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What is Meniere's Disease?

Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes spontaneous vertigo (the sensation of a spinning motion) as well as fluctuating hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ear). Sometimes, you may experience a feeling of fullness or pressure in your ear. Generally, Ménière’s disease affects only one ear.

Meniere’s disease can occur in anyone, including children. However, people who are in their 40s or 50s are more likely than those in other age groups to develop Meniere’s disease. Additionally, even though Meniere’s disease is considered a chronic condition, there are treatment options available to relieve symptoms and alleviate the conditions’ affect on your life.

Signs and symptoms of Meniere’s disease include:

  • Recurring episodes of vertigo, or the sensation you experience if you spin around quickly several times and then suddenly stop. You will feel as if the room is still spinning, and you lose your balance. Episodes can occur without warning and can last 20 minutes to two hours or more, up to 24 hours. Severe vertigo can lead to nausea and vomiting.
  • Hearing loss, which may fluctuate, especially early in the course of the disease. Most people eventually experience some degree of permanent hearing loss.
  • Ringing in the ear (tinnitus), or the perception of a ringing, buzzing, roaring, whistling or hissing sound in your ear.
  • Feeling of fullness or increased pressure in the ear.

You should see your doctor immediately if you experience any of the signs or symptoms of Meniere’s disease.

What Causes Meniere's Desease?

The actual cause of Meniere’s disease is not fully understood. However, scientists have proposed a number of possible triggers or causes:

  • Allergies
  • Improper fluid drainage, perhaps because of a blockage or anatomic abnormality
  • Abnormal immune response
  • Viral infection
  • Head trauma
  • Migraines
  • Genetic predisposition

However, because no single cause has been identified, it’s possible that Meniere’s disease can be caused by a combination of factors.

Meniere’s disease can lead to sensorineural hearing loss, which is the most common type of hearing loss among adults. Typically, sensorineural hearing loss is not medically or surgically treatable. However, most sensorineural hearing loss can be treated through the use of hearing aids.

Smoky Mountain Hearing Specialists is offers state of the art digital hearing aids, as well as a variety of options designed to meet any budget.. We also assist our clients with custom fittings and follow-up care. We have to offices located in Morristown and Cleveland, Tennessee.

Call our office in Morristown at 423-200-3612, Cleveland at 423-464-7947 or fill out our online contact form. We look forward to working with you!

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I built the building for Smoky Mountain Hearing Center and had met Brett a few times during the process. Shortly after my wife encouraged me (many times!) to go have a hearing test to see if hearing aids would help me. I did so and found the staff to not only be extremely knowledgeable but also very helpful and goes above and beyond to give superior service. Because of my awesome experience I have told as many people as I can they also need to visit the folks at Smoky Mountain Hearing. Brett is simply just a good guy.

Gary Epps