Symptoms and causes

What is it?

Ménière's disease arises from having too much fluid in the balance organs and the cochlea. Patient with Ménière's disease develop symptoms of dizziness that can last for episode of at least twenty minutes.

In addition, there may be hearing loss of the low tones, which may fluctuate in the beginning stages. After a while, the hearing loss can become more constant for both low and high tones. Patients may complain of tinnitus or a feeling of pressure in their ears.

Diagnosis and treatment

Additional testing will be performed, particularly a hearing test (audiometry, balance testing and medical imaging (MRI).

Treatment is primarily of the symptoms: medication is provided for dizziness and vomiting and hearing aids may be worn. Limiting salt, avoiding caffeine, alcohol and stress, getting enough sleep and not smoking are all recommended.

If it is recurrent or quite bothersome, preventative medication can be started.

Some patients have ear tubes placed or receive an injection of corticosteroid in the middle ear. For very severe cases, the balance and hearing organ on the affected side must be disconnected by injecting a product. This prevents attacks of dizziness.

If both ears are seriously affected, a cochlear implant is sometimes used. This is a hearing implant and can be a solution when a hearing aid does not work sufficiently.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Ear, nose, and throat diseases

Latest publication date: 11/08/2021
Supervising author: Dr Vermeiren Judith