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Meniere's disease


Meniere's disease is a chronic disorder of the inner ear responsible for dizziness occurring in crises. This disease is currently considered to be secondary to an increase in the amount of fluid in the labyrinth, a structure in the inner ear that plays a role in balance and hearing. However, a localized tumor or inflammation of a nerve may also have an impact. Dizziness is a symptom that occurs during these successive crises.


Meniere's disease has the following symptoms:
  • deafness, with a sensation that the ear is clogged. Sometimes tinnitus, ringing or buzzing;
  • dizziness, the feeling that one's head is spinning, which can last from a few minutes to a few hours;
  • nausea or vomiting frequently.

Between attacks, the patient may not complain about anything, but sometimes deafness may persist.


The diagnosis of Meniere's disease is extremely difficult because many other diseases are responsible for dizziness and hearing disorders. It is a disorder that progressively worsens towards deafness, which is why an early diagnosis is essential. Additional examinations to search for other causes are typical.


The treatment of Meniere's disease is based on two axes. First, the treatment of the crisis, where the patient should be placed in a quiet dark room, until the crisis passes. Drugs, of disputed effectiveness, are sometimes prescribed. The other treatment is of the disease itself: some molecules are given and the patient is told to adopt a diet low in salt. Surgery may be necessary on the labyrinth.