Sunday, December 5, 2010

Meniere’s disease and the flu

In the fall of every year I have this personal struggle as to whether I should get a flu shot or not. For many years I just went ahead and got one, sometimes there were worthwhile and other times I still got the flu. Since I have been diagnosed with Meniere’s disease I tend to shy away from them. My wife always gets the shot and inevitably she gets some form of virus (the flu shot only protects you against certain virus strains) She gets the shot anyway because she works with children all day and there always seems to be one child that is sick that may pass the illness around. I didn’t get the shot this year because I am at home and I didn’t think that I would catch any kind of bug if I was in the house all day. Of course I was wrong! Now I am dealing with cold and flu medications and hoping that it doesn’t make my Meniere’s worse.

In the past I have written about how medications can mess with your Meniere’s disease especially when you have a cold or virus. Right now I am taking some over the counter meds and some cough syrup hoping that will do the trick and I will avoid a doctor’s trip. It may take a little longer without the prescription stuff. My biggest concern is that my ears don’t start to ache. If I get an ear infection then I will be in trouble!

So how does the flu affect you? And what do you do for it?

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  1. I have had flu shots for many years, till last year, and after having so many vertigo attacks last year I just couldn't have one. But I did have one this year. Haven't had any side effects, just decided it would be better to take the chance on the shot than getting the flu. I think even if you get the flu it's not supposed to be as bad. But with this disease there is no right or wrong. We have as many similarities with this disease as we have differences. What works with one person probably won't work for another. I hope you stay well, and can enjoy the holidays.


  2. david,
    I have mav with nerve damage in my right ear.
    No hearing loss or tinnitus. My protein zero test was positive so that may mean autoimmune inner ear problems. I'm very sensitive to meds so in flu season i don't get the shot. I do keep homeopathic flu meds on hand and take airborne every day also probiotics are good.If i feel like i'm getting sick i increase the airborne to twice a day. Also sinus spray every day, i use a brand called clear from vitacost,and gargle with oregano in warm water, strain after steeping. I can't take any kind of antihistine. I was on antivert when i first got sick and it gave me vertigo. Yes meds somtimes work backwards on me. Hope these tips help you. I like reading your blog even though i don't have meniere's. Keep up the great posts. Feel better. Janice

  3. Hi David,
    I have never had a flu shot and I am a teacher, around all sorts of germs. But like you said, the doctors guess each year as to what strain of the virus will be out and they develop the vaccine based this. Sometimes I get sick, most times I do not.
    I have found that cold medications actually help me sometimes, with both the cold symptoms and the menieres symptoms. It was way back some time ago that you posted a blog on cold meds...something about guafenasomething! .....sorry can't quite remember the active ingredient. So I tried some, and they worked. I think for me its because they reduce the fluid in my ear or perhaps there are antihistamines in them. We are all so different. What works for some, doesn't for others.
    I would like to update you on my Meniett Device. This has really worked for me. Five days after I started using this device I felt so much better. I still have to be careful and I still take meclizine most days, but I am back to work, running and being a normal parent again. I don't eat out and I certainly still go to bed earlier than my kids but it has given me my life back! I would recommend that anyone try it since there is a free 60 day trial period. If it doesn't work, you send it back. If it does work, you have your life back! What price can you put on freedom?! :)
    Merry Christmas!
    Deb :)

  4. @SHERRY;
    I think that you are probably right about not always knowing what way to go with flu shots. Hopefully you wouldn’t have any side effects this year.
    Happy Holidays!

    @ JANICE,
    I have heard that airborne is helpful to a lot of people although I don’t know much about it. While antivert helps me it does have side effects on some folks. Thanks for the home remedy tips especially the oregano in warm water, that’s one I definitely haven’t heard of before.
    I know that it must be difficult to deal with MAV and damage in your ear. Stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.
    Happy holidays!

    That’s interesting that you don’t have to have a flu shot and being a teacher. I can certainly understand that some cold medicines help with meniere’s because of all the antihistamines in them.
    I am glad that you have found the meniett device to be beneficial. It is always good news when someone is finding relief with some kind of treatment. I will put this in a upcoming post because everyone needs as much feedback as possible on treatments and devices.
    Thanks and happy holidays!

  5. Hello...
    I've read your blog for the last 2 years cause I've been diagnosed with BPPV. Not as bad as MD but still suffering from it off and on.. the worst part is that I've had sinus all my life so i'm trying my best to NOT have a flu or mornin sinus... the flu/sinus meds messes up my bppv. I get extremely dizzy after an hour's sleep of taking the meds.. so try to avoid flu at all cost. consume plenty of vitamin C, get your daily rest and drink lots of water to keep the flu away! there's nothing worse of a combination with flu n vertigo..

    thanks for sharing on this entry..

  6. Hi Pinkybrain,
    I imagine that it would be difficult to have BPPV and catch the flu considering how flu medicines work.
    I'm curious does balance exercises help with your vertigo? I went to a Vest. rehab about 2 years ago and they did help alittle.
    Thanks for the comment and stay in touch

  7. Could you please give me more information about Menitt Device? How it helps? How it works?

    Thank you.

    Menier's and life

  8. Anonymous, there is a thread about the Meniett device on this blog -- try scrolling down through the older threads to find it. There's a lot of information there.

    Basically, the device puts pressurized air into the ear using a rubber tube and earpiece that seals the ear closed. It doesn't hurt, although the feeling is a little strange at first. The pressurized air pulsates in your ear, and this is supposed to somehow force the excess fluids in your inner ear back where they belong. You leave it in the affected ear for a few mintues at a time, several times a day.

    It works for a lot of people, but it didn't help me.

    Ask your doctor if you can borrow a Meniett device from them for a month or two to see if it works. They are very expensive ($3,000 or more) so you don't want to buy it until you are sure it will be effective. My ear/nose/throat doctor's office has several they will loan to patients for this purpose.

    Hope that helps.