance.
disease usually occurs in people ages 40 to 60. It affects both men and women.
Children also can have Ménière's disease.
What causes Ménière's disease?
The cause of
Ménière's disease is not known. It may be related to fluids that build up in
the inner ear.
What are the symptoms?
Ménière's disease can cause
symptoms that come on quickly. During a Ménière's attack, you may have:
- Tinnitus, a low
roaring, ringing, or hissing in your ear.
- Hearing loss, which may
be temporary or permanent.
- Vertigo, the feeling that you or your surroundings are
- A feeling of pressure or fullness in your ear.
An attack can last from hours to days. Most people have
repeated attacks over a period of years. Attacks usually become more frequent
during the first few years of the disease and then come less often after
How is Ménière's disease diagnosed?
the disease, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask you questions about
your past health. Hearing tests or other tests, such as an
MRI, may be done to make sure you don't have other
How is it treated?
Treatment helps control your
symptoms, such as vertigo. Medicines for the inner ear may be used to reduce
the spinning feeling of vertigo. Other medicines may help the nausea or
vomiting caused by vertigo.
Some people may be able to have fewer
- Eating a low-salt diet.
- Using medicines (diuretics) to get rid of extra fluids.
- Doing exercises to improve balance.
caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and stress.
Doctors sometimes use surgery to relieve the symptoms of
Ménière's disease. But surgery can damage your hearing, so it is usually used
only after other treatments have not worked.
Frequently Asked Questions