Meniere's Disease - Fairview Health Services
 
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Meniere's Disease

The "inner ear" is located inside the brain. It is the balance center of your body. Meniere's Disease is a chronic recurring condition of the inner ear causing a sense of fullness or pressure in the ear, episodes of vertigo , ringing in the ear ("tinnitus") and gradual hearing loss in one or both ears.

VERTIGO is a false feeling of motion (as if you or the room is spinning). A vertigo attack may cause extreme nausea, vomiting and heavy sweating. Severe vertigo causes a loss of balance and may result in falling. During an attack of vertigo, head movement and body position changes will worsen symptoms.

The vertigo spells may occur weeks, months or years apart. Each episode of vertigo may last minutes, hours or days. The symptoms are due to increased amount of fluid in the inner ear canals but the exact cause of this disease is not known. In almost half the cases another family member has the disease. So, there may be a genetic tendency.

Home Care:

  1. If symptoms are severe, rest quietly in bed. Change positions slowly. There is usually one position that will feel best, such as lying on one side or lying on your back with your head slightly raised on pillows.

  2. Reduce your salt intake. Excess salt in the diet causes fluid retention and can make this condition worse.

  3. Do not drive or work with dangerous machinery for one week after symptoms disappear. Symptoms may return suddenly.

  4. Take medicine as prescribed to relieve your symptoms. Unless another medicine was prescribed for nausea, vomiting and vertigo, you may use over-the-counter motion sickness pills, such as meclizine (Bonine, Bonamine, Antivert and other brand names).

Get Prompt Medical Attention

if any of the following occur:

  • Worsening of symptoms

  • Fever of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Repeated vomiting not relieved by medicine prescribed

  • Increased weakness or fainting

  • Headache or unusual drowsiness

  • Difficulty with speech or movement

 

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