Saturday, November 18th, 2017

Symptoms


  • sidewaysMeniere’s disease produces a classic triad of core symptoms: vertigo, tinnitus, and fluctuating hearing loss, although the symptom of aural fullness is increasingly acknowledged by many as a fourth core symptom. The majority of people also have other symptoms (e.g. migraine, anxiety, depression, brain fog, sweating). [Prosper Meniere’s Society, 2007].

  • There is no single diagnostic test for Meniere’s disease [Minor et al, 2004]. Many experts believe that Meniere’s is better described as a syndrome (several recognizable symptoms occurring together).

  • A diagnosis of Meniere’s disease is based on a combination of patient history, examination, and investigations. It is a subjective diagnosis in that other causes of vertigo must be ruled out. MRI is performed to exclude possible cranial tumors or Multiple Sclerosis.

  • A firm diagnosis of Meniere’s disease requires all three of the following criteria [American Academy of Otolaryngology, 1995]:

    • Vertigo — at least two spontaneous episodes lasting at least 20 minutes.

    • Tinnitus and/or perception of aural fullness.

    • Hearing loss confirmed by audiometry to be sensorineural in nature.

  • Hearing loss is initially in low frequency range.

  • Hearing loss improves between attacks, but worsens over time.

  • The vertigo is usually accompanied by nausea and often vomiting, sometimes severe.

  • The frequency, intensity and duration of attacks varies widely among individual patients.

  • The main sensory part of the ear for hearing and balance are hair cells. Hair cells regenerate in some animals, but not in humans.

  • After a number of years, some MD patients experience severe hair cell destruction. As hearing and the associated tinnitus worsen, vertigo can dramatically lessen. This is referred to as “Burn Out.”