Hearing Loss with Meniere’s Disease and Tinnitus - Attune
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Hearing Loss with Meniere’s Disease and Tinnitus

Menieres Disease and Tinnitus

Meniere’s Disease is a chronic condition affecting the middle ear. 

Endolymphatic hydrops occurs in the inner ear, meaning an overabundant amount of fluid (endolymph) fills and collects in the inner ear, causing abnormal symptoms such as hearing loss and tinnitus. 

The cause of Meniere’s Disease remains largely unknown. However, there are several theories behind why the build-up of endolymph occurs, including circulation issues to the inner ear, viral infections, autoimmune reactions and genetic compositions. 

Today, we will discuss the symptoms of Meniere’s Disease, how it affects your hearing and different ways to manage it. 

The Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease 

Some of the common symptoms of Meniere’s Disease include

  • Hearing loss or fluctuating hearing loss
  • Recurrent vertigo
  • A feeling of aural fullness, usually in one ear
  • Tinnitus, usually in one ear 

Although these may be the common symptoms of Meniere’s Disease, it is specific to the individual, and they can experience other symptoms, including

  • Fear
  • Anxiety 
  • Cold sweats
  • Heart palpitations
  • Nausea and vomiting 

It is common to experience an ‘aura’ or feeling that an attack of dizziness or vertigo is about to take place. This is crucial for those with Meniere’s Disease to pay close attention to, as this feeling can act as a warning. The feeling can help you make sure you’re in a comfortable space and manage the symptoms before they begin, such as taking medications to soften the symptoms of the attack. 

Some of these warning symptoms or feelings can include

  • Experiencing a headache or migraine
  • A sense of uneasiness
  • A build-up of pressure in the ear/s
  • A disturbance in balance
  • An increase in severity of tinnitus
  • A reduction in hearing acuity
  • Increased sensitivity to sounds 

To better manage and be in control, if you have Meniere’s Disease, it’s good management to track and record the warning signs, symptoms and any possible triggers for the attacks. 

Hearing Component

The Hearing Component of Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s Disease is experienced differently by individuals, meaning that each case of the disease may require a different approach and management strategy. 

Communication is vital as the first step in finding the most appropriate management and coping strategies for those with Meniere’s Disease. This enables them to elaborate on and educate those around them, including family, friends and healthcare professionals, about the symptoms they are experiencing.  

Hearing loss of fluctuating nature is one of the common symptoms of Meniere’s Disease. In most cases, it attacks one ear at a time, and the low-pitch sounds are most affected. Depending on the stage and severity of Meniere’s Disease, the severity of hearing loss can differ from mild to profound. 

Management of hearing loss is vital if you have Meniere’s Disease, and the treatment options vary depending on the type and severity of hearing loss. Treatments can include

It’s important, regardless of the treatment option, to monitor your hearing thresholds to track the potential fluctuating nature of the hearing loss. This type of tracking requires you to undergo a comprehensive hearing assessment to ensure the type and severity of the hearing loss are properly determined. 

It is not uncommon to experience fear and anxiety of hearing loss when you have Meniere’s Disease. The most successful way to cope with the fear and anxiety is to understand the disease by communicating with your hearing health professional and medical practitioner. 

Tinnitus Component

The Tinnitus Component of Meniere’s Disease 

Tinnitus, often described as a buzzing sound in the ear, is a symptom of Meniere’s Disease and varies depending on the individual. Some may describe the sound as a ringing, roaring or droning. 

Tinnitus can be there throughout the day or occur momentarily before or during an attack for others. 

Due to the diverse nature of tinnitus experienced, individuals have different severities as a result. 

Tinnitus, alongside hearing loss, can generate fear and anxiety, especially in those experiencing tinnitus for the first time. It’s not uncommon for the first reaction of tinnitus to be fear, as the individual might not know a lot about the condition. 

Understanding the mechanisms of tinnitus can help an individual find ways to manage and cope. 

There is often a significant emotional burden involved with Meniere’s Disease, including fear and anxiety, because it becomes more than just a sound. Therefore, appropriate tinnitus and emotional response management is vital for those with Meniere’s Disease.

In Summary 

Meniere’s Disease is a condition with many unknowns. 

Those with the condition may be experiencing a diverse range of symptoms that can vary from person to person. It’s common to experience an emotional burden and reaction to the disease, including fear of another attack, hearing loss and tinnitus associated with Meniere’s Disease. 

Therefore, proper communication between those with Meniere’s Disease and their family, friends and healthcare professionals is vital to managing the disease. 

If you think you may have Meniere’s Disease or would like to learn more about it, contact your nearest Attune Hearing clinic. Our audiologists will work with you to find the best management strategies to help you deal with Meniere’s Disease. 

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