Some people call this Meniere’s Disease, other people call it Meniere’s Syndrome and others just call it Meniere’s.
Ménière’s Disease affects the inner ear. It can affect both hearing and balance. It can cause episodes of vertigo (a sensation of whirling dizziness), hearing loss, tinnitus, and the sensation of fullness in the ear.
A symptom of Ménière’s disease typically involves a whirling dizziness that forces the sufferer to lie down. These vertigo attacks can lead to severe nausea, vomiting, and sweating and often come with little or no warning.
The cause of Meniere’s Disease is unknown. It is a progressive illness and the symptoms and frequency of bouts can vary between different people.
People who have Meniere’s Disease say they have found the following things helpful:
- Some people find that it helps to never do anything in a hurry but do everything deliberately.
- Some people said that they found it best not to look to the side.
- Some people say that they never watch rapid movements as it can trigger an attack.
- Some people said that they try never to look down when walking or picking something up.
- Some people find it helps if they never move their head quickly.
- Many people recommended holding onto banisters when using the stairs.
- It can help to try to stay calm if you feel an attack coming on.
- Some people said they found it helpful to fix the eyes on something distant and walk towards it.
- Some people find it helpful to take a walking stick to help with their balance.
- Other people said that a stick made them feel old and instead used a long umbrella.
- One person said, “I avoid the centre of a noisy room as it makes me feel giddy as well as making hearing more difficult.”
- One person said she found it helpful to take a torch with her if she was likely to be out after dark.
- Several people said they’d found it helpful to reduce or try to cut out the amount salt in their diet.
- Some people said that they found that stopping smoking had helped.
- You may find it helpful to read R.F. McCall’s Giddiness and Loss of Balance in her book “Speechreading and Listening Tactics” (Hale, 1984) (Editor’s note – there are a variety of books available about living with Meniere’s, you may be able to get them through your local library)
- The Meniere’s Society provides some information on Meniere’s.
Meniere’s Society website: www.menieres.co.uk Information on this website includes topics such as:
- How Meniere’s affects you
- Self management
- Vertigo and dizziness
Other sources of information about Meniere’s and its symptoms include:
- British Tinnitus Association (if one of your symptoms is tinnitus) Website: www.tinnitus.org.uk/