Ménière's disease is a condition that affects the inner ear. It causes attacks of dizziness (vertigo), nausea and vomiting, a feeling of fullness in the ear, hissing and roaring in the ears, and some hearing loss.There is electron microscopic evidence of ciliary fusion and retraction of the outer hair cells from the cuticular plate in the temporal bones of patients with advanced disease.
The endolymph became contaminated with perilymph through ruptures of the inner ear membranes, which would explain the attacks of vertigo and the temporary hearing impairment in the early stages of the disease. In advanced disease, the hearing impairment and vestibular dysfunction may be due to multiple obstructions and ruptures of the membranous labyrinth.
Ménière's disease is a surprisingly common condition, affecting an estimated one in a thousand people in Spain. Most are aged between 20 and 60 and the majority, for reasons which remain unclear, are women. The exact cause remains something of a mystery but experts believe it is to do with pressure in the inner ear.
Medications injected into the middle ear, and then absorbed into the inner ear, may improve vertigo symptoms: Gentamicin, an antibiotic that's toxic to your inner ear, reduces the balancing function of your ear, and your other ear assumes responsibility for balance. The procedure, which can be performed during local anesthesia in your doctor's office, often reduces the frequency and severity of vertigo attacks.
Major research on disease:
Polymorphisms in genes involved in the free-radical process in patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss and Ménière's disease.There is a risk, however, of further hearing loss. Steroids, such as dexamethasone, also may help control vertigo attacks in some people. This procedure can also be performed with local anesthesia applied by your doctor.