Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Preventing a meniere’s attack

Do you ever see it coming? Out of the blue, a meniere’s attack comes on and catches you off guard. Now you go into defense mode and try to stay as calm as possible and just get through the attack.

Is there anyway to stop a meniere’s attack before it starts?

One of the most familiar aspects of meniere’s is the sudden vertigo attacks where your head spins, you sweat and throw up. Some attacks last a little while others may go on for hours. After your head stops spinning do you ever think I wish I could have prevented that?

Most folks will tell you that there is no warning before a meniere’s attack and it just happens. I don’t know about that. After having this disorder for years I can tell on some days when my head is little heavy or my balance is a little off that I may have an attack that day. When this happens, I take a medication (usually antivert). I also try to remain calm and still. It is best just to relax and let the meds do their job. This works pretty well, although I still occasionally deal with the sneak attacks, like the one I had last week when I got out of the shower.

The first form of prevention that most meniere’s patients hear about is lowering your sodium. That is probably a good idea not to eat that much salt anyway, but it never really helped my meniere’s. Taking any medication that your doctor prescribes is also another preventive measure. The meds that I take on a daily basis, are a diuretic (Triamterene-hctz) and diazepam (valium). I also take a supplement each day that contains things like gingko, niacin, ginger root, ascorbic acid (vitamin c), Bioflavonoids, among other things.

Besides medicine, is there any other way to prevent a meniere’s attack? I know in my own case that not worrying about an attack coming helps me. Stress, at least I believe, will bring on an attack. I don’t think there are any studies to back that up but I feel that stress plays a part in meniere’s. I know when I am stressed out I get the feeling that the spinning is about to start.

Maybe it is just me.

To read about the beginning of my Meniere's journey click here

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  1. I want to thank you for posting this blog. I was diagnosed with Meniere's one year ago. In doing research, I came across your site and started following. For such a confusing condition, with nothing that works for everyone, it's helpful and even comforting to hear what works and what doesn't for other sufferers. I'm curious what supplement you take that contains such disparate things as ginkgo, niacin, ginger root, Vitamin C and bioflavanoids. I am on the John of Ohio regiment, which I found in several places online while doing research after I was diagnosed, but that involved many different supplements. I also take Dramamine frequently before bed. I find I wake up refreshed, am not loggy and I have the most pleasant dreams when I take it. I love that part. I also have a perscription for valium but only take that when I feel an attack is imminent. I'm interested to know how you function if you take valium every day. Do you take it in the AM or before bed? Since it's a perscription and Dramamine is not, I kind of horde mine. Also, I don't take the Less Drowsy Dramamine because, ironically, it ruins me for at least a day afterward. Anyway, thanks again for this informative blog and for opening comments.

    1. I take 2 mg of Lorazapam and two anti-histamines (Benydryl or store brand) every night in order to sleep. If I don't take them the Tinnitus is very loud and I have trouble sleeping. This really helps me and I don't feel at all groggy the next day. Even though this works for me, to each his own. I have no idea if anti-histamines are supposed to be taken with Menieres.

      Balance problems are odd. There's no sensation of dizziness at all and no feeling of unsteadiness - in my case anyway. But the other day, on the cellar stairs I almost fell on top of my daughter as she cleaned the bottom stairs. I've had other near falls with no warning or unsteadyness at all. I suppose I should give up climbing, but it's hard to think about that when there's no warning. When I had my very first attack, there was some warning. A funny feeling in my head, but nowthing now.

      Menieres is the weirdest condition - as you all know.

  2. Right now I take something called t-bio, along with valium and a diuretic in the morning. The dose of valium is very low so it really doesn't make me drowsy. I do take the antivert only when I feel an attack coming on. Actually the antivert is very similiar to dramamine but prescription strength.
    Thanks for commenting and keep in touch so we know how you are doing

  3. Thanks for posting my email, David.

    My specialist in Portugal feels that for more than half of patients, stress is their number one trigger. For me, I am certain of that. Even just a bit of arguing with my spouse or kids increases ear pressure. When the specialist told me I could have NO stress in my life, I asked him how that was possible, being that I am an Army wife. He said, "Well, that's just too bad for you, isn't it!" Tough guy!

    Before I went on Serc, I kept a food journal. I only noticed more ringing if I had more than one cup of coffee or more than one cup of wine. Pressure only intensified if I had a tremendous amount of salt (I still notice that now). For me, what probably helped greatly was that even before MD, I had cut out refined sugar and processed foods. I rarely if ever hit a fast food joint and cook 90% of my food from scratch. So, in my case, unless I went back to eating like I used to years ago, I don't think food will ever be a huge trigger. Probably only on days when I really over-indulge on salt and sugar - which, as of this writing, is about 2-3 times a month (eating out, eating a friend's houses, etc).

    I nasal irrigate twice a day. Some patients find that this reduces their daily dizziness. However, I do it twice a day to reduce the severity and frequency of colds and flu. I find that being sick flares me up, giving me intense pressure and headaches.

    I've heard of some patients sleeping on an elevated bed. I don't know how this works, but, I thought I'd put it out there.

    It's very frustrating that MD is so variable. One doctor I had got into the ENT field b/c his father has MD. He had it in his 20's and 30's and then it disappeared for 30 years. It flared up again recently, in his late 60's.

    I do find that obsessing about attacks or worrying about the potential health crisis I could have (say, if Serc stopped working) makes all of my symptoms worse. I find exercising helps me to not be quite as obessive. Though, admittingly, I did have to take an anti-anxiety pill for a while and wouldn't hesitate to do it again if I started having anxity episodes again.


  4. I know what you mean about stress, it seems to be more than a coincidence that when I get extremely stressed out I also get dizzy. Unfortunately having Meneiere's is very stressful in its self.
    thanks for commenting!

  5. Two things: THANKS for posting about t-bio. I'm going to try that instead of the regimen I'm on now. It's very similar but in one single pill, not 8 pills like now. And it's got dimenhydrinate, the active ingredient in Dramamine. Second thing, stress. My most violent vertigo attack happened about six weeks ago, the day after I had to euthanize my beloved pet of 17 years. I had agonized over it for two months prior and would literally get dizzy when I would think about it. I also believe stress brought on MD for me originally.

  6. I know how you feel about putting down a pet, I felt terrible when we had to put down our much loved Jack Russell dog.

    I hope the t-bio helps helps. I know that not everyone believes in supplements but I think that it has helped me.

    Keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.

  7. Hi all the medical advise i get is avoid stress. Does anyone know how that is possible holding down a stressful job and not knowing from one day to the next if an attack is coming. I was wondering David what do you know about neck and shoulder pain and if there is any link to the disease.

  8. CC,
    I know that it is difficult dealing with this disorder each day. It can add up to a lot of stres.
    I'm not sure about the shoulder pain but some meniere's sufferers have neck pain. I know that is a problem of mine.
    take care and thanks for commenting

  9. I dont think you can ever explain what an intense Meniers attack is like to anyone that has never had it before. I thought at first I was going to die and then later wished I would die it was so bad. Retching your lungs out with absolutely no idea of how to make it stop. Water was literally dripping out of my body and I dont usually even sweat. It is the most amazing and terrifying experience I have ever had. Luckily it only happens infrequently.

    I am currently using Sandoz Cinnarizine 75 when I have an attack and Sandoz Cinnarizine 25 when I feel the dizziness coming over me. This helps and if I lie down for a while it just goes away very fast due to the sandoz cinnarizine 75. However I still feel groggy the next day.

    Last night it happened again just out of the blue and I have noticed on numerous occasions that it happens when I watch TV or videos. I cant play computer games at all where there is a lot of motion and I know this brings the episodes on in a major way. So I avoid moving pictures as far as I can. The movement brings on the episodes I have experienced so far.

    It seems as well that more and more people are complaining of this syndrome. It seems to be getting more prolific throughout our society, so one has to wonder why.

  10. It sounds like you go through some pretty bad attacks. Luckily this year I haven't had like that, but last year was another story.

    Computer games and 3d movies make me quasy. Sometimes watching a movie in a theater makes me dizzy also.

    I haven't heard of Sandoz Cinnarizine 75. I'll have to look it up.

    Keep in touch and let me know how you are doing. The more information about what works and what doesn't is a big help.

  11. I was diagnosed with MD about a year ago but refused to believe it. I went through 2 months of hell, then the ENT gave me a shot of prednisone into my ear drum (not fun). After that I went 8 months with no attack. Out of the blue I had another one but it was after I had an abcessed tooth, a root canal and a new crown. Now I wonder if the abcessed tooth was the cause all along.

  12. That's strange because I had a bad attack a few days ago and I also had a problem with one of my teeth.

  13. I had my first attack last September. It was horrendouss! I threw up steadily for 4 hours. I also have tinnitis in my left ear only and it gets louder and more uncomfortable when an attack is coming on. I have been told that stress is a major trigger, so is changes in barometric pressure, which we have a lot of in Colorado Springs. My ENT doctor also gave me a steroid shot in my ear. He said it can be repeated every 90 days if needed. It helped some, but I am still having frequent sessions of dizziness,without the vomiting. The medication he gave me is diazide and robinul daily and valium when I feel an attack starting. It doesn't stop the attack, but if I can lay down, or even go to sleep for a wwhile it subsides quicker.

  14. I just passed my 8th anniversary with severe bilateral Meniere's. I have yet avoided the compulsive nausea many of you describe, but the constant dizziness and balance issues, roaring tinnitus (between 7-12 sounds), hyperacusis, hearing distortion and near total hearing loss are horrendous. Most days I would just like to put a stick of dynamite in my mouth and light it. I hang around for my wife, really, as I have been unable to work since I was stricken and indeed leave my home for medical appointments and nothing else, and cannot stand either stress or talking to anyone for more than a few minutes at a time.

    What has helped the most for me--and it has been meager indeed--is a combination of a ridiculously low sodium diet (less than 400mg a day when I am rigorous, never more than 800 mg when I "splurge"), virtually no caffeine, and acupuncture (which helped ONE of my four major balance problems and high register tinnitus.) I also take triamterene and Valium, but they don't do that much, and the Valium makes me a zombie. Alcohol (red wine or whiskey, nothing else) used to help the most, actually, but I had to stop using it a month ago after some heart attacks, as my cardiologist warned it was damaging my heart muscle.

    My best advice--minimize the salt; be wary of big temperature fluctuations (like taking a very hot shower) as they affect the fluid pressure in your inner ear; and do whatever you can to eliminate stress, which is the hardest thing of all. I was a business trial lawyer, and lived on stress, before Meniere's hit. Now, the least little thing accelerates my symptoms, even getting frustrated because I can't find something.

    Remember that this disease hits each of us in unique ways, and there is no cure, and no treatment that works for all of us. (Prednisone made me MUCH worse when some of my specialists tried it, for example.) You just have to keep trying things, keep current on the research, and hope for the best. Good luck to all of you.

    1. Hello. Your comment made me laugh. I too have thot of doing something to just escape this hell. The attacks at their worse cant be worse than death! But this disease, strangley enough, isn't fatal. It seems it would be. It feels like it is. But dont give up. I still have to work, I have insurance and need a shunt right now, its even scheduled but my insurance will leave me with a huge remaining balance. Which, I think will stress me out and cancel any surgical benefits. I can't be in debt to this flithy disease. I used to go years between attacks. But have been daily since my husands knee replacement surgery. As I work 45 hrs a week, go home and have to do all the house things, 2 dogs, etc. The stress got to me and is staying. I got another steroid shot y'day. Today I have felt out of it. But am at work. I must work. I am convinced stress is a big trigger for me and heat and anything with flashing lights. And salt. I cannot have salt. I take several meds for this daily. And sometimes my face feels numb. And I yawn alot. The meds make me tired. Take care and try to not have stress. My husband yells at me all the time too. That doesnt help. I am almost deaf in the affected ear so I think he gets fed up with my ignoring him due to not hearing him. So, more stress. Its hell. Take care.

    2. Wow you seem to be doing it tough Lady.

      I contracted Menieres about 8 years ago after having no illness my whole adult life and that includes the flu. I admit the first couple of years were bad with episodes every three or four months of violent vomiting, tinnitus, vertigo and hot flushes. Since then and until recently I have had the occasional bouts of vertigo and horrid hot flushes but thankfully no vomiting.

      Recently I have been having short sharp spells of vertigo which made me consult my general practitioner who put me on SERC16 three times a day. I take no other medication other than something to counteract reflux. The Serc16 kicked in after a few days though I find I do have a headache so I am now cutting the does to two a day. But I am feeling much better. I am very wary of the cocktailing effect of taking several drugs and I have discussed this with academics who admit they are not fully sure of the pharmo-dynamics of cocktails of drugs

      Following the advice I initially received from the ENT specialist I cut out salt and coffee and fortunately I have a relatively stress free life though sometimes that is hard to maintain. I do have deafness in my left ear but that is tolerable. I find however I use the sub-titles on TV a lot. I do not enjoy films with a lot of flashbacks and camera movement and close my eyes when I see this happening

      But in the end what I am saying is somehow I survive. My family and friends understand and that is a help

      I do not suppose my notes help but what I wanted to say is we sufferers of MD are out there - we wave the flag

  15. @ first anonymous
    I also take the dyazide and valium on a daily basis. I also try to lay down when I feel an attack coming on. Stress is also a big, big factor for me too unfortunately not knowing when an attack is about to occur brings on the stress! I have heard of other people having success with steriod injections, my shots were gentamicin and they helped for a while.
    stay in touch and let me know how the steriods are doing

    @ 2nd anonymous
    I'm glad that the low sodium diet has helped you unfortunately it didn't help me much. Stress seems to be a major factor in bringing on attacks and I know that must be rough in your line of work!
    I take the valium too but in a very low dosage so it doesn't make me drowsy (of course most meniere's drugs make me drowsy)
    Stay in touch and let us know how you are doing

  16. I'm curious about what medications people take on a daily basis. My ENT gave me Meclizine as needed (it doesn't seem to do much) and Ativan for severe vertigo. It doesn't stop the attack but if I take it at bedtime I do feel some better in the morning. My attacks usually last at least 24 hours and sometimes 48 hrs. I had to ask for Valium as it seems to be helpful to a lot of people. She gave me one prescription for 20. It's now one year later and she won't renew the prescription. It really seemed to help ward off an attack and I certainly didn't abuse it. I wonder what her reasoning is.

  17. I take valium on a daily basis, a diuretic and a supplement. I only take the meclizine when I feel an attack coming on. If I feel the attack is going to be particularly bad I'll take a phenergan. The valium that I take is also a very low dosage only 2 mg. so it doesn't really make me tired.
    I hope that helps, stay in touch

  18. I have been living with this for what seems like forever, and is probably 15 years, but have not read much about it on-line until now. My horrid attacks are marginal and manageable if I stay away from citric acid. Sodas were my downfall, and once I cut them out and started checking all labels for citric and tanic acid, I have been functional and stopped worrying about a sudden dibiliating (sp?) attacks.

  19. I'm glad that you have found something to avoid to relieve your bad attacks. I have heard that soda was bad because of the caffeine but I hadn't heard of the citric acid.
    that's interesting.
    Thanks for the comment and please stay in touch.

  20. Do people with Menieres feel just awful ALL the time even when on medication? My head feels like it could explode sometimes. I'm only on a diuretic, a low salt diet and Lorazapam will stop an attack if I catch
    it before it actually starts.

  21. No, there are times when I feel okay. I take a diuretic also plus antivert and valium when I feel an attack coming on.

  22. I'm so glad to find your blog! I've been living with Meinere's for a little over 7 years now. I radically changed my diet and take Triam/HCTZ. However, the water pill sometimes works against me because I have normal BP to begin with--the water pill lowers my BP to were I can pass out. It is true (at least for me) concerning stress triggering an attack. I just went thru a very stressful period of time that triggered a drop attack. It came on very suddenly and I actually passed out. I woke up bruised and sore and underwent a bunch of tests that showed nothing was wrong, except for the vertigo caused by the Meinere's. I'm still learning to live with the disease and starting to realize just how serious it can be.

  23. Hi Astrogirl,
    I have had the same issues with blood pressure, you want it down but not so down that you become lightheaded.
    thanks for the comment and stay in touch

  24. I am also finding that stress is strongly linked to my bouts of dizziness. I haven't had a full-blown attack in several months, because I've been having the gentamicin injections. I stopped taking the diuretic and now only take the vallium when I feel more dizzy than usual, which happens when I'm getting upset about anything.
    I'm considering doing a lot more yoga to see if that helps with lowering stress. I'm also considering having the labyrinthectomy, which terrifies me. Right now I feel as if I'm in a temporary holding pattern from the gentamicin, and I don't feel normal at all. I'm dizzy most of the time, and very unsteady on my feet. It's not a Meniere's attack, and I've had some that were so bad I vomited blood, but it's not a good way to live, either. I'm finding I can't focus on the freelance editing job I'm trying to do, and that makes me feel even worse.
    I don't know what to do at this point.
    I really feel for the anonymous poster above who has bilateral MD. I sympathize with that feeling of wanting to stop it at all costs, because I've already thought that I would feel the same way if this ever goes to the other ear, too.
    Hang in there, everyone.

  25. Hello everyone,

    I was diagnosed with MD when I was 16 ! the doctor was stunned because it was unusual for that age, anyway, 15 years on, I have MD attacks once a year and sometime i feel little dizziness only.
    My doctor in Syria adviced me something really helpful which is to close my nose with my hands and the blow while my nose is closed and my mouth is shut, this will open all the inner canals in the ear and will help regain your balance, it really helped a lot, also, he told me to sit still and gaze on the ground and close my eyes so i will regain my balance, it also workd.
    another advice was to spin against the MD spin, for example if the room is spinning left to right, you have to spin in your head right to left, the brain will get a signal indicating something was wrong and will balance it also works.
    Stress is ABSOLUTELY connected with MD, I only get these attacks when I feel extremely under stress.
    I take Stemetil tablets 5 mg each time i have an attack and they are helping so much.
    I know there is no treatment for such disease, but we need to manage it well, I am sure one day they will find a cure for it.

  26. Hi Sammi,
    That is interesting advice you received from your doctor. I haven't ever heard of that before but I will give it a try next time I have an attack.
    Stress is something that triggers my meniere's quite a bit, it isn't the only thing but it sometimes plays a big part in whether I have an attack.
    Thanks for the comment and stay in touch

  27. I am 26 and was told I had meniere's 3 months ago. I have read up on it and it does sound like I have it but I am going to go get another opinion before i start all theses meds..
    But reading ya'lls comments has made me wonder if my panic disorder brought this on.

    When I was 16 I started having panic/anxiety attacks 20 times or more a day. Got on some meds and got it controlled, which I eventually stoped and tried my best to control it myself. Which sometimes I can and sometimes I can't .

    Well for the past 5 years are so I been having dizzy spells, which My dizzy spells seem to be diff the what some are mentioning, when I have them I can feel it in the ear that they think I have MM in. So if I take my finger and hold it in the ear it seems to stop it. But then my panic attacks set in and I start freaking out and it eventually leads me to the er. I do have the full feeling in my right ear, but don't have the ringing very often at all maybe 4 times a year. My ear changes volumes all at once its a really freaky feeling when it does it but I do like the other girl said and hold my nose and mouth and blow that usually make my volume return to normal.

    The one thing that I can see affects me and makes me have that foggy,dizzy feeling is my sinuses, they are horrible and when the weather here in mississippi is acting crazy, I feel that all just isn't balance out in my head. I get foggy headed, can't pay attention, just blahhh.. and dizzy, but i can feel it coming on most the time, It's only took me by suprise a few times.

    The test I have had are mostly mri, and the hearing test which all checked out normal, I have had a few MRI's. The ENT did a pressure gauage and it came back way off. So after about 20 diff doctors finally one took a look at all my history and symptoms and told me I had Meniere's.

    The dr put me on a diuretic (Triamterene-hctz) but like posted earlier I have normal bp so I want take it, kindof scared to. But I have taken Valium for dizzy and panic. Helped me some put made me out of it. So as of now just eating right, and I quit smoking, and take xanax as needed.

    But I agree I think stress and worry have alot to do with it, I also think sinuses do to.

    1. i also tink sinus has a big part to play in MD. im taking serc16 but i dont believe it works also was on stemstl that didnt work, i honestly believe it comes when it dose and nothing helps. im very deppressed and changed person since i got meniers. just cant believe der isnt a cure.

  28. Hi Amber,
    Panic and stress are two big triggers for me and many folks with meniere’s disease. But it isn’t the only reason that we have it. There seems to be a lot of things about why mm occurs is unknown. Controlling your stress and panic is a good idea and probably help you deal with the meniere’s better.
    I take the same kind of diuretic that you do and I also take a high blood pressure med. It is always good to keep an eye on your blood pressure. Eating right and not smoking are a great idea and you probably feel better for it.
    Thanks for the comment and stay in touch

  29. Did anyone else see this??

    UW Meniere's implant passes first test

    by KING 5 HealthLink

    Posted on November 19, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    Updated Friday, Nov 19 at 6:05 PM

    When we last caught up with Gene Pugnetti, he was about to get an experimental implant that doctors at the University of Washington hope will control his Meniere's disease, an inner ear disorder that causes vertigo.

    "The idea behind the vestibular implant is to serve as a pacemaker for the inner ear," said Dr. Jay Rubinstein.

    "We know that we can take animals and make them dizzy and stop their dizziness with the device, but we don't know that about Meniere's attacks on humans."

    In fact, Dr.Rubinstein helped re-engineer cochlear implant technology to adapt it for Meniere's patients.

    Gene's wife Phyllis tried to temper her enthusiasm.

    "We have to wait to see what the results are, but we're really hoping that this will change our lives," said Phyllis.

    That's saying a lot for a man who had to give up scaling mountains. Meniere's has been his toughest climb yet.

    Two weeks later, his scar barely visible, Gene arrived back at the UW Medical Center for for testing.

    Because this has never been done before in humans, doctors weren't sure how Gene would respond.

    "We didn't really have expectations. The possibilities were, the extremes were It worked perfectly or it didn't work at all and were were expecting it to be somewhere in between those," said Dr. Rubinstein.

    Gene described the sensations:

    "I was totally in the dark. They were able to turn on electrodes and give me the sensation that I was actually spinning...when in actuality I was sitting perfectly still and I was able to describe it to them and yet they were able to see that in my eye movements," said Gene.

    "We were pretty happy with the results," said Dr. Rubinstein.

    After the software is tweaked, Gene will be back in a few more weeks to have his device switched on for its first real test: an attack of vertigo.

    If it does work, as hoped, he may not be scaling mountains any time soon, but he will be able to travel again with Switzerland at the top of his list.

    "I have even greater confidence that this is going to work. And not just for me, but those who follow," he said.

    We'll keep you posted on Gene's progress.

  30. Hello... I had my very first attack of MD last January. The first attack came without any warning and was severe and lasted for hours and hours. My family thought I was dying... and I ended up in ER where, when the symptoms subsided, the doctors mumbled something about my ears / gave me a shot of gravol in the butt and sent me home. After a series of tests with my own doctor, it was determined that I had Meniere's and a series of other doctors followed. I have tried acupuncture, osteo, homeo, auricular medicine, massage and Cerc. None of which have shown real strides in helping to alleviate the symptoms. I changed my diet and have stopped drinking any alcohol. My drop attacks have become more and more frequent ~ three in the last 2 weeks ~ and more severe with the after effects going on for days now. In between my attacks, I have never had a day where I felt 'normal' yet ~ and the nauseau/ vertigo/ tinnitus and hyperacusis have all become more acute on a daily basis. The nystagmus (eyes flicking ) has also become more pronounced and frequent ~ particularly when I have an attack. I, too, believe that stress plays a significant role in this disease. It is a double edged sword, however, as we all may try to reduce our daily life stressors ~ the stress of a looming attack replaces and adds to those stress levels. I have found that, when having an attack, it is best to try not to close your eyes (it just makes my head spin faster and I will volmit within a minute ) ~ but is best to try to focus (even if you are having nystagmus) on an object in your room that is about 5 or 6 feet away. Try to deep breathe and slow down the anxiety and panic sensation that comes in the early part of an attack ~ it may not fend off the attack but may help you to lessen or shorten one. I am attending a large hospital in Toronto on Monday to explore surgical options ~ and wonder if there is anyone out there who has had experience with having any of the limited surgical options that are available for MD?? If you have tried anything surgical, I am interested to hear your feedback about the surgery, the recovery and the success (or not?) that you have had with it. I am tired of trying everything else and really need to find out some more radical options that may have a quicker or longer lasting outcome. Thanks!

  31. Hi,
    I know this must a very difficult time for you with the spinning and throwing up and all that comes with meniere's disease. There are folks that follow this blog that have written about surgeries with good and bad results. Everyone is different so what worked for one might not work for another person. Work closely with your doctors and make sure you understand all your choices of surgery
    good luck and stay in touch

  32. Anonymous, I had the labyrinthectomy, and I consider the results to be pretty good so far. It was in October. You can see a lot more detail about that under the Labyrinthectomy heading in this message board. There's too much to re-tell it all here! Good luck in your quest for a solution.

  33. hi im26 and have been diagnosed with md about 4 months ago. i have bee suufering from the most horrendous dizzy attacks and sickness ever. i wake up some days and think why did bother waking up. I have 3 young boys and am scared to even take them to school because i have had a lot of attacks while taking them or picking them up. on a couple of occasions ive actually really hurt myself and even knocked myself out where i have an attack and literrally fall to floor. i am on betahistine and cinnazerine can anyone tell me if any other medicine works better because ihave at least 3 attacks a week and i really cant handle it anymore. I try not to leave the house on my own any more ive become a hermit help me please

  34. @Anonymous,

    It sounds like you're having a very tough time of it. The thing to know about Meniere's is that there are better times for all of us. We can't say when, but at some point the pattern of your attacks will change. That doesn't mean it will just get better, but it won't always be the same as it is now. I think all the regular readers of this blog would agree with that.

    In the meantime you can try other medications, avoid stimulants and try not to get stressed. Stress is another almost universal factor, and it sounds like apart from being very worried you are also probably rushing a lot with your sons. Don't fight the disease by just trying to do what you're used to. It's much easier to cope with if you can accept just doing what you are able to for a while, knowing that in future you'll slowly learn to adapt.

  35. Anonymous, have you seen a doctor? A good ear/nose/throat specialist should be able to help you at least somewhat to control your symptoms. Meniere's is awful, and there was a time when I felt as bad as you seem to feel now. It took a lot of work and doctor visits and treatments and even a surgery, but I do feel better now than I did at this time last year. Good luck!

  36. I was also taking the duretic but noticed that it would give me a constant dizzy feeling and make me light headed as well. I still take half a valium daily which helps alot. I have tried everything and the onlyt hing that I feel that really helps is the valium. if i limit my valium intake to half a 5mg tab am i okay.

  37. How long have you been taking the valium, Anonymous? You are probably OK unless you feel like you need to take more to get similar results. The problem with valium is you tend to "plateau" on it and need increasingly higher doses to keep getting results. You can also have mild withdrawal symptoms if you go off it "cold turkey," but if you wanted to stop taking it, you could make it easier by stepping down the dosage over a period of a week or two until you are taking nothing.

    You are on a lose dosage, so you probably aren't in any trouble yet. Just keep an eye on it, especially if you don't feel like it's helping any more.

  38. I would like to "join" this Group but don't know how to go about it as, under "Comment" there are a number of options. I don't wish to be anther "Anonymous" person as I have found myself very confused reading messages from "Anonymous" and much later, realised that there is more than one "Anonymous" writer. Confusion reigns. Should I sign in with a Google Account?
    Regards, DizzieOne

  39. Hi,
    If you have a Google account go ahead and sign in and if you don't thats fine too

  40. Its amazing to read others experiences that sounds similar to my own. I too have the dizziness,balance issues, and foggy brain and days where I can't function. I can't work anymore. I take diazide and antivert. They had me on valium but I don't react to it well. I am not on insurance since I lost my job and am applying for insurance for people who don't have it called MSI. I am also applying for disability. It is a nightmare from which I wish I could wake up. I feel a total lack of independence and self worth right now through this. I have lost all income to due spending everything on treatments and doctors. It is scary. Thanks for listening. I think this group will be helpful and hopefully I will be able to help someone else.

  41. hello all
    once an attack is round the corner there is nothing you can do to stop it.
    its very important when you first get diagnosed with menieres to keep a diary of your activities and diet, and over time you start correlating the data.
    For me there are triggers its taken 8 years to find out. but new triggers also come outta nowhere but i can generally spot them.
    remember you are your own best doctor with this disease, over the years some of the doctors i have seen have just been so off the mark its unreal. they just sit there give you medicine then earn bucks for giving you medicine lol. sounds like an easy job to me.
    for me if my neck is stiff, sinuses are blocked or fullness in my ears. then i know i have an attack round the corner or i know i will be really dizzy for a few days/weeks/months or even years which initially it was.
    so i guess for me i have to make sure my neck aint stiff/sinuses are clear which ultimatley will mean my ears are not so full.
    Some of the things i have read on here about the more evasive operations and procedures with menieres. i fully understand why doctors are so hesitant in going done that route. as it seems you can get more deaf and feel more dizzy.
    david by the way how does one start a post on here i would love to start one.
    kind regards
    stay focused and strong
    be positive
    stay acitive

    1. I definitely agree about the neck. I think the neck stiffens as a reaction to uncertain balance, but then ends up just making it worse as your movements become less smooth and natural. I try to keep my neck muscles mobile all the time, and definitely avoid hunching - in the worst times that actually felt like it could make me dizzy!

      The sinus side is something I've become aware of recently in connection with tinnitus and deafness. Hard to say whether it's cause or correlation, but restricted nasal breathing does seem to go hand in hand with hearing problems for me now.

  42. Hi Ali,
    If you want to write a guest post let me know what you want to write about. I'll take a look at it and let you know.

  43. HI, My name is Ben. My dad has Meniere's Disease. I am 100% sure of this but the doctors keep telling him that he has ear crystals or something. He shows all the symptoms and it's really scary for both me and him. Does anyone know of any specialists for this disease or any doctors who could get him some medication to alleviate the symptoms? I really just don't know where to start, thanks

  44. Hi Ben,
    i would definitely go to another doctor for a second opinion, preferably an ENT who can pinpoint your father's illness.
    good luck and stay in touch

  45. Definitely take him to an ear/nose/throat specialist for another opinion, but be aware that there is another disorder that looks a lot like Meniere's but isn't as severe. It's benign positional paroxysmal vertigo, and it's caused by crystals in the inner that become displaced.

    An ENT or audiologist can work with him to get the crystals back into the place where they belong and keep them there using physical therapy exercises. There are also exercises he can do at home.

    Has the doctor suggested he try these exercises? If so, I'd give that a chance. But I would still look for a second opinion.

  46. alright thanks. I guess I probably jumped to conclusions because I was sort of freaked out. Out of curiosity, how is the disease usually diagnosed? thanks

  47. I live in Colorado, about 6200 feet, and have noticed that when I travel to a lower altitude, example: California coast and Chicago, within a few days of being there, I start to feel the pressure in my ear, which for me always happens before I get a bad vertigo attack. Once I was able to start taking the diuretic immediately and did not have a full blown vertigo attack. The other time, I was not able to start the diuretic for a few days and had one of the worse attacks I have ever had. Has any one else noticed a connection to lower altitude (increased pressure)? I do not actually think it is related to the air travel, as it takes anywhere from 4-7 days to feel the increased pressure in my ears. I do not tolerate the diuretics well, so do not take them on a regular basis. Fortunately, for me, a low sodium diet seems to keep things under control, except for when I travel to lower altitude. Wanted to know if anyone else has this issue. thanks!

  48. HI BEN~
    The diagnosis in my case was easy for them to make, as I had all the symptoms kind of slam me at once.
    Complete aural fullness/pressure/pain
    Tinnitus ( ringing,roaring noise in ear)
    Vertigo attacks (mine lasted 5 hours with vomiting)
    Hearing loss (Mine was extreme)
    I went to the Emergency room the first time it hit, then went to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist after that.
    They tested my hearing, and did a "caloric" test, which was able to show the decreased function in my inner ear.
    They also did an MRI to rule out any tumors in the inner ear.
    If it is BPPV (positional vertigo)that your Dad has, then that is better than having Menieres, and they should be able to help him with that fairly quickly.
    If he does have Menieres, finding an Ear Nose and Throat MD who specializes in treating Menieres Patients will probably save you much frustration down the road.
    I've found the best thing for me to take when an attack hits in order to slow it down or hopefully stop it, is Valium, and I also take an anti-nausea medication.
    I've had Menieres for 3 years, and that works best for me..but different things work better for some than others.
    Hang in there, I know this is scary stuff.
    Best of luck to you both!

  49. I believe he has Menier's because when he is in the middle of an attack he get's an eye twitch, which I've heard is a tell-tale sign. He's in he middle of an attack right now and I don't have any Valium. Does anyone know of something I could get at a local drug store that might help get him through the attack?


  50. BEN~
    Go to the drugstore and get Meclizine (also known as Bonine). It's an over the counter medication. Speak to the Pharmacist and ask what he would recommend for an anti-nausea medication. It needs to work very quickly, so it can get in your Dad's system before he begins to vomit. Tell the Pharmacist you suspect he has Menieres.
    Holding pills under the tongue and allowing them to dissolve will work faster than just swallowing them.
    Try and get your Father in to see a good ENT asap!
    You are right about the eye twitching.
    It's called Nystagmus...the eyes move from side to side very quickly.
    I always have Nystagmus during a vertigo attack.
    I found that if I lay down on the OPPOSITE side of the ear causing the attack, and just lay very still, that it helped. He might try that.
    Have your Father avoid salt and caffeine...that triggers many of us. Drink water and stay hydrated.
    I have to avoid too much TV or computer, loud noises and noisy places with lots of movement.
    All are triggers. If he can figure out what some of his triggers are, he can help himself by avoiding them.
    If it gets too bad, take him to the Emergency Room, they can give him medication to stop the attack.
    Hang in there!

  51. BEN~
    Forgot to mention:
    If your Dad takes the Meclizine, he should take it regularly right at first, rather than waiting until the attack has hit.
    That is what worked best for me until I was able to get an appointment with the ENT.
    Remember..I'm not a Doctor..the advice I give you is from my experience of having Menieres.
    You might want to check out all the different subjects about Menieres covered in Davids Blog.
    It's a wealth of information from other people who actually have this disease, and the more you know, the less it tends to freak you out.
    Lauri :)

  52. Hello I've been reading your blog for the past few weeks and have a few questions too. I'm living in Japan and one of my friends was told she has MD at the beginning of July. She has been having daily attacks for the past 2 months. The thing is that Japanese doctors don't like to help somebody that they can't treat. She has a bunch of medications that the doctors are giving her, some help some have negetive effects (can't give you the list that she is on at this time). She does have one doctor telling her to get surgery to decompress her endolymphatic sac, but everybody is freaking her out of getting any surgery done( I'm trying to get her to consider it).

    It's sad to see her like this everyday, while knowing that I can't understand what she is going though. But I would like to ask is what can I do? While you are going though a MD attack what would you want from other people, how to convince her that surgery could be an option instead of some scary thing? Is there ever a light at the end of the tunnel or does it just keep going, everyday day after day?

    Thank you to anybody that can help

  53. Kye, you're a good friend, and that is a huge thing for your friend. When I was going through the worst time with Meniere's, it was my wonderful friends that got me through, more than anyone else.

    If I were your friend, I think I would try to narrow down the doctors to one, which will focus the efforts more. If she's seeing more than one and no one is coordinating the medications, that could be rather risky -- at the very least, it would confuse matters and (I think) make her more confused and nervous.

    As far as the surgery is concerned, don't rush her. There's a pretty standard protocol of treatments for Meniere's Disease, and they start with the least invasive/prone to side effects (diuretics) before working up to drugs that have more side effects (valium/steroids) and then if those don't work, there are drugs that are ototoxic, destroying part of the ear (gentamicin, an antibiotic). It's usually only after they try these remedies that doctors consider surgery.

    Lauri has had the endolymphatic sac decompression, which she said worked for awhile but then stopped helping. I've had the labyrintechtomy, which cuts the vestibular nerve on the affected ear. But I went through more than a year's worth of other treatments that were less drastic and destructive first. I have to say the surgery seems to have helped me, although I'm not back to normal yet. Frankly, I might not ever see "normal" again.

    My doctor first mentioned the surgery to me at least three months before I was willing to consider it. When she first said the word "surgery," I started to cry, and it made me very panicky. It's a hard concept to adjust to, and Meniere's attacks are terrifying enough. For me, the idea that I would be destroying part of my ear was horrifying. I also faced the knowledge that it would destroy the hearing on that side. That made me incredibly sad.

    The sac decompression is not as extreme a surgery as labyrinthectomy, but Lauri can tell you more about that if she sees these posts.

    Good luck to you and your friend. The best things you can do for her are to stand by her, support her decisions, and be patient. It's really tough dealing with this disease.

  54. Thank you Peggy,

    The reason with multiple doctors is that none are really doing anything. If its something that can't be contained and controlled, Japanese doctors don't want a part of it. One even sent her to a mental hospital to get a check up, over there they told her that she was crazy and needed to stay for observation. So still searching for one that will sit down and talk with her, explain to her what MD is, and work with her. In very precise and technical things like operations Japanese are great, but for general practice they suck.

    And as for the surgeries go, I'm trying not rush her into it. I'm trying to get her to keep an open mind about it. So will see how that goes as the time progresses.

  55. What country does your friend call home? Is there a way she could go somewhere else for treatment? She doesn't seem to be getting very far in Japan. That story about the mental hospital is horrifying.

    Alternatively, are there any American or European medical facilities there at all, maybe something affiliated with a university? I'm not sure what the possibilities are, but I wonder if there are any western doctors she could consult who have more knowledge of this.

  56. She is Japanese. The little western doctors that we have work in private clinics that don't take national insurance, so that means only cash at full price. Have been sending out emails to medical universities to see if they have a recommendation, but still waiting for any response.

  57. For anyone who is on the East Coast, is the impending hurricane affecting your Meniere's? My dizziness is through the roof, and I feel as if someone is trying to inflate my head with a bicycle pump. I've put myself on a steady diet of valium until Hurricane Irene goes her merry way out to sea, but for now... Holy Hannah, this is miserable.

  58. Peggy~
    It's weird. I'm on the West Coast, but for the last week I have been experiencing the same symptoms as you. Then yesterday I began to get sick, and today feel like I am going into Bronchitis.
    Daily vertigo...and actually had 3 attacks on Wednesday. Couldn't believe it.
    Sooo sick of vertigo right now. Miserable is right!
    Hang in there East Coasters~

  59. Oh, man, I'm sorry you are having multiple attacks per day, Lauri. I know that feeling only too well.

    Right now the storm is approaching New Jersey, and it's not looking good at all. The town I live in has declared a "limited state of emergency" and is recommending people prepare a plan of evacuation. The rain is hammering down on the house, and there have been tornadoes in the southern part of the state.

    I'm trying to stay calm because I know if I let the stress take control I will start having vertigo attacks. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

    Time for another valium, I think.

  60. Stress Stress is such a killer..I had a heart attack at 43yrs old, My job is stressful that is why my attacks was so bad.Since I am on Short time disability I noticed my attacks are less frequent, I meditate twice or sometime three times a day..( I call it a treat for myself) Lots of sites mention exercises but what kind of exercises, I used to do yoga, loved it, but I can't anymore. I was thinking tie-chi but I wont go out of my house unless I have somebody with me.. I am trying Physio next week (one of my friend is coming with me, bless her) I let know the result. Meditation work for me.

  61. I have had Meniere's for about 6-7 years. Until about three years ago, I tried about every medication and treatment out there until I stumbled on a fix that has kept me attack free for almost three years. About 3 years ago I tried a Minette device which introduces gentle air puffs into your ear. To use the device, you have to have a tube inserted into your ear. The bad news is the device didn't work for me however the good news is the tube was my saving grace. I no longer felt pressure behind my eardrum which triggered most of my attacks. Now I feel like a real human being again and I can function. I pretty well eat and drink whatever I want. Sadly, my wife has developed Meniere's in her left ear. Right now she is going through the same horror (vertigo, dizziness, tinnitus, vomiting, etc.). Currently, she is trying Methazolamide to prevent attacks however it doesn't seem to be working. I told her to get the tube put in ASAP. Worst case, she's no worse off if it doesn't work. If it does work like me, she will feel human again. After 7 years my best advice is, reduce or eliminate stress which seems to be the trigger. Secondly, see the best ENT who specializes in this disease. Most ENT's who don't know what they are doing turn your diagnosis into a science experiment. Thirdly, cut your sodium and caffiene intake as low as you can. Finally, get a good set of digital hearing aides to improve your hearing. When I first got mine, it seemed like a miracle since I could hear sounds I hadn't heard in along time (birds, rain, etc.). I hope and pray my advice helps someone out here. Until I discovered the tube fix for my ear, I felt extremely depressed to the point I considered serious surgery to disconnect my bad ear. Thank God I accidently stumbled upon the tube fix. I know it won't work for everybody however if it works for just one it's worth passing along the recommendation. My prayers go out to all Meniere's sufferers. Most people have no idea what a horrible disease it is.

  62. Lyne, do you have a DVD player, or could you watch a DVD on your computer? There are a lot of exercise DVDs out there you could buy or even rent to find out if tai chi works for you. And if you tried yoga DVDs, you could do the parts that work for you and sit still during the parts that don't work, maybe? That's what I do.

    Anonymous, the Meniett device didn't work for me either. But I do remember that when the doctor inserted a tube into my eardrum to deliver medication, I felt better for awhile. It seemed to relieve some of the pressure.

  63. Anonymous~
    Did having the tube in stop the tinnitus as well as the pressure and vertigo?
    Have you had any dizziness at all?
    Have you been better with the same tube in for the last 3 years?
    Great info..thank you!

  64. Dr James Atkins at the Florida Ear & Balance Center in Celebration, FL is my doctor now, for the last 10 years. I've seen ever ear doctor known to man in my 25 years with this disease, taken every pill imaginable, every shot they've come up...done it all except surgery. Meniett's has been my ticket to freedom and I've recommended Dr Atkins for sainthood.
    MD still hovers under the surface, it always will, but I am in control now, not my disease.
    He treats paitents from all over the country. Make your way to Orlando to see him if you'll thank yourself for it later!
    BTW- I found your blog when looking for info for a friend. is good to have comrades in arms out there!

  65. I had my very first attack since having the 'high dose' one shot gentamicin 3.5 months ago. However, unlike most other attacks, this one did come with some warning. However, despite my best efforts, I still ended up with a drop attack and another over night stay at the hospital. Though this time it was short lived. I'm now dealing with the 'after math' of the attack, and frankly terrified it may not be over completely. It's just a week before Christmas...and though I've shopped and wrapped for the 3 kids and hubby...we are taking a trip on Wed. to be with family 14 hrs away.
    I'm taking valium at night, low sodium, and resting more than I usually would. PLEASE...any other suggestions? The after math dizzy feeling that lingers is enough to make me quite afraid, even though it's always a post attack symptom. I guess it being the holidays, fear has taken quite a grip. Any other ideas on how to PREVENT a second attack or make these side effects go away quicker so that I can actually enjoy the holidays with my family? I'll try near about anything.....

  66. Hi Melanie,
    You are probably doing all that you can to prevent an attack. I know that it is difficult to relax especially around the holidays but still try to.
    Unfortunately in my own situation long road trips seem to bring on attacks I hope that isn't the case with you.
    Be careful and enjoy your holiday with your family

  67. hello melanie
    diet/medicine is the only thing you can really change in the immediate. my only advice would be do keep to a gluten free, low sugar, low carbs, low salt diet. and just try and eat simple food not too greasy either. maybe even stay away from meat/fish and nuts. also i take a drug called propanlol it works wonders for me.

  68. Thank you David and Ali. I was worried there might not be any other tricks....Keeping a good diet during the holidays at someone else's home will be a challenge.
    I too, David, often have problems from travel...change in diet, routine, stress..the works.
    Fear has got to be the worst part of this disease for me....12 years of worrying will it ruin another family trip, plans, vacation, or holiday. the propanlol for anxiety or something different? I'm not familiar with that one.

  69. Melanie, I wonder if you could take a low dose of valium during the day until you are past the holidays? The stress of preparing for the holiday and for a trip could contribute to your symptoms.

    I assume you take the valium at night only to avoid feeling sleepy during the day, but if you could take a reduced dosage when you are awake, you could reduce stress levels but still be able to function.

    Another thing that could help with the stress is meditation. Have you tried it? I've heard that it's helpful to some people.

    I think if I were you I'd put in a call to your doctor to ask for their advice on this. And I would follow Ali's advice about restricting diet to the extent possible.

  70. hello melanie
    propanlol is used for many things, but one of the things its used for that is handy for me, is that it helps migraines and makes ciculation better in the head area.

  71. Propanolol is sold in the U.S. under the name Inderal. It's a beta-blocker and is used to control hypertension, migraines, and other things related to heart problems, usually. At least, those are the best known applications, I think.

    Ali, it's interesting to me that you use it for migraines... are your vertigo episodes linked to migraines?

  72. hello peggy
    well you know balance problems, and drs:), i was only a mild migraine sufferer, so it was by a small off chance we went down that route.
    i have the following diagnosis:
    1.compensating vestibular tone imbalance
    2.left menieres disease
    3.migranious vertigo
    i have tried many medicines, but the minute i tried propanolol/inderal. i saw an instant improvement in the way i felt. not a cure, but huge improvemennt.

  73. I have BPPV (displaced ear crystals) my third bad episode this morning. Yesterday was bad. I could not move to the left or the vertigo with spinning room was going on. To the right and I had to vomit. I stayed as still as possible and took OTC for nausea. Then I did the exercises they taught me for replacement of the crystals and I was able to get up. The doctor wanted me to go to ER for a shot but I could not afford it. I took OTC for motion sickness after I got up. Was a little queasy but able to function though still having headache. By evening I was okay.
    I have a head cold going on that is major and lots of stress that has most likely brought it on. This morning it was back but not as bad. I took meclizine right away and did exercises for moving. Crystals and I am up and functioning normally...except for the cold (trying to get antibiotics but yesterday was NewYears and today the Dr is closed to celebrate the holiday.). I'm feeling pretty victorious right now. Now I want to work on the cause. Where can I get T-bio? I want to try it. Don't know how I will get rid of the's a long story involving a daughter who won't work and her suicide attempt. Now i am guardian for my grandson 11 with aspghers and she is living here with her daughter too. I think lack of proper rest is a cause too.

  74. Nana - So sorry to hear about the BPPV. I've had that, and it's awful. Keep doing the exercises, those can help you get rid of it completely. And use the medication for now to keep the nausea down as much as possible.

    A note: If you have a cold, antibiotics won't help. They only work on bacteria, and colds are caused by viruses. But seeing the doctor is probably a good idea anyway.

    Regarding the stress, can you do some research on ways to help you handle the stress, such as meditation, or maybe exercise once you get the BPPV under control? It doesn't sound like you can get rid of this stress easily, but you can find ways to deal with it a little better.

    Wishing you the best...

  75. Well, I must say Christmas was a big blur...I had more cluster attacks...but kept a low dose of valium on board..which kept me out of the hospital, thank goodness.
    I leave for chicago on Wed. to discuss my next options. Am wondering where on this website I can find the 'treatment' options for bilateral meniere's if that is indeed my new diagnosis.
    I commented last week and someone answered me, but I don't know where to find it on here...How can I find my comments and the answers?
    This blog has been so helpful and SUPPORTIVE! My husband needs a 'support' group for dealing with a spouse who suffers from this unpredictable, debilitating, and ugly disease!

  76. Hi Melanie,
    look on the post "how long are your Meniere's attack" I think the response may be there

  77. In addition, Melanie, if you want to do more general research on this blog, you can browse through the most popular threads or look through the archives by looking at the far right-hand column on the screen. It's divided by year and they by topic, with the most recent at the top.

    Good luck... I hope you turn out NOT to have Meniere's in both ears. :(

  78. David, dumb question..but how do I find that 'how long are your meniere's attacks'? i've looked on here for about 20 minutes...and am giving up now. lol

  79. Melanie, that thread was in August of 2009. Can you find the archives on the righthand side of the screen? Click on 2009 and follow it down to August, then click on that. You will see this thread about 2/3 of the way down that listing for August.

  80. hello
    little tip
    on the top left hand side, there is a search box. type in keywords and the relevant articles come up.

  81. I'm trying very hard to prevent a Meniere's attack. I feel one is pending and imminent. I get this kind of light headedness during the day and anytime I seem to lie down, a slight spinning feeling for a few minutes. I've been struggling a lot over the last few months and have had quite a few attacks. However, lately since my last attack and gent injection......I'm taking a 5mg valium every night before bed (since night time not only seems to be the hardest, I need to be able to drive the next day)....I'm scared to death to begin to wean this down as I feel it's helped prevent an attack. But....I can't stay on this forever or I don't want to build a tolerance to it. (dr. says I cannot take this and drive at all).
    I guess I will SOON know if this did help prevent an attack as I begin my taper of the Valium this week.
    I am also about to explore 'food' options to help prevent attacks. I've heard some talk about diet being another good prevention. I'm willing to TRY near about anything to get my life back or at least some normalcy that I used to know before my sudden onset of the cluster attacks. (I've had this for 12 yrs, but the cluster's began in July and have ruled my life since and taken away any enjoyment in life...I'm a 37 yr old mother of 3 children... was an avid tennis player and ENJOYED life very much)
    So, I'm going to try some health food options after this taper. I'll keep ya posted if things begin to improve. If anything...I'm sure my digestive system will benefit. I also have a rare condition called P.O.T.S syndrome which calls for a HIGH SODIUM diet to prevent 'fainting, chest pain, low blood pressure, etc so I have to really try to find a happy 'FOOD-SODIUM' median to not only prevent a Meniere's Attack, but not aggravate my POTS syndrome which can also cause lightheadedness and a general 'icky' feeling throughout the day. I'm a real 'treat'! LOL
    Anyway..point of this... I"m trying to PREVENT a meniere's attack....and trying a new approach!

    1. Melanie, it's interesting you mention you are an avid tennis player. I am also and I could swear that my ear rings and feels clogged after I play. None of my doctors know of any correlation between playing tennis and Meniere's, but I definitely feel there is a connection.

  82. I used to take valium but after a while it didn't seem to help much. The same goes for anti vert. I think that I built up an immunity.

  83. Wow, I am so glad I found your blog about this. I am 23 years old and was just diagnosed last month with MD. Last year I had 13 attacks and it was hell. I have found that going on a daily diuretic helps - even though it makes me sick sometimes - reducing sodium- and definitely stress which isn't very optimal with my job. I also try getting in hard workouts if I feel am attack is coming to try and flush and sweat the salt out... What are your thoughts on this? And I'm also worried about flying, last time I had an attack right after. And have you fully been able to prevent an attack when you felt it coming? I would love to get more info from you! You can also email me directly at

  84. Wow, I am so glad I found your blog about this. I am 23 years old and was just diagnosed last month with MD. Last year I had 13 attacks and it was hell. I have found that going on a daily diuretic helps - even though it makes me sick sometimes - reducing sodium- and definitely stress which isn't very optimal with my job. I also try getting in hard workouts if I feel am attack is coming to try and flush and sweat the salt out... What are your thoughts on this? And I'm also worried about flying, last time I had an attack right after. And have you fully been able to prevent an attack when you felt it coming? I would love to get more info from you! You can also email me directly at

  85. Lorraine Norfolk EnglandMarch 11, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    I am in bed having had another MD attack. Lucky for me no vomitting yet.... I read with great interest all the comments and it is reassuring to know other people are having similar experiences. I am using a max strength vit C together with a gonkgo tablet, plus a calcium tablet and a multi vitamin. I would love to hear more about the implant that was trialed by one of the bloggers. I had a follow up appointment with an ENT sugeon but as I had had no attacke for over 3 months didn't keep it. What a fool. I will now have to start over again . Any ideas would be great

  86. Hi Lorraine,
    I haven't heard any more about that trial implant either I'll have to do a little research on it.
    Does the Vit C work for you?

  87. Hello
    I have had menieres for many years. 2011 was a very rough year. I was having atttacks on a daily basis for 3 months. I have had damage done to my inner ear (Left side). Will steroid treatments help with balance problems. I also have difficulties with looking side to side and up and down. I have been doing vestibular rehab for 7 months. It has not helped. If these symptoms are permanent I would like to know so that I can accept this and move on with my life.


  88. Hi

    I first experienced a menieres attack 31 years ago - in 1981. I was travelling and the doctors thought it was a heart attack. These sudden attacks became more frequent over the next few years.

    I observed the different conditions that would trigger an attack - fluorescent lights with vertical reflectors was common. I walked straight out of shops with these. Air travel another. The frequency of attacks reduced and I would only take medication (5mg stemetil) as a precaution.

    I was in Oxford and a couple of doctors were conducting some research into menieres and I was one of their subjects. I was having attacks every couple of weeks. They tried to induce an attack to no avail - including my vulnerable situations. I would go out and have another attack. This continued for about six months.

    One day one of them excitedly told me about an article in one of the medical journals where a double shot of neat whisky daily reduced the frequency dramatically. I tried it and it was effective. They applied to NHS for my supply - alas, to no avail.

    I continued observing and avoiding situations where I was vulnerable to attack and only taking medication as a precaution. Of course I enjoy my whisky medication daily.

    My last attack was in 1998.

    Peter Utting

  89. Hi Peter,
    I am glad that you found a way to avoid any attacks although I don't think that the whisky would work for everybody (but it would be worth a try!)

  90. Hi
    I was wandering if anyone could give me any pointers my partner has just been told he has md he has been put on serc but thats it he is having attacks roughly every other day is there anything i can do to help reduce them we dont have a lot of salt he rarly has a cup of tea we do however have a 1 yr old so i guess stress is a given i do try to calm any situation as i tend to get stress headaches.
    thankyou in advance

    1. Looly, serc doesn't seem to work all that well, from the comments I've seen on this blog. Certainly, it doesn't work for everyone, and if it's not helping, your partner should go back to the doctor and ask to try something else.

      Usually, the first few things they try for MD are prescription diuretics or steroid injections into the ear. These have hardly any side effects and don't hurt the hearing or balance. The idea is to reduce inflammation in the inner ear and allow the body to calm down and regain its own equilibrium.

      If those don't work, an ear/nose/throat specialist can escalate treatment to other medications or procedures. They start with the stuff that has the least potential to have side effects and work up from there as needed.

      It sounds like you already are trying the dietary modifications, so keep on doing that. And good luck!

  91. I'm 18, and have been dealing with bilateral meniere's for pretty much my entire life (though 18 years isn't that long of a time, I realize, lol).

    I can tell, sometimes, when an attack is about to happen. Usually my ears feel fuller than normal, and my head feels one-sided (if that makes sense). Stress is definitely a trigger. I noticed that the more I strain to hear, the more frequent the attacks happen. Mine usually last about 4 hours,and leave me so exhausted that I just go to sleep. I have an anti-nausea and anti-headache medicine I take when an attack starts happening.

    I tried the steroid pills and they seemed to kinda(?) help for a week or so, but it ended up not doing anything and the attacks came back in full force. I'm against getting the injections though, as I've heard they are incredibly painful and useless.

    I've heard from my doctor that the dietary modification is the way to go! Unfortunately I have an unhealthy addiction to Mountain Dew, and I'm sure THAT doesn't help me out. But I'd suggest if you haven't already cut caffeine and salt out of your diet- do it!

    When it comes to actually PREVENTING the attacks, I'm not sure if it would work for everyone: but if I feel an attack coming on I tend to isolate myself somewhere quiet and dark, if possible, and lay flat on my back while breathing in deeply and slowly, and pray that it passes. Sometimes it helps if I can get something cool and damp, like a cloth, and put it over my eyes when I lay there. Definitely laying down helps, as that "drunken sailor" feeling tends to kick in for me if I try standing up.

    Anywho, would love to hear from other people experiencing this stuff! No one my age ever seems to really understand. :/

  92. Hi All,
    I just learned about a possible connection between ingestion or topical exposure to salicylates and MD. Check it out on the internet. You may want to try going 2 wks without salicylates to see if you feel better. That's what I plan to do.

  93. I had tinnitus (only) for 15 years before my 1st Meniere's attack. Then the onslaught started culminating in cluster attacks over a 3-day period.

    However, I am cautiously pleased to say that not only have I been M-attack free for 4 weeks now but an unexpected bonus is that my Tinnitus noise level has dropped to (almost) nothing and my hearing in the affected ear (right only) is now at 80-85% of what is, for me, normal.

    My treatment was as follows:

    1] Betahistine 16mg tabs - 4 tablets 3-times a day and 2 tablets at bedtime. (224 mg/day). My GP started me at 16mg 3-times a day which is a sorry joke. France, Germany and other European countries have been prescribing 288mg - 480mg a day with great results and little to none side effects.

    2] Apo-Triazide 50/25mg. (I don't know what 50/25 means but that's what's on the container). A diuretic which removes fluid & salt from your body (i.e.: the fluid in your inner ewar).

    3] Xanax 0.25mg. I had Xanax on hand as I had panic attacks since I was 16. My regular med's have that under control but I could still get too apprehensive over meetings in crowds, dinner out and so on. I started taking Xanax once my Meniere's attack had subsided as it helped to calm me down. Now I believe that the Xanax "may" have played a role in the Tinnitus removal process.

    Finally, all this good news (for me) has only been in effect for a week or so. I understand that the Meniere's, Tinnitus and hearing loss may return at any time, however, I feel prepared knowing that the combination of med's worked once and (I hope) could, or should, work again.

  94. Hello everyone,

    Thank you for all your posts. They have been tremendously reassuring at a lonely and difficult time. I don't usually ever post anything on social media, but thought it worth writing in with my techniques for dealing with MD in the hope that it could help someone.

    I was diagnosed with it ten years ago at a time of high stress. Yes, it is a major trigger. It is possible though to develop mental techniques to deal with this - I try to imagine worst case scenarios for everything to remind myself that things aren't so bad.

    I have not found that diet helps at all. The main triggers for me are being exhausted, sick, and....the main trigger - exposed to wind. Cold wind is worst but a hot desert wind will destabilise me too. I wear ear muffs when out, all the time. I am having an impending attack now, as I lost mine yesterday and went out without anything today.

    In the event of an impending attack, it helps to get a hot water immediately and to lie with one ear, and then the next, on top of it. The heat releases all the fluid trapped in the eardrum. Use the hot water bottle too to relax the stiff neck and shoulders. A hot drink also seems to help, as does a dark and quiet room.

    Good luck everyone - a bad episode is definitely the scariest and most dispiriting thing one could go through.