Meniere’s disease affects the inner ear and can cause dizziness and hearing loss for those with this condition. It is a chronic condition, and all those with this condition want is relief. Chiropractic adjustments have been known to be effective in relieving the symptoms of this condition and might be worth exploring.

What Is Meniere’s Disease?

Meniere’s disease is an inner ear condition that can cause vertigo and hearing loss. In many cases, the person will only have the condition in one ear. It can begin at any age, but symptoms typically first appear during early to middle adulthood. The condition can cause symptoms that are so severe that they can have an impact on daily life or the ability to function on the job.

The symptoms of Meniere’s can range from minor annoyances to ones that make it difficult to do even simple tasks. Some of the most common symptoms of the disease include:

  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus or ringing in the ear
  • Pressure in the ear

With Meniere’s disease, vertigo starts and stops suddenly and without apparent provocation. Attacks can last anywhere from 20 minutes to a day. Severe vertigo can cause nausea in some people. As with dizziness, the hearing loss with this disease might come and go in the beginning. Over time, the hearing loss becomes permanent.

One of the most common complaints among those with Meniere’s is ringing in the ear, which is also called tinnitus. This can sound like a persistent roaring, buzzing, whistling, hissing, or a solid tone. The sound does not originate from outside the head and is constant. Many people feel like they have pressure in the ear, much like when you have an ear infection.

What Causes Meniere’s Disease?

The cause of Meniere’s Disease is not known. The symptoms tend to come in “attacks” or “episodes.” This is followed by a relatively symptom-free period. Meniere’s is often misdiagnosed as other ear issues, so it is important to seek the attention of a physician to make sure you receive a proper diagnosis.

The symptoms of Meniere’s disease are similar to those of an ear infection. It is important to see a physician to rule out infection before seeking chiropractic adjustment to alleviate the symptoms. If the physician determines that you have Meniere’s, then chiropractic adjustment might be the answer to getting some relief.

How Is Meniere’s Diagnosed?

Meniere’s disease must be diagnosed by a specialist who treats diseases of the ear. If you first seek help from a general physician, it is more than likely that they will send you to a speech and hearing specialist. The specialist will use hearing tests, balance tests, and other tests to help rule out any other cause.

What Treatments Are Available?

There is no cure for Meniere’s disease. Attacks seem to come and go on their own. The first attack can arise suddenly and for no known cause. The frequency of the attacks varies from person to person, as does the severity of the attacks. Treatment is focused on helping to relieve symptoms during an attack and to get you some relief. If you have been diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, several treatments are often used.

Even though the exact cause of Meniere’s is unknown, it does seem to be associated with an increase in fluid in the inner ear. Many of the therapies and treatment options are focused on preventing or reducing fluid build-up in the ear. This can often help substantially relieve or eliminate the symptoms during an attack.

Medication

Medication is often used to help relieve the symptoms. This might include medication for motion sickness, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. A diuretic might also be used to help reduce fluid retention in your body. In some cases, the physician might inject medication into your inner ear to help reduce dizziness.

Physical Therapy

Sometimes, your specialist might suggest physical therapy to help improve vertigo symptoms. These exercises train your brain to adjust to the difference in balance between your two ears. Over time, your brain will learn to compensate. The more you do these exercises, the less vertigo you will be likely to experience in the future.

Hearing Aids

If your hearing loss is significant, you might be required to use hearing aids. You will need to see an audiologist to get a proper fitting. Sometimes, you might only need to use a hearing aid during an attack.

Surgery

Surgery for Meniere’s is only reserved for severe cases. Most with this disease will not need surgery to manage the symptoms. For those where conventional therapies and treatments have not had any success, surgery might be suggested. The surgery is called an endolymphatic sac procedure. It helps to reduce the amount of fluid produced by the ear. It also helps aid in the drainage of the fluid.

Lifestyle Changes

Several lifestyle changes have been found to reduce the amount of fluid in the inner ear. One of these changes is with diet. Those with Meniere’s are advised to avoid salt, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). It is also important to drink the proper amount of fluid, as this helps to prevent fluid retention in the body.

Aside from dietary changes, several lifestyle modifications might be necessary to manage attacks. One suggestion is to make sure you get plenty of rest during vertigo attacks. Eating regularly also helps to regulate fluids in your body. Stress also seems to trigger attacks and make them worse. Smoking and allergies have been found to make the symptoms of Meniere’s worse.

How Can Chiropractic Adjustments Help?

Although Meniere’s disease has no cure, certain treatments can help to reduce the symptoms during an attack. Meniere’s disease can be debilitating, but chiropractic care can help some people get some relief. Chiropractic adjustment of the cervical spine has been shown to reduce symptoms in some people.

There is no causal connection that has been established between Meniere’s and upper cervical misalignment, but this condition is seen in many of those with the disease. This is especially the case in those who have suffered a head or whiplash injury. Many also have a misalignment of the atlas vertebra, which is the uppermost in your spine.

In one study, some people saw an improvement in vertigo, and nausea, and were able to experience a better quality of life. Many were able to return to doing activities like driving a car, returning to work, and resuming a normal social life.

Chiropractic adjustment for Meniere’s disease involves the restoration of spinal fluid flow. This can affect the hair cells and signals of the ear to the brain. Chiropractic adjustment also helps with nervous system communication. This can help with the nerves that control coordination and balance.

What Are the Usual Outcomes?

For many, the key to getting relief lies in a combination of therapies and treatment options. In some cases, people will go into remission after a few years of treatments. The disease is considered chronic, but proper spinal care, dietary changes, physical therapy, and medications can help manage the symptoms and reduce their impact as much as possible.

The focus of chiropractic adjustments is on relieving nerve interference that can lower the body’s ability to communicate and heal. Restoring flow to the nervous system brings relief in many cases. Even though there is no cure for Meniere’s works all the time, it is good to know that some things can be done to help alleviate the symptoms.

If you have been diagnosed with Meniere’s disease and the treatments you have tried do not seem to be giving you any relief, then it might be time to try chiropractic adjustments. This is especially the case if you have experienced an injury that might have caused spinal misalignment. When used with conventional treatments, chiropractic adjustments have been shown to have positive outcomes for many people. It might be time to contact a chiropractor to see if this might be an option for you.