Feeling like a carousel? Meniere’s disease, which causes dizziness, can start at any age – that’s how you recognize it

The room revolves wildly. It feels like the ground is sinking underfoot. The balance cannot be relied on. Feeling shaky, rocking or tipping over.

Harmless, benign dizziness can be really severe and may be accompanied by a feeling of nausea and vomiting, ringing in the ear, blockage, and hearing loss.

One of the diseases that causes benign ear dizziness is Meniere’s disease, which can strike at any age.

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Everyone is different

In order to speak of confirmed Meniere’s disease, a patient must have three main symptoms:

  • hearing loss as indicated by the hearing curve
  • ringing in the ear, or tinnitus or a feeling of pressure in the ear
  • recurrent dizziness lasting at least 20 minutes.

Based on the symptoms, the patients undergo magnetic resonance imaging of the brain to ensure that there is no other benign tumor in the background, such as a hearing-balance nerve tumor.

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It can take up to a couple of years for the disease to be recognized, as there may be a mere ear symptom first and only later a hearing loss or dizziness, or vice versa.

The picture can be different for everyone. Menier’s disease does not usually lead to complete deafness, but hearing can deteriorate over time. Dizziness attacks can occur daily or even every year or they may go away completely. Symptoms may disappear for years and then reappear later.

Reducing salt is worth it

Nausea associated with Merniere’s disease can be relieved with medication, and some benefit from medications that stimulate blood flow to the inner ear, but a healthy lifestyle plays a key role:

  • low-salt food
  • exercise
  • adequate night sleep
  • relaxation.

Low-salt food also reduces sodium in the inner ear fluid, relieving the blockage and feeling of pressure. Absolute desalination is not desired as the body also needs sodium. It is sufficient to reduce the amount of visible salt.

Sometimes people with Meniere’s disease begin to avoid movement for fear of seizures. Muscle strength and balance deteriorate, exacerbating dizziness.

The saddest thing is when life begins to revolve around illness. The scene may come, of course, but on the other hand, none of us know what might happen when you leave home.

With treatment instructions and medication, most people with Menier’s disease can live near-normal lives. For the most part, the disease subsides on its own for asymptomatic years, sometimes permanently.

Read more about Menier’s disease Finnish Meniere Association pages.

Expert Riina Niemensivu, ear, nose and throat specialist, audiologist, ear clinic at Helsinki Surgical Hospital.

This article appeared in Good Health. As a subscriber, you can read all numbers free of charge from the digilehdet.fi service.

Source: Hyvä Terveys by www.hyvaterveys.fi.

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