What is Meniere’s syndrome?
The Meniere’s syndrome is famously known as Meniere’s disease which is the affectation of the inner ear causing vertigo and hearing loss. The said condition is reported to affect one ear (rarely attacks both ears). The Meniere’s syndrome has been described by a French physician. He carefully described the disease but was still unaware of the root cause of it.
The Inner Ear Showing Meniere’s Syndrome with the Labyrinth Showing a Frozen Appearance
The elderly are mostly affected of the disease condition. Those who reach their 4th and 5th decade of existence are starts to become affected with Meniere’s syndrome. The condition is also possible in occurring to children (rare occasion). It is considered a chronic disease that provides a great change and impact to the affected.
Symptoms, Characteristics of Meniere’s Syndrome
As the condition affects the auditory system, most specifically the inner ear, the following are the proposed manifestations of the disease:
- Vertigo. This is one of the symptoms that make Meniere’s disease a distinct syndrome. Vertigo is characterized by the feeling of dizziness in which makes the environment seem to be spinning. Attaining balance will then become a hard task because of vertigo. The episode of vertigo would probably last for 20 minutes and extend to hours or more. Because of that manifestation, the client becomes prone to vomiting.
- Hearing impairment. This is included in the syndrome that can progress to permanent hearing loss. The affectation of the sense of hearing becomes a first sign and eventually develops into a prominent problem.
- Tinnitus. This manifestation is described as the ringing or whistling sound inside the affected ear. Most of the sufferers say that they hear a low-pitched ringing sound.
- Increased pressure in the ear is experienced. There is a proposed feeling of fullness according to patients.
- Headache is also experienced by some patients. This may become unusual as it may accompany an episode of vertigo.
Causes & Risk factors of Meniere’s Syndrome
The root cause of the disease is believed to be unknown or idiopathic at cause. Accordingly, a number of factors are connected with the disease. There have been reports that a possible accumulation of fluid in the inner ear has triggered the syndrome. There are also possibilities that the damage has been done when the cavities of the inner ear is affected. An improper fluid passage or presence of blockage in the inner ear can instill damage. There are also reports where an autoimmune response has caused the disease. Presence of allergies can also trigger for Meniere’s disease. Oldage is also another factor for this syndrome.
Diagnosis of Meniere’s Syndrome
A client suffering from Meniere’s disease can be diagnosed through the following steps and tests:
- Collecting the sufferer’s medical history can assist in finding the cause of the problem. When vertigo episodes have been reported, one can suspect for Meniere’s disease. The associated signs should be verified in order to the disease would be considered.
- Hearing assessment. This is done in order to assess the current state of the client’s auditory system.
- Balance assessment. Maintaining balance is a hard task for clients with Meniere’s disease. When the condition is already suspected, one should assess if the person can maintain his or balance while standing erect.
- Electronystagmography. This shall evaluate the state of balance of the client. This is done through assessing eye movements and how balance is greatly affected.
A Person Undergoing Electronystagmography
- Imaging examinations. These may be necessary in order to rule other possible conditions. An MRI and CT scan may be ordered as a possible brain tumor maybe suspected as causing the said symptoms.
Treatment of Meniere’s Syndrome
Treatment for Meniere’s disease shall be aimed to managing the presenting symptoms. Since there’s no cure made available to the public, medical practitioners shall make sure that the worst of Meniere’s disease is avoided. The following are the said assistive treatments for Meniere’s syndrome:
- Antiemetic. This is prescribed by the doctor as sufferers are prone to nausea and vomiting when an episode of vertigo takes place. The usual prescribed medication is promethazine.
- Some medications that can reduce feeling of vertigo are through taking motion sickness medications. The action of the drug is similar with an antiemetic but is not included in the medication group. Meclizine or diazepam is usually prescribed.
- Diuretics are provided to client. This is due to the possibility of fluid retention or entrapment in the inner ear. This can also allow removal of excess body fluids in the body and can assist in the regulation of the body fluid volume thus decreasing pressure in the ear. Hydrochlorothiazide is usually prescribed by doctors.
- Rehabilitative therapy. This can help the client adjust in a good beneficial way from the disease process. This is much recommended when the client has been receiving assistive medications so that balance can be attained in the process of the therapy.
- Hearing aid is quite necessary when hearing loss is progressive.
- Meniett pulse generator can reduce the increased amount of pressure in the inner ear. There shall be a use of a ventilation tube which can fairly apply positive pressure and improve the fluid levels in the ear.
- Antibiotic treatment is provided when infection has been suspected. This can help reduce further damage and avoid prolonged vertigo attacks.
- Surgical intervention is quite necessary in cases that hearing loss cannot be controlled and attaining balance is greatly affected. Endolymphatic sac decompression can help drain out excess fluid which is a possible cause of the syndrome. Removal of the labyrinth of the ear can fairly treat an impending total hearing loss and avoid balance problems.
Complications of Meniere’s Syndrome
The condition presents a number of complications. The complications may tend to be inevitable that proper assistance is required for patients. The following are considered as the possible complications of Meniere’s syndrome:
- The client is at risk for falls. This is due to the lack of balance. Basically, the client is accident prone.
- Emotional stress is noted. The condition can trigger the client to become anxious as the disease progresses and can also induce depression.
- Permanent hearing loss may be attained.