Researchers may have figured out ways to attack Meniere's disease

Published on December 7, 2013 at 9:39 AM · 2 Comments

Researchers at University of Colorado School of Medicine may have figured out what causes Meniere's disease and how to attack it. According to Carol Foster, MD, from the department of otolaryngology and Robert Breeze, MD, a neurosurgeon, there is a strong association between Meniere's disease and conditions involving temporary low blood flow in the brain such as migraine headaches.

Meniere's affects approximately 3 to 5 million people in the United States. It is a disabling disorder resulting in repeated violent attacks of dizziness, ringing in the ear and hearing loss that can last for hours and can ultimately cause permanent deafness in the affected ear. Up until now, the cause of the attacks has been unknown, with no theory fully explaining the many symptoms and signs of the disorder.

"If our hypothesis is confirmed, treatment of vascular risk factors may allow control of symptoms and result in a decreased need for surgeries that destroy the balance function in order to control the spell" said Foster. "If attacks are controlled, the previously inevitable progression to severe hearing loss may be preventable in some cases."

Foster explains that these attacks can be caused by a combination of two factors: 1) a malformation of the inner ear, endolymphatic hydrops (the inner ear dilated with fluid) and 2) risk factors for vascular disease in the brain, such as migraine, sleep apnea, smoking and atherosclerosis.

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Comments
  1. Karen Cetrone Karen Cetrone United States says:

    I totally agree with the vascular association. I am a 30 + year sufferer of Meniere's having encountered every aspect of the syndrome. I opted not to have the balance nerve cut, as did my brother, for the vertigo. Instead, I had drops of medication injected into the eardrum and I haven't had an attack since 2009.  I still suffer from 24/7 tinnitus, hearing loss, and fullness, but, at least I know up from down. There are many members of my family that suffer from this syndrome and or migraines, and or strokes, hence, my belief of the direct association.

    • Alan Opie Alan Opie United States says:

      could you tell me what  drops they used . I have had Menieres for about atleast 5 years and it curtails my activity in a big way. Not to mention the terribly debilitating attacks. .Any specific information would be appreciated . This is a very debilitating disease. I have had severe attacks that lasted a week.. Did you already have the hearing loss or did the "drops" cause it ? Any Negative effects from the Drops ?or just Alleviated the attacks? Is your balance normal? or still have some trouble??  My condition is like Every Day I have "Some" balance problems . I make effort to NOT move my head quickly etc . and have tinnitus. That can go on for weeks or months .And then sometimes I have attacks that are Very severe.  Any specific Information you could give I would very much appreciate . Give your e-mail if you would so I can communicate directly to you. Mine is aopie@ca.rr.com  Thank you Karen Cetrone

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