Meniere’s Disease is a condition of the inner ear that typically affects only one ear. The condition can occur at any time in one’s life, but it’s typically seen from young adults to middle-aged adults.
Meniere’s Disease is known as a chronic condition, meaning it’s persistent and long-lasting. Some of the symptoms may present themselves daily whereas others can occur at random spells.
Since the condition affects individuals’ ears, many people ask can Meniere’s Disease cause hearing loss, and if so, do hearing aids help Meniere’s disease. As soon to be seen, both answers are yes, so Meniere’s disease and hearing aids go hand-in-hand.
Meniere’s Disease Symptoms
Patients who develop Meniere’s Disease often first notice episodes of vertigo. This feeling is a spinning-like sensation that can affect the patients at random, unpredictable times. People who experience vertigo describe it as though they’re continually moving even though they are not. The dizziness from vertigo can last anywhere from 10 minutes to multiple hours.
Beyond this dizziness sensation, patients with Meniere’s Disease develop tinnitus—a ringing sound inside the ear. Patients describe tinnitus as a constant buzzing, whistling, or other similar sounds. Tinnitus can cause frustration, lack of concentration, and even headaches.
Additionally, patients may feel pressure inside their ear, known as aural fullness. This can be accompanied by other feelings like itchiness, pain, nausea, or loss of balance.
When Meniere’s Disease progresses enough, patients may develop irreversible hearing loss. This is known as Meniere’s Disease sensorineural hearing loss. Because of Meniere’s Disease, permanent hearing loss requires treatment to regain the patient’s hearing. Many patients ask can hearing aids help Meniere’s Disease, as the condition can get worse over time if not treated.
Meniere’s Disease Causes
Unfortunately, doctors have not been able to identify a concrete cause. Rather, Meniere’s Disease seems to have various factors that predispose individuals to develop the condition.
Meniere’s Disease is characterized by a buildup of fluid inside the ear. The buildup of fluid, called endolymph, may contribute to some of the symptoms like tinnitus, vertigo, and feelings of pressure. When the disease progresses, endolymph may fill the inner ear with fluid, so the pressure is consistent. This chronic sensation leads to a steady struggle with hearing and balance.
Over time, the buildup of fluid can damage the inner ear’s hair cells. When these cells become permanently damaged, an individual’s hearing will forever be affected as well—hair cells cannot recover or be replaced.
Other factors that may increase the likelihood of developing Meniere’s Disease include the following.
- Autoimmune diseases
- Viral Infections
Diagnosing Meniere’s Disease
The patients who experience symptoms of Meniere’s Disease may not know anything about the disease before seeking medical attention. Patients may simply believe they have developed an ear infection.
Alternatively, if individuals notice hearing loss symptoms, likely, they have not considered Meniere’s Disease as the cause. Since the condition has many similar symptoms to other conditions of the ear, it can prove difficult to diagnose. Doctors may need to run several tests before concluding if a patient has the condition.
First, an audiologist would perform a hearing test to determine and classify the extent of hearing loss present. This would test the patient’s ability to hear different noise levels and frequencies. Often, Meniere’s Disease causes patients to experience frequency-dependent hearing loss—they cannot hear certain frequency ranges, typically low to mid ranges.
From there, doctors may have the patient undergo balancing tests. Since individuals with Meniere’s Disease struggle from vertigo, and even everyday balance issues, a balance test can prove effective in determining a positive case. Alternatively, doctors may run an MRI or CT scan to see if the cause of symptoms is related to the patient’s brain.
Treating Meniere’s Disease
As Meniere’s Disease is a permanent, chronic condition, no treatment can cure patients. There are still options for patients to pursue.
First, doctors must address the patient’s symptoms and determine how to combat the condition in everyday life. Doctors may prescribe medication that can help patients cope with feelings of dizziness and sudden attacks of vertigo. Patients can also take medication that helps handle nausea sensations.
Additionally, patients can pursue a different lifestyle and dietary methods. Patients need to manage their stress and anxiety as it may help reduce the onset of vertigo attacks. When a vertigo attack occurs, patients should rest immediately. Limiting salt intake may help combat the amount of fluid held inside the ear. Reducing the intake of caffeine and alcohol may also help ease the burden of symptoms like dizziness and nausea.
To combat hearing loss, patients should wear a hearing aid on the affected ear. The use of hearing aids can pose many benefits to patients with Meniere’s Disease. First, hearing aids will help with the loss of hearing, allowing patients to feel capable of participating in everyday events. Furthermore, hearing aids can help reduce the onset of tinnitus. Read our guide on the best hearing aids for tinnitus relief.
The Best Hearing Aids for Meniere’s Disease
This Brtizgo hearing aid comes with a 500-hour battery, stylish design, and customizable options. The hearing aid comes ready to use on either ear. Patients have four different listening modes they can cycle through. The hearing aid has high, mid, low, and wide modes. Thus, patients can choose the desired mode based on their environment. This tailors the hearing experience to fit the background noise.
The Britzgo Digital Hearing Amplifier is the perfect hearing aid for combatting hearing loss from Meniere’s Disease. The hearing aid is affordable, versatile, and stylish.
The Wellness Tree hearing aid is another ideal option for managing hearing loss. The hearing aid itself is lightweight, easy to use, and designed for comfort. The hearing aid has an on/off button and volume adjustment buttons that allow patients to control volume in any given environment. The hearing aid is also anti-shock and moisture-proof.
Another highlight of the device is that it is rechargeable. Patients do not need to purchase new batteries to replace old ones. They can simply recharge the hearing aid in the evenings before going to sleep.