Have you ever felt so dizzy that your surroundings seem to spin around you? Did you experience this along with a ringing noise inside your ear? If you have, then you may have Meniere’s disease. Meniere’s disease is an inner ear disorder that is characterized by dizziness and hearing problems.1 Before we go into the details of this condition, let’s first discuss how the ear works and how it may cause dizziness and imbalance.
Your Ears Play a Significant Role on Your Equilibrium
Your ears allow you to hear a wide range of sounds — from the loudest noises to the softest whisper. They do this by simply converting sound energy into electrical signals that your brain can understand. But aside from hearing, your ears are essential for maintaining your balance, too.
This vital body part is divided into three sections: the outer, middle and inner ear. The inner ear houses the essential organs that affect your equilibrium, which are the semicircular canals and the vestibular system. The vestibular system contains special sensory cells, and is made up of tubes and sacs that are filled with fluid.2
When you move, the fluid inside your ears moves too, triggering the sensory cells to send electrical signals to the brain. You brain interprets these electrical signals from the ears, and compares them to the signals given by your visual and sensory system. If the signals from these three different systems do not match, then you may experience dizziness and motion sickness.3
For example, if you’re traveling in a moving vehicle and your eyes are fixated on a spot instead of the changing surroundings outside, then your eyes will tell your brain that you’re immobile. This will contradict the signals sent by your sensory system and ears, which can actually detect that you’re moving. As a result, you experience motion sickness. Aside from simple motion sickness, there are a variety of disorders that can upset your balance, and one of them is Meniere’s disease.
A Brief Overview of Meniere’s Disease
Meniere’s disease is a condition that interferes with the function of the inner ear. In most cases, it only affects one ear, but it may also spread to both ears over time. It usually causes intermittent episodes of dizziness and hearing impairment that can last for a few minutes or even hours. Some of its other common symptoms include:
- Ringing noise inside the ear
- Abnormal ear pressure
Unfortunately, Meniere’s disease is a lifelong condition, and there’s currently no known cure for it. Its exact cause is also unknown, although researchers suggest that it can be triggered by a variety of factors, including allergies, stress, head injury, abnormal aural pressure and infection to the inner or middle ear.4
You Can Manage Meniere’s Disease With the Help of These Informative Pages
Even though there’s no known cure for Meniere’s disease, there are still ways to reduce its impact on your daily life.5 Expanding your knowledge about this lifelong problem takes you one step closer to successfully managing your condition. Browse these informative pages to learn more about Meniere’s disease, the hallmark symptoms that you should look out for, its possible causes and the recommended treatment methods that you can follow to easily cope with this disorder.