Department of Otolaryngology / Head and Neck Surgery

Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s Disease (or Meniere’s Syndrome) takes its name from Prosper Meniere, a 19th century French physician. He was the first to draw a connection between the four cardinal symptoms of
 - Intermittent Vertigo
 - Fluctuating Hearing Loss
 - Ear Fullness
 - Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

The exact cause is unknown, but its effects are very well understood. There is an excess of fluid in the inner ear (endolymphatic hydrops), leading to malfunction of the delicate nerve endings that control hearing and balance. There is some indication that the severity of the symptoms is influenced by the amount of sodium in the diet. Diuretics (water pills) are the mainstay of treatment. If symptoms persist, there are surgical options to control them. These are individualized according to the patient’s condition, function and age. Even with successful treatment, some hearing loss may occur over the years.

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