Meniere's Disease treatment can be divided into two sections: acute and
chronic. In the acute stage, you could be dealing with one or all of these.
In the acute stage most people just need to remain quietly where they
are: on the floor or lying down. It is best if they could focus on one spot,
but many cannot. Some people like to have company and have their hand held.
Others want to be alone. It is not wise to give or take drinks, as choking
could be an issue. It also adds to the probability of vomiting.
Make sure you have discussed these Meniere's disease attacks with your family so that they
don't panic when one happens.
Medication wise, the doctor may order antihistamines, anticholinergics,
sedative-hypnotics, anti-emetic agents, (anti-nausea) diazepam, (to relax)
(e.g., atropine or scopolamine), or diuretics (water pills) and other
medications may relieve dizziness or
vertigo and associated
nausea and vomiting.
Between attacks, different medications may be prescribed to help regulate
the fluid pressure in your inner ear, thereby reducing the severity and
frequency of the Meniere's disease symptoms and episodes.
Naturally any injuries suffered from an unpredictable fall, must be cared
for. For the family this kind Meniere's disease attack is very frightening. And if this is
happening out in the public, it is devastating. (For this reason, many
people with Meniere's disease become recluses or depressed and frightened.)
You might be interested in our page on
dealing with Meniere's disease as a family.
Help may be needed with walking due to loss of balance. Rest is crucial
during severe Meniere's disease episodes, as is a gradually increase in activity.
It is important not to participate in hazardous activities such as
driving, operating heavy machinery, climbing, and similar activities until
one week after your Meniere's disease symptoms disappear. During the
attacks, avoid bright lights, TV, or reading, as they may make symptoms
Some attacks may occur during the night, so be sure you have a night
light on; you'll be relying more on vision to help maintain your balance.
Chronic problems and Meniere's disease treatment.
There have been reported cases of permanent recovery. But many people
continue to suffer for years. Many have tried all the
disease treatments with little or no lasting effect and relief. What works
best for them is the relief of immediate symptoms.
Surgery on the labyrinth, endolymphatic sac, or the vestibular nerve may
be required if symptoms are severe and do not respond to other treatment.
This treatment procedure is focused on relieving symptoms by lowering the
pressure within the endolymphatic sac.
The most commonly performed surgical operation for Meniere's disease is
the insertion of a shunt, a tiny silicone tube that is positioned in the
inner ear to drain off excess fluid.
In another more reliable operation, a vestibular neurectomy, the
vestibular nerve which serves balance is severed so that it no longer sends
distorted messages to the brain.
In cases that are very severe and that do not respond to medication or
diet regimens, your physician may suggest other surgical procedures for
Meniere's disease that relieve the condition.
These may include;
- vestibular neurectomy
- sacculotomy (placement of a stainless steel tack through the
footplate of the stapes)
- ultrasonic irradiation
- endolymphatic-subarachnoid shunt
- and cryosurgery for relief of frequent vertiginous attacks and
The reason for treatment between attacks is to prevent or reduce the
number of episodes and to decrease the chances of further hearing loss. A
permanent tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or a
progressive hearing loss may
be the consequence of long-term Meniere's disease.
Unfortunately, all operations on the ear carry a risk of hearing loss.
Lifestyle changes are encouraged.
- Meniere's disease diet recommendations include a low-salt diet to
reduce fluid retention. A hydrops diet regimen will probably be
recommended. This is important for virtually all patients. Experience
has shown that STRICT adherence to this dietary regimen will result in
significant improvement in most patients with Meniere's disease.
People who have chosen to use uniquely formulated nutritional
supplementation along with anti-inflammatory products and natural nutrients
that enhance circulation have experienced tremendous success and relief of
their symptoms. This combination appears to control the inner ear fluid
levels, while nourishing the depleted cells.
- Abstention from alcohol and cigarettes
- Reduced exposure to stress
- Avoiding sudden movements that may aggravate symptoms
Meniere's disease symptoms can often be
controlled with treatment.
Recovery may occur spontaneously. However, the disorder may be chronic and
Many people have tried almost every treatment and procedure there is, but
balk at the thought of having their inner ear nerve cut. This, they know,
will result in permanent hearing loss. Few are willing to do that although
the Meniere's disease symptoms are so unpleasant.
By Karin Henderson - Nurse, Retired.
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