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Are You at Risk For Meniere's Disease?

Are You at Risk For Meniere's Disease?

If you've ever had a little too much to drink, you probably experienced that dizzy sensation where you feel like the room is spinning, know as vertigo in medical-ese. Unfortunately, people diagnosed with Meniere's disease don't have to drink in order to experience such debilitating dizzy spells. Vertigo episodes occur out of the blue, with no apparent cause, in some cases lasting up to eight hours. Aside from dizziness, this disease may also cause ringing in the ear (tinnitus), hearing loss, sweating, uncontrollable eye movements, and vomiting.

Sounds unbearable. To find out if you're at risk for Meniere's disease


Meniere's is a disorder of the inner ear that usually occurs in men and women in their 30s. Scientists aren't sure what causes this disease, but it may be related to any of these reasons: middle ear or respiratory infections, stress, fatigue, syphilis, Lyme disease, a history of allergies, smoking, alcohol use, or head injury. Although Meniere's is not contagious, it may be genetic.

Unfortunately, there's no known cure for Meniere's disease, but a person can help prevent dizzy episodes by lowering the endolymphatic pressure in her inner ear. To do this, medication may help, as well as stress reduction and a low-sodium, no caffeine, no alcohol diet. If symptoms become severe and the person can't work or drive, surgery may be necessary. If these symptoms sound familiar, it's best to get tested by your doctor.


Join The Conversation
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I suffer from this occasionally. I think they call it viral labyrinthitis. I have weak ears and am prone to infections in them. :( I take anti-vertigo/travel sickness drugs and it fixes me right up though.
squirrellypoo squirrellypoo 8 years
It's really good to see some exposure for this - my grandfather has suffered with Meniere's for decades but now thankfully has it under control with a very strict salt-free diet.
mcreverie mcreverie 8 years
i dont have meniere's but I have BPPV, which is a very similar condition. it's horrible and debiliating when it happens, but thankfully with BPPV, I can avoid the dizzy spells by avoiding certain positions when I sleep. i can't imagine having meniere's where you can't really prevent anything except for enacting dieting restrictions.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
oh wow... this sounds horrible... :pray: I don't have it!
BethS BethS 8 years
Meniere's runs in my family, and my Mom has something similar where she gets extreme vertigo (no ringing in the ears or hearing loss), she went on an EXTREMELY low sodium diet but ended up losing so much weight she got sick from the diet! She's in the doctor's about once a week trying to get a diagnosis, it's pretty upsetting!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
My mom has Meniere's disease and I think her symptoms started in her early 40's. She is pretty much deaf in one ear because of it and she has balance issues. Her doctor put her on a VERY low sodium diet and prescribed her Lasix (a diuretic) to alleviate her symptoms. They aren't sure why she got it, but she does have a lot of issues with stress. She's almost always stressed out and she has a hard time dealing with it. She also has hypertension, which probably doesn't help things much. Geez, I really hope I don't get Meniere's disease's definitely not a fun thing to have.
shiningeyes shiningeyes 8 years
I had a bad sinus infection about a year ago that gave me a superbad case of vertigo. I don't believe I ever fully recovered from it, because I still get dizzy for no reason now. I hope I won't eventually develop this! A "a low-sodium, no caffeine, no alcohol diet" sounds like hell on earth to me.
eludington eludington 8 years
I have this! I got a bad ear infection in high school (I was unusually young to get this...) and haven't been the same since. I'm more or less used to the ringing. And I'm lucky in that my dizziness is less debilitating that many people who have this.
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