Conventional and Natural Treatment Options for Meniere’s Disease

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  • Taking medicines and using medical devices are not the only way to manage Meniere’s disease. Natural treatment approaches and self-care tips may also help you take control of your condition
  • If the symptoms caused by Meniere’s disease become debilitating and the treatment options mentioned above are no longer enough to alleviate your condition, then your doctor may recommend you to undergo surgery

There is no doubt that Meniere’s disease can affect the overall quality of your life. If not properly managed, it may even hinder your productivity and relationships. Your safety is also constantly at risk with this condition, since vertigo attacks can be so severe that you may completely lose your balance and fall.

Unfortunately, no permanent cure exists for Meniere’s disease yet. This is why the treatment methods for this chronic disorder are focused on lessening the severity and frequency of its symptoms, especially vertigo episodes.1

Think Twice Before Taking the Common Medicines for Meniere’s Disease

After you’ve been diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, your doctor may prescribe medications for short- and long-term management of your symptoms. The medicines given to patients who are suffering from an onset of symptoms are typically used for controlling nausea and motion sickness. These medicines include meclizine, diazepam and promethazine.2

Keep in mind that these medications can have adverse side effects, so taking them to reduce vertigo and nausea temporarily may not be worth the risk. Diazepam, for example, may cause problems with muscle coordination,3 while promethazine may lead to drowsiness, constipation and dry mouth.4

Your doctor may also give you diuretics to lessen the fluid in your ear. However, this form of medication is known to cause a variety of side effects, including headache, muscle cramps and increased cholesterol levels.5 There are also natural alternatives to this medication that can provide diuretic effects without harming your health.

Usual Therapies and Medical Procedures for Meniere’s Disease

Aside from prescribing medications, your doctor may also recommend several therapies and procedures to help you manage your condition, such as:6,7

Vestibular rehabilitation: Involves a series of eye, shoulder and neck exercises that are aimed to help the brain regain its ability to maintain your body's equilibrium despite the inconsistent balance data from your ears, sensory system and eyes.

Hearing aid: If you have developed permanent hearing loss, then you may be required to wear a hearing aid. Consult an audiologist to find out the best hearing aid for your needs.

Meniett pulse generator: This device delivers pulses of pressure to the ear canal in order to improve the fluid exchange inside the ear and help relieve vertigo.

Ear injections: This procedure involves the use of antibiotics or steroids. Steroid injections are used for alleviating vertigo attacks, while antibiotics are used for reducing the balancing function of the affected ear. Keep in mind, though, that both of these medications may lead to severe hearing loss.

Natural Treatment Methods to Manage Meniere’s Disease

Taking medicines and using medical devices are not the only way to manage Meniere’s disease. Natural treatment approaches and self-care tips may also help you take control of your condition. During an onset of symptoms, try to do the following techniques before relying on medicines:8,9,10

Sit or lie down in a comfortable place: Find a dim and comfortable place where you can sit still or lie down, and simply relax until the symptoms slowly alleviate. Closing your eyes or staring at a single spot may also help you slowly regain your balance.

Avoid movement or objects that may exacerbate your symptoms: Refrain from doing sudden movements, like turning your head quickly or spinning, as they may worsen your vertigo. It's also best to avoid bright lights, and refrain from reading books or watching television while the symptoms still haven't subside.

Rest after an episode: Extreme fatigue and exhaustion usually follows an episode of Meniere's disease, so make sure that you get ample rest to regain your strength. Wait until you've recovered before you return to your day-to-day activities.

Adopting healthy lifestyle and dietary changes may also help reduce the frequency and severity of Meniere’s disease. Try the following tips to improve the condition of your health:11,12,13

Manage your stress: Stress is basically an unavoidable part of life, and one of the things that you can do to keep it from triggering an onset of symptoms is to learn how to manage it better. There are a variety of techniques that can help soothe your mind and body. For example, you can meditate for at least 10 minutes or engage in hobbies that you enjoy.

You should also pay attention to how you breathe, since this factor also affects your stress levels. Try practicing the Buteyko breathing technique to restore proper breathing patterns. This technique emphasizes the importance of breathing through the nose.

Limit your intake of unhealthy foods: Unhealthy foods, especially those that contain high amounts of sodium, may worsen the symptoms of Meniere's disease since they cause the body to retain higher amounts of fluid. Avoid adding salt to your meals and cut down your intake of junk foods and processed products that contain high amounts of sugar and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Rather, eat nourishing whole, fresh foods that come from organic sources.

Put a stop to your bad habits: Unhealthy habits, like drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, smoking cigarettes and not getting enough sleep, may worsen Meniere's disease.

Remain physically active: Regularly doing physical activities, such as exercises and sports, may help improve your balance and fight the effects of Meniere's disease. Make sure that you don't overwork yourself to the point of fatigue, though.14

Surgery Is Only an Option if All Treatment Methods Fail

If the symptoms caused by Meniere’s disease become debilitating and the treatment options mentioned above are no longer enough to alleviate your condition, then your doctor may recommend you to undergo surgery. Some of the procedures for this disease include endolymphatic sac procedure, vestibular nerve section and labyrinthectomy.15

Keep in mind, though, that surgery should only be considered if you’ve exhausted less invasive treatment options. Consult your physician, and make sure that you understand the results of these procedures before you decide to have them.16

MORE ABOUT MENIERE'S DISEASE

Meniere's Disease: Introduction

What Is Meniere's Disease?

Meniere's Disease Symptoms

Meniere's Disease Causes

Meniere's Disease Treatment

Meniere's Disease Prevention

Meniere's Disease Diet

Meniere's Disease FAQ


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