We have been working online with Meniere's Disease since
2000. And we are still frequently told that it doesn't
have a "cause". At least, no one has discovered one
yet. That is so wrong.
Once you have more knowledge and resources, you can
think a lot of this through for yourself. This page is
designed to discuss Meniere's Disease symptoms. You also
NEED to realize that nothing ever happens in our bodies
without a cause. It’s fine to recognize the feelings you
have but don't you ask yourself why they happen?
Therefore every sign and every symptom has to have a
PRECEDING, underlying cause. It took us several years to
really understand this and then find the courage to
share it with others. Sadly no one tells you how to do
this. But my links (and I want you to check them out,
please) will reflect what doctors depend on for their
diagnosis. That way, you can understand that
perspective. I think one of the most frequent questions
I get asked is why doctors don’t tell you these things.
Now you know.
Doctors are trained to treat symptoms and most often
with prescriptions. So they treat the balance and
hearing symptoms with drugs they feel are most
appropriate. And honestly, do you not go to the doctor
for help with your Meniere's disease symptoms? Don’t you
expect a prescription? The treatment offered will always
reflect the symptoms, never the underlying cause, which
ironically can be a drug’s side effects.
A doctor comes to this diagnostic conclusion after
asking a series of questions. They will have evaluated
what is known as the classic Meniere’s symptoms: 1)
inner ear pressure 2)
They may even call it Endolymphatic Hydrops or Vertigo
Disease. Some people are told they have BPPV. In the
truest sense of the word, that would only relate to
balance symptoms, but I hear all sorts of names!
However, the Meniere’s signs and symptoms always relate
to the balance and or hearing nerves, and the results
In the medical world, “signs and symptoms” are the
backbone of any diagnosis. “Signs” are things you can
see or the examiner can feel: redness, swelling/edema,
cuts, growths, etc. So if you look closely for “signs”,
you may find a bit of redness in the middle ear, or a
bulge (selling) of the eardrum, but few other “signs”
show up. Common sense tells us that it is virtually
impossible to look INSIDE the inner ear without special
equipment. One thing to also keep in mind as you think
about signs is that the sufferer LOOKS perfectly normal
themselves! No SIGN of anything being wrong and that is
very frustrating for everyone!
“Symptoms” are what you feel. No one can tell you how it
feels when you are dizzy: you have to guess at its
severity. You have to guess at how loud “loud” is. There
are tests to measure changes of hearing loss, but I know
of no test to measure hearing fluctuation. I strongly
suspect that if the cause has not been present JUST
before the testing is done (so you now would have to
experience an episode), the testing will not reflect the
actual symptoms, your reality.
Let’s look at these Meniere's disease symptoms
individually using medical sites as our resource:
1) Inner ear pressure
MedlinePlus has several sites, but we will choose the
overall link and then the National Institutes of Health
3) Dizziness / vertigo: these are sometimes connected
and other times used separately. It all seems to depend
on the practitioner and the website.
4) Hearing fluctuation: one moment you can hear, the
next moment or hour, you can’t, or the sounds are
Keep in mind, that there has to be testing done to rule
out any pathology. Do not neglect to do this. You need
this peace of mind.
Also I urge you to look at as many sites as you can
handle. I know it gets a bit depressing to read all the
negative information, but it doesn’t have to be that way
Once you can appreciate the different perspectives, it
should also give you some “food for thought” as to your
original diagnosis and prognosis (outcome). Maybe, just
maybe, you can realize that there could be more than one
way to look at this set of symptoms.
Most of what you will find says it is a disease, and
there is nothing to be done. Keep an open mind. Keep
holding to the knowledge that this is all about “cause
and effect”. Nothing happens in our bodies without it.
But few people are encouraged to think this way. Be the
first in your family!
As you can appreciate, because of our website and my
medical knowledge, I have heard an awful lot of people’s
descriptions of their symptoms over the last many years.
Every single person’s experience is different. The sad
part is that many people try to put themselves into a
mold for a diagnosis. Yet this mold then stops them (and
others) from looking for the cause and then fixing that
cause. I am not talking here about the symptoms. I
encourage you to search for the cause. You really need
to use your own critical thinking skills to work this
out. If you have ever contacted me and asked if you have
Meniere’s Disease, I would have discouraged from using
that name and ONLY encourage you to seek help for the
symptoms. Honestly, who cares what the name is? Don’t
you simply want to be rid of the symptoms? So look for
that and ignore the Meniere’s name. It is too
Let’s look at what people TELL ME what they experience
in terms Meniere's disease symptoms. One of these
unpleasant experiences or episodes of Meniere's Disease
is called an "attack". Keep in mind most people have a
combination of balance and hearing symptoms
concurrently, or they may overlap partially.
Typically, an attack is characterized by a combination
of vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss. These can last
for seconds, minutes, several hours, or sometimes even
days. Some people may feel slight vertigo (loss of
balance) a few times a year. Others experience these
discomforts at varying frequencies, durations, and
intensities. This alone should make you really look for
People usually experience some vertigo, (loss of
balance) tinnitus, (ringing or a roaring sound in the
ear), and a degree of hearing loss or fluctuation, but
again, everyone is different.
Some people feel nauseated and vomit during an attack.
Let’s look at vomiting. This is really important! If
you know how the body reacts, you know vomiting is one
way to get toxins out of your body. It can also be a
reaction TO something. Many times, if you take a drug,
the cautions for side effects will tell you to contact
your doctor if you have these severe symptoms. Often
vomiting will be one of those. So can you see how
important it is to look for causes?
Hearing symptoms are very “interesting”. Some people
have no hearing: they are deaf, yet they can tell you
they have horrible tinnitus! Others have unbearable
noises or screeching! Some people eventually get their
hearing back: others do not. Some people notice some
hearing loss, especially with sounds that have a low
tone. Others may be occasionally disturbed by intense,
uncontrollable tinnitus, (ringing in the ear) while
sleeping, but have normal hearing most of the time.
Some Meniere's Disease sufferers may notice a
fluctuating hearing loss and may feel unsteady all day
long for prolonged periods. Many of these attacks have a
sudden onset, giving no warning. So it's difficult to be
prepared. It's also very scary for anyone around the
The vertigo and dizziness are described as a spinning or
whirling feeling and may cause problems with balance
(feeling unstable while walking). Dizziness does not
seem to be quite the same as vertigo. Dizziness is
described more like lightheadedness. It doesn’t seem to
be nearly as severe (or as problematic) as vertigo.
Vertigo, often the most debilitating symptom of
Meniere's disease, forces the sufferer to lie down,
sometimes for days! Vertigo attacks can also be
accompanied by severe nausea, vomiting, and sweating and
again, come with little or no warning.
Tinnitus, (ringing or a roaring sound in the ear),
causes great frustration. The person often can't hear
above their own internal noise. Therefore they get left
out of conversations and activities. Moreover the noise
itself is very irritating. That causes stress. Tinnitus
can be a very difficult problem to treat in many
individuals and can be quite disruptive to their
Loss of hearing causes many of the same problems as the
tinnitus plus it adds its own. The hearing loss seems
most often to affect the ability to hear low voices and
tones. If the cause of it isn’t dealt with and it
progresses, less and less is heard. Again this leads to
depression and a feeling of abandonment.
But please be very aware of the hearing loss issue.
Often we hear that it has returned. Don‘t just assume
it’s always going to be this way. No one can tell. The
family must be extra aware of all of these side issues.
Not only is the sufferer feeling these symptoms, they
also have a great deal of frustration. They know they
are also placing an extra burden on the family. And
everyone living with this condition, sufferer or family
member, is aware of this. Consequently, it all leads to
more depression and stress.
For many people, hearing tends to recover between
attacks, but over time, the quality seems to become
worse. So in some cases hearing returns and in some
cases, it never returns! People also mention feelings of
fullness or pressure in the ear. (Or popping, buzzing,
Again, always, keep in mind that NO two bodies are the
same way. Therefore the reactions would naturally be
I also hear from people who sometimes occasionally have
other Meniere's Disease symptoms such as headaches,
abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea. In every case, I get
them to research those terms. This, again, opens up your
mind to other possible CAUSES.
People talk about feeling extreme fatigue and
exhaustion, nausea, & vomiting, the inability to
concentrate, distraction, poor memory, confusion, and
disorientation. We hear about extreme sensitivity to
noise, light sensitivity, headaches, and night
blindness. There are complaints of muscle and joint
pain, and malaise due to atmospheric pressure changes.
Because of these uncontrollable and depressing attacks,
some people may feel they are experiencing panic
attacks. Personally I feel these again are all the
result of some cause, but so often they are brushed
aside as not being important. These are not necessarily
Meniere's disease symptoms, they are the symptoms people
mention alongside their other, more classic, symptoms.
So they ARE important!
I wanted to mention “nystagmus” or uncontrollable eye
This refers to rapid involuntary movements of the eyes
that may be from side to side (horizontal nystagmus), up
and down (vertical nystagmus) or rotary. This is one of
the diagnostic tests, but nystagmus itself is not listed
as one of classic signs and symptoms. I am going to
digress for a minute here. I have heard from people
whose outdated (? contaminated?) mascara did this! Yet
this is one of the definitive tests. So once again, do
some searching for the cause and do your own thinking.
This page is designed to talk about Meniere's disease
symptoms and signs. Please do yourself a huge favor and
check into the reason FOR YOUR symptoms. Here is a link
to an article that talks about this very issue;
cause and effect.
By Karin Henderson - Nurse, Retired.
If you would like our observations,
please send us an email
If you would like to know more about the system that has
helped David and numerous others get relief from their
Meniere's Symptoms please use this link to go to the
System Information page.