Other Names for this Disease
- Meniere disease
- Meniere'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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Timothy C. Hain. Meniere's Disease. American Hearing Research Foundation. 2008; http://www.american-hearing.org/disorders/menieres-disease/. Accessed 2/9/2011.