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Ménière Disease

What is Meniere's Disease?

  • Ménière disease is a syndrome in which you experience episodes of
  • Between the unpredictable attacks, you usually do not have any problems or symptoms of the disease.
  • Ménière disease was first described in 1861 by the French physician Prosper Ménière. Yet the cause of this syndrome still remains largely unknown.
  • The diagnosis of the disease is usually based on a careful history and physical examination by a doctor, but other tests may be needed for a definitive diagnosis and to plan treatment options.
  • Ménière disease affects people of all ages, especially those of middle age or older. It is, however, uncommon in children.

What Causes Meniere's Disease?

The most common causes of the disease are still unknown. It is suspected that food allergy may play a part. Some suspect that Ménière disease is the response of the inner ear to injury. In any case, if someone in your family has it, you are at higher risk for developing it.

What Are the Symptoms of Meniere's Disease?

Warning symptoms such as fullness or pressure in one ear may come before an acute episode of the disease, or attacks may occur spontaneously.

  • Common symptoms are these:
    • Fluctuating hearing loss with distortion of sounds (especially lower tones) and difficulty with speech discrimination
    • Ringing in the affected ear (tinnitus)
    • A sense of the room spinning (vertigo)
    • A cold sweat, nausea, and vomiting, or generalized weakness during the attack
  • The episodes are unpredictable and usually last from 1 hour to a few hours, depending on the severity of the disease.
  • Recurrence of the attacks is a cardinal feature of Ménière disease. Typically the attacks are few, but the usual pattern of Ménière disease is increasing frequency and severity of the symptoms. The disease can be very disabling as the frequency and severity of the attacks increases.
  • Early in the disease, the symptoms usually go away in several hours, but hearing loss may take a day or more to return to normal. Hearing loss can become permanent and, due to changes in the middle ear, may lead to intolerance of any loud noises.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/21/2017
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Meniere Disease »

Ménière disease, also known as idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops, is a disorder of the inner ear resulting in the clinical triad of vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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