Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s Disease is common, occurring in more than 3-5 million Americans. Meniere’s Disease is a condition characterized by recurrent vertigo (dizziness), hearing loss, and tinnitus ( a roaring, buzzing, or ringing sound in the ears). These affects only occur in one ear but up to 30% of cases can develop the problem in both ears. The reason I chose this topic was because I am truly amazed by how the human ear works and I wanted to know how this disease can make it all stop working.

Also, I was watching my favorite show called ‘Switched at Birth’ and one of the actress on the show name Katie Leclerc has Meniere’s Disease herself so that got me even more interested. Here is a little bit more background information about Meniere’s Disease and where it came from. Meniere’s disease was named for the French physician Prosper Meniere, who first described the illness in 1861. It is an abnormality within the inner ear. A fluid called endolymph moves in the membranous labyrinth or semicircular canals within the bony labyrinth inside the inner ear.

When the head or body more, the end lymph moves, causing nerve receptors in the membranous labyrinth to send signals to the brain about the body’s motion. A change in the volume of the endolymph fluid, or swelling or rupture of the membranous labyrinth is thought to result in Meniere’s disease symptoms. Diagnosis There is no test or single symptoms that a doctor can use to make the diagnosis. The diagnosis is strictly made upon your medical history and presence of: Two or more episodes of vertigo lasting at least 20 minutes each. Tinnitus.

Temporary hearing loss A feeling of fullness in the ear. Causes The cause of Meniere’s disease is unknown; however, scientist are studying several possible causes including noise pollution, viral infections, or alterations in the patterns of blood flow. Symptoms Symptoms include severe dizziness, tinnitus. Hearing loss, and the sensation of pain or pressure in the affected ear. Symptoms last up to several hours, and occur as often as daily to as infrequently as once a year. A typical attack includes vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss.

Some people with Meniere’s disease may only experience a single symptom, like dizziness or intense ringing in the ear. Vertigo attacks are so severe it can force a person with the Meniere’s disease to have to sit or lie down. Vertigo also causes headache, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Treatment There is not cure for Meniere’s disease but doctors do recommended Antihistamines like diphenhydramine. Also, barbiturates drugs, like atropine relive the vertigo. Scopolamine, can minimize nausea and diarrhea. They are also some alternative treatments.

Changing your diet and your behavior are recommended by doctors. Also, eliminate caffeine, alcohol, and salt may help relive the frequency and intensity of attacks in some people with Meniere’s disease. Acupuncture is also a alternative treatment that has been shown to help people with Meniere’s disease according to, The World Health Organization (WHO). Interview Thankfully, I got the chance to interview a real person who has Meniere’s disease. Her name is Anne Pope. She had Meniere’s disease over 30 years ago, so her symptoms have died down. The interview took place April 5th, 2013 in my house.

Me: Hi Anne, thank you so much for letting me interview you. I have 10 questions to ask you. Question 1: How is the diagnosis made for Meniere’s disease? Anne: Interestingly, Meniere’s is diagnosed by ruling out other problems such as a brain tumor that can result in the same symptoms. When all else is ruled out, the diagnosis becomes Meniere’s Syndrome. There are certain characteristic symptoms- hearing loss, a feeling of fullness in the ear, balance problems, vertigo, and a problem with the eyes called nystagmus. This is a big a big word describing your eyes moving rapidly and out of your control.

As you can tell from the collections of symptoms, Meniere’s is a thoroughly unpleasant disease. Me: Is Meniere’s disease hereditary? Anne: Not that anyone has uncovered at this point anyway. No one in my family had had it before. Me: Is Meniere’s disease infectious? Anne: No Me: Are there any drugs that can help reduce the vertigo symptoms? If, so what are they? Anne: Yes, my doctor recommended Dramomine which didn’t work very well. Then he gave me a prescription for something stronger. I don’t remember the name unfortunately. I’m sure they have better medicines today. Oh!

I just remembered I was also given a diuretic which reduces the amount of water your body retains. In theory, this is also reducing extra water in your inner ear. It didn’t have much effect for me. I think it helps some people. I also had to take a potassium pill when I was taking the diuretic, because so much potassium is washed out as well. Me: Can surgery help get rid of Meniere’s disease? Anne: I don’t know whether they have effective surgery today. When I was having my most severe attacks, the only surgery being done essentially destroyed your hearing so I wasn’t going to opt for that.

Me: Can Meniere’s disease affect certain things you do? Like, running, jumping, jogging, sports etc.. Anne: Absolutely, it can affect that. When I was having it most critically, I tired not to anything that involved a lot of jerking of my head- running, jumping, jogging, sudden stops or starts that you would have playing a sport. However, I found that keeping my circulation going was really important, so I did a lot of walking-slowing when I was feeling shaky or faster when I was feeling better. I still walk at least a mile every day and most days two or more.

I have found that even now when I don’t do that on a regular basis, I begin to feel a little whiz and a little uneasiness. This is nothing remotely like what I experienced initially, but it is a warning to pay attention. I am also very careful not to get overstressed or over tired. Another thing that I do think helped was to learn to meditate so I started and ended the day with a period of calm. I don’t do that every say any more but when I feel myself getting stressed, I start doing it again. Stress and fatigue can be triggers for some people and seem to be for me.

Me: For people who don’t understand Meniere’s disease, can you please tell them what it is? Anne: Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear. It causes vertigo ( a spinning sensation), loss of hearing, loss of balance, and sometimes a ringing in the ears. The attacks can last for a short time or for days at a time. Often the vertigo causes intense nausea and vomiting. No one know exactly why this happens. Some people theorize that it is because for some reason, an imbalance in the fluid in the inner ear occurs or too much fluid accumulates in the inner ear.

People have suggested a virus, an allergy, or a defective immune response might be the cause. You won’t die of Menieres, but you will often feel as though your life is over because it interferes with your family, your work, your leisure– every aspect of your life. It disrupts your life completely until it calms down. Me: What types of food can you eat when you have Meniere’s disease? What can’t you eat? Anne: I did change my diet. I ate very low salt diet- grilled or roasted meat or fresh water fish, a lot of green vegetables, and an occasional piece of fruit.

I stopped eating cheese, baked good of any kind including bread and pizza, peanut better, and processed food of any kind such as cold cuts, ketchup, or anything that came in a can. I ate not potatoes, pasta, and other carbohydrates. Today, I eat almost everything although I do still lean heavily on simply prepared meat, fish, and fresh vegetables. I still avoid canned food and watch my sodium intake carefully. I rarely eat bread. I read nutritional labels carefully. The amount of sodium in some prepared foods is staggering– often more in a single small serving than a person should have in the entire day.

And, I watch the numbers of times a week that I eat restaurant food– take out or eat in– because that is heavily salted. Me: For a person who has Meniere’s disease, what can they do to reduce the vertigo attacks at home? Anne: Reduce the stress in your life. Don’t get overtired. Eat a low sodium diet. Stop using stimulants- the nicotine in cigarettes and the caffeine in coffee constrict the arteries and affect the blood circulation in your ear. Avoid alcohol– it can make your lack of balance worse. Exercise can impact activities can aggravate your condition.

Get enough sleep– Meniere’s is exhausting. Me: If a person has Meniere’s disease in one ear, what are the chances of getting it in the other. Anne: I don’t know the ask to this question. Me: Thank you Anne so much for letting me interview you. You have been a great deal of help. Anne: You are most welcome! Good luck! Process/ Steps I’m not going to lie, when my teacher told me that I had to write a five page report in my head I said “FIVE PAGE REPORT! OH HECK NO!. ” I was this close to not doing this report but I knew I needed to in order to pass her class.

Honestly, the process of researching, gathering the information together and typing the report was long and hard. Especially having to find a person to interview. I was seriously going to make the interview up but thankfully I found somebody. The most challenging part in writing this report was the actually writing. I didn’t want to make a bad impression on my teacher nor, did I want her to think that I could write or even put a few sentences together. In Conclusion, writing this report was long and hard but a little bit fun.

I got to meet an incredible women and I got the chance to learn about a disease I really didn’t know much about.

Works Citied Fundukian, Laurie J. The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, Fourth Edition, Volume 4 L-O USA: Gale, 2011 Moreno, Veronica. “Meniere’s Disease. ” Hearing Health Foundation. Hearing Health Magazine, January 2013 Boidman, Andrea. “Types, Causes, and Treatments. ” Hearing Loss Association of America. Hearing Health Magazine, January 2013. Pope, Anne. Personal Interview. 5th April. 2013.

– an abnormal inner ear fluid balance caused by a malabsorption in the endolyphatic sac or blockage in the endolyphatic duct. – chronic disease caused by an increase in endolymphatic pressure High in males (40-60 years old) Unknown Etiology Clinical …

The endolymph and perilymph (ie, fluids that fill the chambers of the inner ear) are separated by thin membranes that house the neural apparatus of hearing and balance. Fluctuations in pressure stress these nerve-rich membranes, causing hearing disturbance, tinnitus, vertigo, …

Anatomically, an ear is a vertebrate organ of hearing and is responsible for sensing and collecting sounds as well as maintaining equilibrium. The ear is divided into three sections, the outer ear (pinna), the middle ear, and the inner ear. …

In 1861, the French physician Prosper Meniere described a condition which now bears his name. Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear which causes episodes of vertigo, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), a feeling of fullness or pressure …

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