– In this video I'm talking about one of the roughest inner ear conditions, called Ménière's Disease, coming up. (upbeat music) Hi guys, Cliff Olson, Doctor of Audiology and founder of Applied Hearing
Solutions in Phoenix, Arizona and on this channel I cover a bunch of hearing-related information, to help make you a
better informed consumer. So if you're into that, make sure you hit that subscribe button. And don't forget to
click the bell to receive a notification every
time I post a new video. At some point in your life, you have likely experienced dizziness. Now, there are a variety
of different things that can cause this
sensation of being dizzy, but one of the worst is a condition called Ménière's Disease, because there are several other symptoms that you experience
along with the dizziness, that make it one of the most nasty inner ear conditions
that you can experience. According to The U.S.
National Library of Medicine, Ménière's Disease affects
over 600,000 individuals, in the United States alone.
With an additional 45,000
individuals being diagnosed with Ménière's Disease each year. If you've ever had vertigo, which is an episode of intense dizziness, combined with tinnitus, aural fullness or congestion and
fluctuating hearing loss, then you may actually
have Ménière's Disease. Ménière's Disease usually
only affects one ear, but it can progress to
your other ear in time. And while the sensation of dizziness will eventually go away,
you're usually left with a permanent hearing loss. So what causes Ménière's Disease? Well a lot of researchers believe that it's actually a buildup
of fluid in the inner ear, and to understand exactly where
this buildup is occurring, let's go ahead and take a look at the anatomy of a human ear.
First, we have what is
called the outer ear, which includes the
pinna and the ear canal. Then we have the middle ear
which consists of the eardrum, the three bones of hearing,
otherwise known as the ossicles, the eustachian tube, and
the middle ear space. The inner ear consists of the cochlea, which is responsible for your hearing and the semicircular canals, which are responsible for balance. Like I mentioned before,
Ménière's Disease is thought to be related to a buildup
of fluid in your inner ear, which increases the pressure
inside the inner ear.
It is important to note that
fluid buildup in the inner ear is different from fluid buildup
in your middle ear space, which may be caused by an ear infection. This buildup of fluid in the inner ear, causes a disruption in how the cochlea and vestibular system
communicate with your brain, which is why you typically have symptoms that involve balance and
hearing at the same time. In normal circumstances,
your brain expects to receive similar information
from both of your ears. It is this mismatch of signals between your affected ear and
your not-affected ear that causes you to feel dizzy. That being said, even though
excessive fluid buildup in the inner ear may be
causing Ménière's Disease, researchers don't know 100% for sure if that's the only cause. Some believe it could also be linked to blood vessel constriction,
viral infections, allergies, autoimmune conditions
or even genetic factors. Episodes of Ménière's
Disease may be triggered by being tired, emotional distress, dietary factors like too much
caffeine or too much sodium, or even just stress in general.
These Ménière's attacks
can occur at random, sometimes with several episodes in a very short period
of time of each other, and then in other cases, it can be months in between attacks. Ménière's Disease is often diagnosed by an ear, nose and throat physician. It can occur at any
age, but in most cases, it affects individuals between the ages of 40 and 50 years old. Since there is no gold-standard test to diagnose Ménière's Disease, physicians typically look
at your medical history, to identify symptoms such
as two or more episodes of vertigo lasting 20 minutes a piece, an onset of "Roaring" tinnitus, hearing loss in the low-frequency range, which gives the perception of volume loss, and the feeling of ear fullness.
Your physician will likely order some additional testing as
well to support the diagnosis, which may include a hearing test, vestibular or balance testing, and even an MRI or CT scan to rule out other possible
medical conditions. When it comes to treating
the dizzy symptoms that are associated
with Ménière's Disease, individuals typically rely on medications, dietary changes and vestibular therapy. Some of the common medications that your physician may
prescribe can include Meclizine, Diazepam, or Lorazepam,
to reduce the effects of dizziness, nausea and anxiety. And even a diuretic to reduce fluid buildup in the inner ear. Dietary modifications can
include reducing the intake of salt, chocolate, caffeine and alcohol, which can all trigger a Ménière's attack. You may also be able to benefit from vestibular rehabilitation, which has to be administered by a specially-trained physical therapist. The hearing loss and tinnitus symptoms that you experience with Ménière's Disease can often be successfully treated with hearing aids by an audiologist.
Now you don't need me to tell you that Ménière's Disease is no joke. So if you end up experiencing dizziness along with tinnitus, ear
fullness and hearing loss, then you have get a hold of
your physician right away, so you can end up starting
treatment as soon as possible. That's it for this video,
if you have any questions, leave them in the comments section below. If you like the video, please share it. If you wanna see other
videos, just like this one, go ahead and hit that subscribe button. Also feel free to check out
my website, drcliffaud.com. (upbeat music).