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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Ménière's disease

*

* Not a rare disease

Other Names for this Disease

  • Meniere disease
  • Meniere's disease
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Symptoms

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What are the signs and symptoms of Ménière's disease?

The symptoms of Ménière's disease typically occur suddenly and can arise daily, or as infrequently as once a year. Vertigo, often the most debilitating symptom of Ménière's disease, typically involves a whirling dizziness that forces the affected individual to lie down. Vertigo attacks can lead to severe nausea, vomiting, and sweating and often come with little or no warning.[1]

Some individuals with Ménière's disease have attacks that start with tinnitus (ear noises), a loss of hearing, or a full feeling or pressure in the affected ear. It is important to remember that all of these symptoms are unpredictable. Typically, the attack is characterized by a combination of vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss lasting several hours. People experience these discomforts at varying frequencies, durations, and intensities. Some may feel slight vertigo a few times a year. Others may be occasionally disturbed by intense, uncontrollable tinnitus while sleeping. Ménière's disease sufferers may also notice a hearing loss and feel unsteady all day long for prolonged periods. Other occasional symptoms of Ménière's disease include headaches, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea. A person's hearing tends to recover between attacks but over time becomes worse.[1]

Meniere's disease usually starts confined to one ear but it may extend to involve both ears over time. In most cases, a progressive hearing loss occurs in the affected ear(s). A low-frequency sensorineural pattern is commonly found initially, but as time goes on, it usually changes into either a flat loss or a peaked pattern. Although an acute attack can be incapacitating, the disease itself is not fatal.[2]

Last updated: 3/12/2013

References
  1. Ménière's Disease . National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). 2010; http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/balance/meniere.asp. Accessed 2/9/2011.
  2. Timothy C. Hain. Meniere's Disease. American Hearing Research Foundation. 2008; http://www.american-hearing.org/disorders/menieres-disease/. Accessed 2/9/2011.


Other Names for this Disease
  • Meniere disease
  • Meniere's disease
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.