Ménière's Disease - Treatment Overview
Ménière's disease cannot be cured, treatment is
available to control symptoms and reduce the frequency of attacks. During an
attack, medicines may be used to reduce
vertigo and control nausea and vomiting.
No treatment is available to prevent the hearing loss that may eventually
occur with progressive attacks of Ménière's disease.
Initial and ongoing treatment
Early and ongoing
Ménière's disease focuses on controlling the
vertigo, a spinning sensation-and reducing the
frequency of attacks. Changing what you eat may reduce the number and frequency of
Treatment most often used to reduce the frequency
and severity of attacks of Ménière's disease includes:
- Taking medicines such as
diuretics to reduce the accumulation of fluid
(endolymph) in the
inner ears .
- Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and stress or any
substances or conditions that trigger an attack.
- Taking vestibular
suppressant medicines (such as
antihistamines or sedatives) to calm the inner ear.
- Eating low-salt foods to reduce fluid buildup in the inner
ears. For more information, see:
- Ménière's Disease: Eating a Low-Salt Diet.
It is important to minimize the personal safety risks
posed by Ménière's disease. For more information, see:
- Vertigo: Staying Safe When You Have Balance Problems.
- Vertigo: Balance Exercises.
Vertigo may be easier to tolerate if you lie down and
hold your head very still until the attack passes. Treatment during an attack of vertigo may include:
Treatment if the condition gets worse
Ménière's disease are severe and do not respond to treatment, surgery
is an option. The goal of surgery is to eliminate the symptoms of Ménière's
disease without destroying hearing in the affected ear.
cases, severe, persistent vertigo caused by Ménière's disease may be treated by
destroying the balance center in the inner ear (labyrinth) through surgery
(labyrinthectomy) or with an antibiotic injected into the ear (chemical
ablation) to destroy the labyrinth. Because these treatments may cause hearing
loss in that ear, they are typically used only as a last resort.