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When Tinnitus Means Meniere’s Disease

About 1 in every 1,000 people suffers from Meniere’s Disease, a vestibular disorder that causes constant tinnitus (ear ringing, whooshing sounds, hissing), vertigo (imbalance, dizziness, lightheadedness), and hearing loss.  If you have chronic tinnitus, then it’s important to find out if Meniere’s Disease is the cause, so that you may get proper treatment and prevent deafness in old age.

When Tinnitus Means Meniere’s Disease

Symptoms of Tinnitus and Meniere’s Disease

Tinnitus isn’t an illness, but rather a condition that occurs when there is damage to the inner ear. Symptoms of tinnitus include persistent ringing in the ears, or similar sounds such as buzzing, chirping, whistling, whooshing, pounding, and hissing noises.

When tinnitus is chronic, it can be difficult to get to sleep or concentrate on anything other than the continuous ear ringing. Anxiety and depression are common comorbid conditions of tinnitus.

Meniere’s Disease (Ménière’s disease) is a balance disorder that results from excess fluids in the inner ears. Symptoms include tinnitus, in addition to severe vertigo, headaches, ear pressure, giddiness, anxiety, and hypersensitivity to noise, nausea, and even vision problems.

What Causes Meniere’s Disease?

Scientists aren’t certain exactly what causes Meniere’s disease, nor is there a cure.  Many believe symptoms of tinnitus and dizziness from Meniere’s could result from a viral infection, allergy, autoimmune disorder, hypertension, or simple genetics.

Certain triggers can worsen symptoms of Meniere’s Disease, including fatigue, stress, insomnia, weather changes, and ingredients in food, such as salt.

How is Meniere’s Disease Diagnosed?

There’s no quick test for Meniere’s Disease, and it can sometimes slip off the radar. In addition to seeing a general practitioner, you may also need to visit an audiologist, neurologist, osteopath, ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor, and a chiropractor.

Treatment Options

If you suffer from extreme vertigo, then your doctor may recommend motion sickness drugs or anti-nausea medications. These may provide temporary relief, although without addressing the underlying cause of Meniere’s Disease.

To prevent or alleviate Meniere’s Disease naturally, it’s important to find out what your triggers are, and follow a tinnitus diet that puts trigger avoidance into action. This can be done by keeping a tinnitus diary and recording symptoms, diet, and medications for several days.

Natural alternative methods of dealing with tinnitus, dizziness, headaches, and nausea from Meniere’s are also very helpful; they include:

  • Herbs, vitamins, and minerals that promote good circulation and sustain neurological health
  • Acupuncture
  • Osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM)
  • Biofeedback
  • Meditation
  • Yoga

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