"Ménière's (say ""men-YEERS"") disease is an inner ear problem that affects your hearing and balance. It normally occurs in only one ear at a time. But over time, it develops in the other ear in up to half of those who have it. The disease usually occurs in people ages 40 to 60, but anyone can have it. "
The pathophysiology of Ménière's disease is not clearly understood. It was previously thought that Ménière's was closely correlated with endolymphatic hydrops, a condition in which endolymph builds up due to an obstruction in the endolymphatic sac. Hormones such as saccin and glycoproteins are produced in excess, which may relieve the blockage and cause vertigo due to the sudden release of endolymph across the sac.
The incidence is between 1:1000 and 1:2000 of the population; depending on the source. Both sexes are equally affected and it can occur at any age. About 7-10% of sufferers have a family history of the disease.Treatment of Ménière’s disease is aimed at reducing and controlling symptoms.
As Ménière’s is symptomatic, treatment will vary with the needs of each individual and includes medication, vestibular rehabilitation, diet and lifestyle changes, tinnitus management, hearing aids and counselling. In four out of five people non-surgical measures are sufficient to control the symptoms of Ménière’s disease; however, if vertigo remains a problem surgical procedures can help.
Major research on disease:
Studying the relationship between endolymph volume and inner ear function to determine how much endolymph is “too much.” Researchers are hoping to develop methods for manipulating inner ear fluids and treatments that could lower endolymph volume and reduce or eliminate dizziness.