The human ear is divided into the outer, middle, and inner ear segments. In the inner ear, the vibrations are transformed into nerve impulses and transmitted to the brain to be interpreted. In addition to hearing, the inner ear has another essential function: maintaining the balance of the body, thanks to structures known as semicircular canals.
Ménière’s syndrome is a condition that affects the inner ear, producing feelings of dizziness and the appearance of sounds by affecting the organ that is responsible for sending this information to the brain. If you want to know more about Ménière’s syndrome, its causes, symptoms, and treatment, we invite you to continue reading this article on FastlyHeal.
Causes of Ménière’s syndrome
The inner ear is filled with a liquid located in two compartments, one in charge of transmitting sound through the vibration of said liquid and another where the liquid moves when we turn our heads or move. The movements and vibrations of this liquid are transformed into nerve impulses to be interpreted as sounds and a sensation of balance.
Scientists have not been able to precisely establish the cause of Ménière’s syndrome. Still, it is nevertheless thought that it is due to an excessive accumulation of fluid within the structures that make up the inner ear, altering the perception of sound and balance.
It is unknown what causes this fluid accumulation, but scientists have associated it with constriction of blood vessels, ear infections, allergic reactions, trauma, immune responses, and hereditary factors.
Symptoms of Ménière’s syndrome
Ménière’s disease usually affects only one ear, so symptoms occur on only one side. The main symptoms of Ménière’s syndrome are the following:
- Vertigo: a feeling of dizziness even when the person does not move, can occur without a specific stimulus and lasts from 20 minutes to a few hours.
- Hearing loss: it is the decrease in hearing and usually accompanies vertigo attacks, but it can also appear months before, and if it continues for a long time, it begins to cause a deterioration of the hearing organ.
- Tinnitus or tinnitus: is the perception of noises that do not come from any source. Like hearing loss, it is a symptom that can accompany seizures or appear months or years before.
- Otic fullness is the sensation of plugging and pressure inside the hatred, which can be constant and increase in intensity when an episode of vertigo approaches.
When these four symptoms occur in a person, and it is unknown what is causing them, the doctor may consider Ménière’s syndrome as the cause.
Treatment of Ménière’s syndrome
Ménière’s syndrome does not have a cure, so treatment is intended to control symptoms during seizures and decrease the frequency and intensity of attacks in the long term. The drugs used are, in general, the same ones used to control other types of problems that affect the organ of balance.
Treatment of the acute crisis of Ménière’s syndrome
The antivertiginosos drugs are intended to reduce sensitivity to movement, decreasing the production of nerve impulses from the organ of balance, and thanks to this, dizziness is controlled. Some of the medications used also can reduce nausea, which is a side effect of dizziness.
Medicines used for this purpose include example, scopolamine, meclizine, diazepam, and dimenhydrinate.
Long-term treatment of Ménière’s syndrome
Long-term treatment of Ménière’s syndrome seeks to decrease the frequency of the appearance of symptoms by reducing the amount of fluid inside the inner ear.
In the first place, a change in diet should be suggested to the patient, reducing the consumption of salt and caffeine, to reduce harmful habits that increase symptoms, such as the consumption of alcohol and tobacco. Some people can identify the triggering stimuli of the seizures, which is why it is possible to educate patients to avoid the development of the attack.
As for drugs, the most commonly used long-term are diuretics and betahistine. Betahistine has a dilating action on the internal cerebellar artery, thereby increasing blood flow to the inner ear and reducing pressure. Diuretics, in theory, lower the pressure inside the inner ear by decreasing the volume of fluid by increasing its drainage.
Another treatment is the intratympanic injection of gentamicin or corticosteroids, which has been associated with a long-term decrease in the symptoms of Ménière’s syndrome.
Surgical procedures have also been described when no improvement is shown after applying all of those above; however, there is not much evidence of the success or failure of these surgical procedures, so it should always be left as a last resort.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.