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Meniere’s disease

  • Alternative Names

    Hydrops; Endolymphatic hydrops


    Attacks or episodes of Meniere's disease often start without warning. They may occur daily, or as rarely as once a year. The severity of each episode can vary.

    Severevertigo or dizziness is the symptom that causes the most problems. People who have vertigo feel as though they are spinning or moving, or that the world is spinning around them.

    • Severe nausea, vomiting, and sweating often occur.
    • Symptoms get worse with sudden movement.
    • Often, the person will need to lie down.
    • The dizziness and feeling of being off-balance will last from minutes to hours.

    Hearing loss may occur. Usually the hearing loss is only in one ear, but it may affect both ears.

    • A person's hearing tends to recover between attacks but gets worse over time
    • Low frequency noises are lost first
    • Roaring or ringing in the ear (tinnitus), as well as a sense of pressure in the ear are common

    Other symptoms include:

    • Diarrhea
    • Headaches
    • Pain or discomfort in the abdomen
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Uncontrollable eye movements

    Signs and tests

    A brain and nervous system (neurological) examination may show problems with hearing, balance, or eye movement.

    A procedure called caloric stimulation tests eye reflexes by warming and cooling the inner ear with water. Abnormal results on this test can be a sign of Meniere's disease.

    The following tests may also be done to distinguish Meniere's disease from other causes of vertigo:

    • Electronystagmography
    • Head CT scan or head MRI scan
    • Hearing tests (audiology/audiometry)