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Meniere's Disease


Description

MeniereÕs disease, also called idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops, is a disorder of the inner ear. MeniereÕs disease is one of the most common causes of dizziness originating in the inner ear. In most cases only one ear is involved, but both ears may be affected in about 15 percent of patients.

The symptoms of MeniereÕs disease are episodic rotational vertigo (attacks of a spinning sensation), hearing loss, tinnitus (a roaring, buzzing, or ringing sound in the ear), and a sensation of fullness in the affected ear. Tinnitus and fullness of the ear in MeniereÕs disease may come and go with changes in hearing, occur during or just before attacks, or be constant.

There may also be an intermittent hearing loss early in the disease, especially in the low pitches, but a fixed hearing loss involving tones of all pitches commonly develops in time. Loud sounds may be uncomfortable and seem distorted in the affected ear.

From all the MeniereÕs diseaseÕs symptoms, vertigo is usually the most troublesome. It is commonly produced by disorders of the inner ear, but may also occur in central nervous system disorders. Vertigo may last for 20 minutes to two hours or longer. During attacks, patients are usually unable to perform activities normal to their work or home life. Sleepiness may follow for several hours, and the off-balance sensation may last for days.

The symptoms of MeniereÕs disease may be only a minor nuisance, or can become disabling, especially if the attacks of vertigo are severe, frequent, and occur without warning.

Causes

Although the cause is unknown, it probably results from an abnormality in the fluids of the inner ear.

The symptoms of MŽniŹre's disease are associated with a change in fluid volume within a portion of the inner ear known as the labyrinth. The labyrinth has two parts: the bony labyrinth and the membranous labyrinth. The membranous labyrinth, which is encased by bone, is necessary for hearing and balance and is filled with a fluid called endolymph. When your head moves, endolymph moves, causing nerve receptors in the membranous labyrinth to send signals to the brain about the body's motion. An increase in endolymph, however, can cause the membranous labyrinth to balloon or dilate, a condition known as endolymphatic hydrops.

This may be due to an inner ear response to a variety of injuries (reduced middle ear pressure, allergies, endocrine disease, lipid disorders, vascular, viral, luetic).

Risk factors include: Caucasian, stress, allergy, increased salt intake, and noise.

Some people with MŽniŹreÕs disease find that certain events and situations, sometimes called triggers, can set off attacks. These triggers include stress, overwork, fatigue, emotional distress, additional illnesses, pressure changes, certain foods and too much salt in the diet.

An old research article is entitled: ÒGarlic food allergy with symptoms of Meniere's diseaseÓ

Vertigo occurs in hypotension after intake of hypotensive drugs.



Conventional Labs

Conventional lab tests are used to rule out other disorders. These include thyroid and lipid studies, and serologic tests for Treponema pallidum

 

 

 

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