About Meniere’s disease
Meniere’s disease is one of the disorders that affect the inner ear and characterized by vertigo (dizziness), varying levels of hearing loss, and fluid build-up in the inner ear. It mainly affects people aged between 20 and 60 years and is extremely rare in children.
Very little is known about the cause of Meniere’s disease. Even in diagnosing people with symptoms related to Meniere’s disease, medical practitioners use the elimination method. They analyse the patient and if they don’t find any other vertigo-related inner ear illness, they rule that it is Meniere’s disease.
Due to the scarcity of knowledge about the illness, experts are yet to find a cure. However, there are various treatments you can use to manage the symptoms.
Meniere’s disease predisposing factors
So far, research on Meniere’s disease has not been successful in determining what causes the illness. However, there is consensus that the fluid that fills the inner ear canal contributes to the manifestation of the symptoms. The fluid interferes with the inner ear’s homoeostasis interfering with the auditory system and body’s balance.
Anything that may lead to the influx of the endolymphatic fluid in the inner ear channels is therefore considered a predisposing factor.
Some of the factors include:
- Blockage of the inner the ear canals in the inner ear
- Overproduction of endolymphatic fluid
- Impeded absorption and circulation of the endolymphatic fluid into the bodies lymphatic system
- Allergies promote production of lymphatic fluid in the body especially those that affect the ENT system
- Inflammation resulting from ear infections. The inflammation might block the fluid from flowing normally in the ear canals
- Severe injuries on the head
- Family history of the illness or other vertigo-related illnesses
The endolymphatic fluid is part of the lymphatic system found all over the body. As such, if you notice any signs that there your there is a problem with our lymphatic system, your ears may also be affected.
The signs you should look out for include: feeling bloated, inflammation of joints, feet and ankles, fullness pressure in the ears. If you notice any of them, seek medical advice.
Meniere’s disease has four main symptoms:
- Vertigo: a sudden sense dizziness and lack of balance accompanied by nausea which may lead to vomiting
- Ear fullness: due to the excessive fluid in the inner ear
- Hearing loss: the accumulation of endolymphatic fluid and the resultant sense of fullness can cause partial or total loss of hearing
- Tinnitus: sufferers of Meniere’s disease experience a ringing sound in the affected ear periodically. Some people have reported that the ringing sound becomes intense just before a vertigo attack.
The vertigo, ear fullness and tinnitus attacks may happen at any time and there severity varies. The intensity and occurrence has been noted to correlate to moments when you are exhausted, stressed or anxious.
The illness usually starts on one ear then progresses to the other ear over time.
The effect of Meniere’s disease on your life
Meniere’s disease has adverse effect on your hearing and your body’s general wellbeing. In addition, the sudden occurrence of the symptoms can have a negative impact on your ability to live fully.
A vertigo attack and the associated nausea and vomiting can be so intense that it interferes with your ability to continue with what you were doing. Some people have reported blacking out from the severity of the symptoms.
This exposes you and people around you to danger especially if you are driving, operating a machine, or in a delicate situation such as crossing the road danger.
Meniere’s disease also causes instances of impaired hearing which may progress to become a permanent loss of hearing.
In addition to endangering your life, these effects of Meniere’s disease limit the activities that you can participate in since the attacks are unpredictable.
Available treatment options
Meniere’s disease is a chronic illness but you can manage the symptoms through:
- Prescribed medication e.g. meclizine and lorazepam
- Avoiding large meals and instead taking small portions of food throughout the day
- Reduced consumption of salt and junk foods high in sodium content
- Reduced alcohol intake
- Hydrate constantly
- Vitamin D supplement.
In extreme cases the doctor may recommend surgery to drain the endolymphatic fluid.
How you can use hypnosis to control the symptoms
At surface value, Meniere’s disease is a physical condition. However, the symptoms have been attack more often and more intensely when you are under duress, or fatigued, depressed. This indicates that there is a mental aspect of the disease.
Hypnotherapy teaches you to tap into your subconscious mind and take control of whatever is causing you mental stress.
Through the guidance of a hypnotherapist, you can use access your subconscious and identify the factors that trigger symptoms of Meniere’s in you and take control.
Many people have reported improved physical wellbeing once they learned to take control of the mental aspect of the illness using hypnotherapy.