Meniere’s disease affects the inner ear. It can cause severe dizziness, a roaring sound in your ears called tinnitus, hearing loss that comes and goes and ear pressure or pain. It usually affects just one ear; however, over time, some patients can develop Meniere's in both ears, usually many years apart. 

Attacks of dizziness may come on suddenly or after a short bout of tinnitus or muffled hearing. Some people have an occasional attack. Others may have many attacks close together over several days. Some people have “drop attacks” during which the dizziness is so bad, they lose their balance and fall without warning. This is also known as spells of Tumarkin. 

Meniere's often runs in families. Please see our frequently asked questions section below for more information. 

Source: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Diagnosis

The Department of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has a dedicated staff that performs the most advanced testing, which helps ensure you are properly diagnosed so that your treatment can be as effective as possible and you can get faster results.

Dynamic vestibular testing (VNG or ENG) of the inner ear is a thorough screening that takes about an hour to complete. Observing and recording eye movements and brain function may help detect Meniere's. Testing will also include positional testing of semicircular canals and caloric tests, which use cold and warm air to test for weakened inner ear response. Audiology tests are also done during this initial evaluation.

Treatment

Treatment for Meniere's includes medicines to control dizziness. Limiting salt in your diet and taking water pills improve the condition in about 80 percent of patients. More aggressive treatments include steroid injection. Antibiotic injection can stop vertigo by affecting the auditory nerve; however, it usually can cause hearing loss. Severe cases may require surgery.

Why Choose Ohio State

The Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center has been successfully evaluating and treating patients with ear-related issues for decades. Many of our patients are referred to us by local ENTs due to our outstanding reputation.

A dedicated testing staff: We have dedicated, knowledgeable, highly experienced audiologists who conduct our patient hearing testing, which provides a solid base of information to assist with the patient’s diagnosis.

Trained specialists: Among our physicians are a group of neurotologists who are highly skilled in treating all diseases of the ear, medically or surgically. Many of the neurotologists in the state of Ohio are found here.

Nationally ranked: Wexner Medical Center is recognized by U.S.News & World Report one of the nation’s best hospitals for care of the ear, nose and throat.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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