Mieniere’s Disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can produce mild to severe attacks of vertigo and tinnitus, when roar, buzz or ringing sound are heard in the head and ears. The condition usually starts between ages 20 and 50, and affects men and women equally.


Meniere’s disease, also called idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops, is a disorder of the inner ear. Although the cause is unknown, it probably results from an abnormality in the fluids of the inner ear. In most cases, only one ear is involved. Meniere’s disease typically starts between the ages of 20 and 50 years . Men and women are affected in equal numbers.

The symptoms of Meniere’s disease may be only a minor nuisance, or can become disabling, especially if the attacks of vertigo are severe, frequent, and occur without warning. Among them are:

  • Attacks of a spinning sensation or episodic rotational vertigo
  • Roaring, buzzing or ringing sound in the ear or tinnitus
  • Sensation of fullness in the affected ear
  • Intermittent hearing loss, especially in the low pitches during the early development stage
  • Fixed hearing loss involving all pitches in the advanced stage of the disease
  • Uncomfortable and distorted sounds

From all the Meniere’s disease’s symptoms, vertigo is usually the most troublesome. It is commonly produced by disorders of the inner ear, but may also occur in central nervous system dirorders.  Vertigo may last for 20 minutes to two hours or longer.

When the history has been completed, diagnostic tests will check your hearing and balance functions. They may include:

For Hearing

  • An audiometric examination (hearing test) typically indicates a sensory type of hearing loss in the affected ear.  Speech discrimination (the patient’s ability to distinguish between words like “sit” and “fit”) is often diminished in the affected ear

For Balance

  • An ENG (electronystagmograph) may be performed to evaluate balance function.  In a dark room, recording electrodes are placed near the eyes.  Warm and cool water or air is gently introduced into the ear canal.  Since the eyes and ears work simultaneously through the nervous system, measurement of eye movements can be used to test the balance system. In about 50 percent of patients, the balance function is reduced in the affected ear.
  • Rotational testing or balance platform, may also be performed to evaluate the balance system.

Other Tests

  • Electrocochleography (ECoG) may indicate increased inner ear fluid pressure in some cases of Meniere’s disease.
  • The auditory brainstem response (ABR), a computerized test of the hearing nerves and brain pathways, computed tomography (CT) or, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be needed to rule out a tumor occurring on the hearing and balance nerve.  Such tumors are rare, but they can cause symptoms similar to Meniere’s disease.


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