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DIZZINESS AND MENIERE’S DISEASE

What is
Dizziness?

Dizziness is a sensation of lightheadedness, unsteadiness, or vertigo, often accompanied by feelings of spinning, floating, or tilting. It can result from various causes, including inner ear problems, vestibular disorders, neurological issues, low blood pressure, dehydration, medication side effects, or anxiety. Dizziness can significantly impact balance and coordination, leading to difficulty standing, walking, or performing daily activities. It is essential to identify the underlying cause of dizziness to determine appropriate treatment and management strategies.

How is it caused?

Recent statistics show that more than 90 million Americans will experience dizziness at some time during their lives.

There are multiple factors that may cause dizziness, but it is important for your doctor to differentiate between cardiac, blood pressure, neurological, medication related issue, or ear problem. Many times, the problem can be multifactorial as well.

Your doctor or otologist can get an idea of the system that is affected that may cause your dizzy sensation. After a thorough exam and diagnostic tests, the root causes of this disabling, difficult-to-diagnose syndrome can be found.

“Do I feel spinning or light-headedness?”

A spinning sensation is usually associated with an inner ear problem whereas a light headed feeling may be related to a circulation or cardiac related problem. Depending on the cause, there are various therapies and techniques that can return patients’ lives to normal.

There are two main sensations that need to be evaluated once an ear problem is suspected and all other causes of dizziness have been ruled out:

  • Vertigo: the illusion that either you or the environment around you is spinning, rotating, rolling, rocking, or whirling.  In some cases, people experience the sensation of tilting.
  • Disequilibrium: the sensation of being unsteady or in a state of disequilibrium – imbalance occurs only when people are standing or walking.

Diagnosing patients with dizziness, vertigo or imbalance.

The role of the otologist is to rule out a possible inner ear problem as the contributing source of your dizziness. This can be done by performing a thorough history and neuro-otologic physical exam, but there are also several diagnostic tests that may be needed as well:

  • VNG (caloric testing)
  • Audiogram
  • Computerized Dynamic Posturography
  • ECOG
  • ABR
  • VEMP
  • MRI of the Brain and Internal Auditory Canals
  • CT scan of the temporal bone
  • Blood tests

What is Meniere’s disease?

Meniere’s disease is a disease of the ear that can result in significant symptoms, including hearing loss and vertigo. It is relatively common in an ear specialist’s practice.

How is Meniere’s disease diagnosed?

How is Meniere’s disease diagnosed?

Most of the time, Meniere’s disease can be diagnosed through a conversation and examination between you and the otologist. In some cases, other tests may be needed to confirm the diagnosis. These include:

  1. – Comprehensive Audiogram
  2. – Videonystagmography (VNG)
  3. – Electrocochleography (ECOG)
  4. – Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP)

Is there a cure for Meniere’s Disease?

Is there a cure for Meniere’s Disease?

Meniere’s disease can not be cured, but it can be managed and suppressed with the help of an otologist. The good news is that Meniere’s disease has been studied by doctors, surgeons, and researchers for over 100 years, and therefore many different therapies that have been developed. Every case of Meniere’s disease is individual, so it is important for your otologist to fully evaluate you and decide which treatment will work best for you.

How does Meniere’s disease develop?

How does Meniere’s disease develop?

Meniere’s disease is believed to be caused by fluid dysfunction in the inner ear. The inner ear is located inside the skull. It is covered in thick bone, but the interior is hollow and filled with fluid. People with Meniere’s have an excess build up of this fluid, and when the pressure from the fluid becomes too high, it leads to a violent episode of dizziness, ringing, and even hearing loss. When the pressure subsides, so do the symptoms of Meniere’s disease.

Are there any specific causative agents for Meniere’s Disease?

Episodes of Meniere’s disease can be induced by a high salt diet, caffeine, sodas, alcohol, certain foods, allergies, infections, and even stress. This is why a simple modification in the patient’s lifestyle and daily habits is usually the first step in trying to keep Meniere’s under control.

What is the natural progression of Meniere’s disease?

Meniere’s disease is progressive and can lead to a profound hearing loss in the affected ear. 15% of patients can develop Meniere’s Disease in the opposite ear. It is therefore important to see an otologist for the proper diagnosis, treatment, and management of symptoms before they become too severe and take over your daily life. It is important to know that with proper treatment, your symptoms can be kept under good control and you can go back to living your normal life.

 

What are medical treatments for Meniere’s Disease?

Conservative treatments can be utilized, including:

  • Medications for dizziness (i.e., Dramamine, Meclizine)
  • Nausea medications (i.e., Compazine, Zofran)
  • Other medications – your otologist can prescribe more advanced medications, such as diuretics
  • Physical exercise to reduce stress
  • Vestibular rehabilitation therapy
  • Low salt diet
  • Avoiding caffeine
  • Allergy desensitization therapy
  • Corticosteroid treatment

Are there any procedures or surgeries that can be done for Meniere’s Disease?

When lifestyle changes, diet, and medication fail to control symptoms, your otologist may choose one of several options as the next step in treatment. These include:

  • – Intratympanic corticosteroid injections
  • – MicroWick Procedure
  • – Intra-tympanic injection
  • – Endolymphatic sac decompression
  • – Labyrinthectomy
  • – Vestibular Neurectomy

It is important to talk to your otologist in detail before choosing any treatment. Based on your history and symptoms, level of hearing loss, degree of incapacity, and overall health status, your otologist will choose the treatment that will have the least risk and the most benefit for you.

Still have questions regarding the condition?

While the information in this website may be helpful, it will never fully relate ear treatment to you. If you are facing any ear problem, please call our office and one of our representatives will talk to you.

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TESTIMONIALS

What are patient say about us

Thanks to the expert care and skillful ear surgery I received, my life has been transformed. I can hear clearly again, and I’m forever grateful for the life-changing experience provided by the talented team

M.J.,

“I can hear things that I have not been able to hear in years.”

"I am truly amazed by this total process… You and your staff have been great. I can hear things that I have not been able to hear in years. After 15 years of hearing aids and only a little help I was afraid that I was going to have to medically retire due to not being able to hear. With my Cochlear implant, I know that I can work until I am ready to retire. Thank you so much for all that you have done for me and my family!!!"

JOSEPH ,

“Dr. Nazarian, who gave me back the wonderful gift of hearing!”

“Since the very first time of seeing Dr. Nazarian, I feel that I have been in the best of care- and from the first day and through the my surgery, I have felt that Dr. Nazarian is a very compassionate and caring doctor- more than I have ever seen. I feel very fortunate to have been referred to Dr. Nazarian. He is the best!”

A.P. ,

“He’s the greatest surgeon and physician I have ever had the pleasure of being cared for.

"I was referred to Dr. Nazarian by my ENT in San Fernando valley after my ear drum failed to heal on its own. I didn’t know what to expect. He explained everything and was extremely compassionate to my situation. He not only reconstructed for me a completely new ear drum but gave me a better ear than I was born with. Thank you Dr. Nazarian for being the best!"

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