Symptoms and causes

Ménière's disease is a result of 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 20 minutes. In addition, there may be hearing loss of 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.

For recurrent episodes or for symptoms that are very severe, preventative medication may be initiated. 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.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Ear, nose, and throat diseases

Latest publication date: 21/01/2021
Supervising author: Dr Vermeiren Judith