Karin & David Henderson

21362 River Road

Maple Ridge, B.C.

Canada V2X 2B3

604-463-8666 (PST)

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Signs and Symptoms of Meniere's Disease - Dizziness

Conditions related to the vestibular (balance) nerve, such as dizziness, are often examined in relation to Meniere's Disease. These can have varying degrees of debilitation, the worst being "drop attacks".

Dizziness is somewhat different than vertigo. It seems to be milder. It is also known as lightheadedness. Some people also consider nausea to be one of symptoms of Meniere's disease.

Dizziness is a feeling of loss or the inability to keep normal balance in standing or sitting position. One reader described it as “the room doesn't spin but I am always on a boat.” I think that describes it perfectly! I think most of us have experienced some form of dizziness and know how unpleasant it can be, especially for a prolonged period of time. In relation to vertigo, people tell us, it’s more of an “inside” feeling.

For most people with Meniere's disease, the dizziness itself is not a very major problem.

I am constantly amazed when people tell me they are dizzy most days. They have been told there is nothing to be done. So they accept it. Maybe it’s not such a nuisance unless you have to work in a job that requires fine motor skills or maybe pilot a plane, or make serious decisions.

In relation to all the other Meniere's disease (balance and hearing) symptoms, dizziness would appear to be a minor inconvenience. Having said that, if you feel dizzy all the time, you can’t function well at anything. It is very tiring, frustrating, and scary. You are always on the lookout for accidents. You always feel “off” and unwell.

Plus, of course, you look very normal, so people can’t understand your edginess. At times you are disoriented, but no one can see anything unusual, so they can’t understand. I suspect many people look into the future for a glimmer of relief and hope.

Here are a few (unedited) comments from some of the people experiencing Meniere's disease and dizziness that we have helped over the years:

  • “So my only symptom is dizziness which never goes away unless I am perfectly still including head and eyes. “
  • “, now i have no energy, headaches every day, dizziness every day, neck pain daily, my eyes just don't focus so well anymore, and a whole variety of things that are frustrating and depressing”
  • “: I have unexplained constant dizziness and need some relief.”
  • “I have been suffering from vertigo and dizziness for years and the Drs. cannot come up with an answer.”
  • “Very frustrated--I've been experiencing the dizziness symptoms for almost 10 weeks now----the room doesn't actually spin but it feels like at any moment it will---but it never does. In the past month or so my ears definitely do feel full especially when I get to work in the morning----I have been functioning thank G-d and haven't missed work yet---but this constant dizziness just isn't allowing me to live fully----- “

People with Meniere's disease seem to adjust their lifestyle much more easily to a slight dizziness than a strong vertigo. However, it does impact the family to the extent that the person with Meniere's disease might be reluctant to drive or participate actively. Or they might be suspected to be somewhat unsafe when they do drive. Patience and understanding by the family is required.

It is important to point out that people don't ask for these conditions. This is what they are "dealt" and now have to live with the results of Meniere's disease as best they can. When they have relatively mild problems and yet have a difficult time coping, families tend to expect them to function normally.

This may be too hard at times to do. Counseling for the entire family, including the sufferer would be a good decision. But who can you go to? Therapists are familiar with “Meniere's disease” and its accompanying symptoms. The traditional belief is that there is nothing to be done outside of the basic system treatments.

For the family members, Meniere's disease is also a very hard condition to accept. It's most difficult to understand why this person can't go somewhere with them. They LOOK all right. So again everyone feels defensive and skeptical. It requires a lot of patience and understanding to cope with dizziness.  (If you are in this situation, you might find this page on coping with Meniere's disease as a family helpful)

A Different Way To Look At Dizziness and Meniere's Disease

Recently, I had the opportunity to consult with a couple of chiropractors and massage therapists. I asked them if they thought their particular area of interest had a connection to Meniere's disease. Here is what I really wanted help me understanding. If the body's musculo-skeletal system was out of balance, could the ear be affected in ANY way.

I asked if misalignment or injury of the neck, shoulder, or spine could throw everything off balance and contribute to these symptoms. And they heartily agreed it could cause imbalance and thus add to or initiate problems of the inner ear.

They reminded me that the skull, neck, and shoulders all had moveable parts: bones that are "hinged" and should move smoothly and naturally. The attached muscles and other tissues should move smoothly in unison, in alignment. However once this motion is hindered in any way, imbalance of these structures is created, and with it comes its many challenges.

Bones can "tighten up and freeze". Blocked or impaired circulation can prevent the all important oxygen, nutrition and body fluids from reaching vital parts or draining them (removing waste products).

Keep in mind that “impaired circulation” could well result in less than adequate blood supply to any part of the body, including the head, which contains the brain. And inadequate blood supply to the brain can cause dizziness.

You do not have to have any brain injury or trauma. It could be that your body is imbalanced in its anatomical position and thus blocking some blood vessels. Here is a link if you want to study more. Look up “hypoxia”, lack of oxygen going to the brain.

So how much is adequate “anything"? I would think it is when you feel fine and are not dizzy. Every single person is a little different in their body. Try to avoid generalizations. Look only at your own situation. A healthy body is one without problems or “issues”. So if you do have any “issues”, you know there has to have a cause. And that cause will always precede your “knowing” all is NOT well.

That now gives you the chance to study what you did in the previous hours or days. At least you now have something to do, to look for. Something that might have brought on a Meniere's Disease attack, or at the very least triggered some of your symptoms such as dizziness.

In some areas such as the inner ear, an overabundance of fluids could be trapped and thus put pressures on the balance or the acoustic nerves, causing a shift of their routine pathways. This shift allows incorrect messages to go to the brain and returns inappropriate commands, which could lead to drop attacks, dizziness, tinnitus, hearing loss or impairment, vertigo, etc. Balance is vital in our cells, our bodies, our lives.

A few short paragraphs ago I mentioned this is what people are “dealt”. It has been our experience for years, that everyone is willing to look at and then treat the Meniere's disease symptoms, but no one ever seriously looks for the underlying cause. Here we have chiropractors and massage therapists alluding to misalignment and accompanying changed circulation.

Could reduced circulation be a cause of Meniere's disease and dizziness, or one of the contributors?

We have come across so many, many other possible causes. All through this website we talk about “cause and effect”. That it is a scientific fact and process. Nothing ever happens in our bodies without a cause. So why not search diligently for the underlying cause? And then fix that cause. So the idea of being “dealt” this hand of dizziness now assumes a much less frightening and permanent role.

You also might find another page about Meniere's disease and Vertigo very helpful to understand the differences between these two symptoms.

By Karin Henderson - Nurse, Retired.


Additional Resources

When David was suffering with the dizziness that went along with his other Meniere's disease symptoms, he was introduced to a simple system to get relief.  If you would like a copy of the possible causes (our Observations) or the system we talk about throughout the site, please use this link to go to the Meniere's System Information page.


This article on dizziness is the type of information we write about and send out regularly through our Meniere's Disease Health Information Newsletter.  If you are interested in our Meniere's Disease Health Information Newsletter you can learn more about it, or sign up for it, by Clicking Here.

We hope you found the information here helpful.  Thank you for visiting our website.




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