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Vertigo (dizziness), tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and intermittent hearing loss are three of the most discernable indications of a condition known as “Meniere’s disease”. Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes problems with balance and hearing. Despite the fact that doctors cannot yet cure this disorder, there are nonetheless steps you can take to minimize the symptoms and reduce their impact on your daily life.

Many people experience Meniere’s disease symptoms in episodes. A common starting point of these episodes is a feeling of fullness in the ear that leads to tinnitus and mild hearing loss. Vertigo is likely to come next, causing you to feel as though the room is spinning around you. You may feel nauseated and your balance may be impaired. An episode can be as short as twenty minutes and as long as four hours.

It is common for Meniere’s disease episodes to appear in clusters, with individuals enjoying periods of ‘remission’ between groups of episodes. Individual symptoms can vary a great deal in both duration and severity from episode to episode. Vertigo can sometimes signify a more serious condition, so be sure to check in with your doctor if you find yourself experiencing this symptom.

There is no clear cause of Meniere’s disease, but researchers theorize that abnormalities in the volume or composition of fluids in the inner ear may be to blame. Your ear relies on very specific levels of fluid volume and pressure to function as it should. There are a number of factors that could trigger abnormalities in this inner ear fluid, including head trauma, viral infections, improper drainage and allergies.

Even though there is no method to cure Meniere’s disease, there are ways to manage the symptoms. If you experience nausea during episodes of vertigo, your doctor may prescribe medications to help you feel more comfortable. Prescription medications that help reduce fluid retention can also help control the disease. Rehabilitation can help counteract the balance problems associated with vertigo, while hearing aids can help during episodes of hearing loss. Sitting or lying down immediately if you begin to notice vertigo can help you avoid falls, while avoiding triggers that make your symptoms worse (such as bright lights or reading) can help lessen the severity of the episode.

Although there are some unpleasant symptoms associated with Meniere’s disease, there are steps that you can take to manage your episodes and reduce the impact they have on your life.

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