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Meniere's Syndrome is characterized by the following:
- Vertigo (false sense of motion or 'spinning')
- Hearing Loss (characterized as a low frequency sensorineural hearing loss)
- Aural Fullness (fullness or pressure in the ear)
- Tinnitus (noise in the ear)
- The vertigo associated with Meniere's typically lasts 2-3 hours. The average age of onset of Meniere's is 50 years old and between 20-50% may have both ears affected.
- To the right is a typical audiogram (hearing test) revealing the usual low frequency hearing loss (in this case affecting the right ear) associated with Meniere's.
Approximately 80-85% of those suffering from Meniere's are able to control their symptoms with a salt-restricted and a diuretic medication.
When someone is suffering a Meniere's attack, symptoms may improve with vestibular suppressant medications, such as meclizine, diazepam, or phenergan. Those experiencing frequent attacks may benefit from a pulse of prednisone (steroid medication given as a tapering dose).
For those who are not responding to a restricted salt diet and medications, there are some surgical interventions which may be beneficial.
- Transtympanic (across the ear drum) medication such as gentamicin or steroid - 90% response rate with steroid (Boleus-Aguirre MS, Otology Neurotology 2008)
- Endolymphatic sac decompression
- Vestibular neurectomy