Meniere's Disease Symptoms and Treatment Options
The spinning experience is a frightening one, especially the first time it occurs. In all likelihood you are not dying but you may have a disease known as Meniere's disease. This is an extremely unpleasant and even debilitating disease, but it will not kill you and it is not contagious.
Simply put, Meniere's is a disorder of the inner ear thought to be caused by fluctuating pressure of fluid within the ear. Approximately one in every five hundred people suffers from some degree of this condition. At present there is no cure for Meniere's,but there are various treatments to lessen or control symptoms.
The symptoms of this disease generally come on suddenly and may include some, or all, of the following; dizziness, ringing(tinnitus) or a feeling of fullness in one ear, nausea, vomiting, fluctuation in hearing, and a loss of balance. In severe instances, sufferers may experience sudden falls. The length of the episodes varies greatly between individuals but may last from 20 minutes to several hours. Some people have frequent but brief episodes. After a severe episode there may be a feeling of exhaustion and a desire to sleep. The symptoms of Meniere's often disappear for long periods of time. Over time, there may be some changes in the function of the ear and some resultant hearing loss.
Because of the danger that falling can present, it is wise to lie down flat during a severe attack and wait for it to pass. Keep your eyes open and rise very slowly when the symptoms pass.
If you feel that you may be suffering from Meniere's, it would be wise to visit your physician immediately to rule out any other possible diseases. You will need to explain your symptoms. Your doctor may suggest various tests including hearing tests, blood tests, MRIs etc.
There are numerous prescription drugs used to treat Meniere's and your physician will prescribe the one he thinks most suitable for you, depending on your specific symptoms. There are some exercises that may be suggested which can improve balance. There is also surgery which is not usually necessary in most cases.
Meniere's is a disease, but it is treatable, and no, it will not kill you.