The inner ear is not only important for hearing. The labyrinth, a fluid-filled part of the inner ear adjacent to the cochlea (the hearing organ), is a critical component of our vestibular system, which works with our visual and skeletal systems to maintain our balance. When the inner ear is damaged or is operating dysfunctionally, this can manifest in dizziness and vertigo if the labyrinth is affected. This is why hearing issues are so often accompanied by balance issues. One example of this can be seen in Meniere’s Disease.
What is Meniere’s Disease?
Meniere’s Disease is a condition of the inner ear that causes prolonged episodes of vertigo (lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few days), loss of hearing, ringing in the ears (also called “tinnitus”) or the sensation of high pressure within the ear. Meniere’s Disease can develop later in life, often in young and middle-aged adults. It appears that the extreme vertigo associated with Meniere’s disease is the result of an abnormal amount of fluid in the labyrinth of the inner ear. However, the ultimate cause of this fluid imbalance is not known, and there is therefore no cure to fully treat Meniere’s Disease. However, there are some treatments that can help manage the chronic symptoms associated with it, such as diet, exercise, and medications.
Can Hearing Aids Help?
As with many other forms of hearing issues, hearing aids are able to restore lost hearing as a result of Meniere’s Disease, and represent one treatment option for managing the life-long symptoms. In some patients, the repaired hearing can also benefit day-to-day balance. Some studies have found that hearing aids that correct hearing imbalances between the two ears can have a positive effect on balance by providing more even audible information to the brain for orientation. While this does not test the underlying causes of Meniere’s disease, proper hearing care can help to manage living with Meniere’s Disease.
Diagnosing Meniere’s Disease
To diagnose Meniere’s Disease, a patient must experience at least two episodes of vertigo, report tinnitus or pressurized ears, and have hearing loss as confirmed with a hearing test. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult our specialists for diagnosis and treatments.
Call Us Today for a Free Hearing Test.
If you are experiencing hearing loss as a result of Meniere’s Disease or any other type of hearing impairment, call us today for a free hearing test. Proper hearing care can restore your hearing and improve your quality of life, so don’t wait- call today.