Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tubes in your ears and Meniere’s disease

With all the trouble that I had with my ears while I was growing up the idea of having tubes put in my ears was never considered. I’m not sure but when I was a kid (a long time ago) I don’t think that was done as much as it is today. And with all the ENTs that I have seen since I was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease no one ever mentioned putting tubes in my ear as a remedy for this disorder. But apparently it is used for Meniere’s disease. I received an email from a facebook friend who happens to have Meniere’s and she has had the procedure done.


Here is an excerpt from Lita’s email…



I am in my 4th year of Meniere's and have experienced all the same frustrations as most patients with the roller coaster of symptoms and their severity. Back in Sept. 2010 I started having another period of vertigo (attacks come in clusters for me). The symptoms differed a little this time so I called the ENT. While there I had my usual checklist of questions/concerns. I casually asked about getting tubes in my ears and my dr. asked me if I'd like to try it (just one ear). He said it's a very easy, non-invasive procedure. I signed a form and within 5 minutes had a tube. (It's not a surgery like it is for children.) I have found relief with the ear tube. My tinnitus still exists, but I have had no vertigo and very few symptoms since the tube was placed. One of my really big frustrations about this is that it took me asking about tubes for him to even offer. If it's so non-invasive, why wasn't I asked from the beginning if I'd like to try it? I have no medical background or knowledge, I'm just like everyone else who scours the internet trying to find answers. Don't get me wrong, this is my 4th doctor and I really like this guy. He used to work with the doctor at the University of Washingon who is now performing the implants (Rubenstein? - I have forgotten his name) to improve balance. Anyway, I just wanted to pass along that I tried tubes and have, for now (knock on wood) found some relief.




Thanks Lita for providing me with this information it is really interesting

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Thanks

18 comments:

  1. Hi David~
    Wow! It's so frustrating when you get totally different info from different ENT specialists.
    I had asked my previous ENT about putting tubes in my ears, and he said it wouldn't make any difference as the tubes only effect the middle ear..and Meniere's is in the inner ear.
    Lita states it did help her Meniere's though!
    No wonder we have anxiety...the Docs can't even agree!
    Tubes would certainly be a much easier way to treat.
    Lauri

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  2. David~
    A follow-up to my last post.
    I decided to do some more researching about the tubes/grommets in the ears.
    I was amazed at how many people with Menieres had good results with having them put in!
    Meniere's Australia had a lot of patient feedback reporting good results.
    Something to think about.
    I may have to insist they try this first before the sac decompression.
    Thanks!
    Lauri

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  3. Hi
    One of the doctors I´ve met told me that they found out about the tubes when they started using the Meniette. You have to put a tube in your ear and then wait a while for the eardrum to heal before you can start using the Meniette. The doctors realized that many of the patients who came back for the meniette had found relief already, with only the tube. I have tried in one of my ears, but it didt help. Maybe it was the wrong ear at the time. I found out later that my menière is bilateral.
    Susanna

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  4. I had Meniere's for years, but I would have varying times of relief. Sometimes, I would have an attack and then not have one for a year, then I'd have attacks one right after another. It was during one of these times that my ENT suggested tubes. so I had them put in, and I didn't have an attack for a very long time. A year or more. Then I had an attack and we discovered a tube had fallen out, we decided to have T-tubes put in (this is an operation, not an in office procedure) they last longer, and I went without an attack for a good long time again.
    Then attacks started coming again..once again we found a tube was out. We tried again. It didn't work this time. And my ENT admitted he really didn't know much about Meniere's.
    I'm not seeing an OTO at Duke. He said I was probably just having my normal remission periods. He said there is no proof that tubes work and that most doctors who put them in don't know much about Meniere's. He just shook his head.
    I still don't know. I know they don't work now. I still have one of the T-tubes, it hasn't fallen out yet, and it's in the ear I have the worst trouble with.
    I hope it isn't the case with Lita.
    I don't think one thing works for everyone.

    (I'm going in again next month to have the Cerebral Spinal Fluid leaks patched again, it appears they didn't take. We'll see if I have as much improvement as I did the first time.)

    http://picnicwithants.wordpress.com

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  5. @Laura
    you are right about never really know what works with meniere's and of course the doctors don't always agree on what works either
    thanks for the comment
    David

    @Susanna
    I think that one of my doctors told me that same thing about having to have tubes with a meniett device. it is interesting is see the tubes work by themselves
    thanks for the comment
    David

    @Wendy,
    I am sorry to hear about your experience with tubes. at least your doctor admitted that he didn't know much about meniere's (you don't hear that very much!)
    thanks for the comment
    David

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  6. I asked my specialist about a tube as I knew it was an easy procedure and had heard that others had found relief. He said that the improvement rate is no different from Meniere's sufferers in general - that is, that it seems it's normal remission that is happening. This is definitely something we always have to bear in mind; the disease has its own unpredictable cycle and changes are not always due to medical interventions.

    Having said that, I've always thought there was (also) something going on with my middle ear so I still wonder whether a tube would have helped in one way or another.

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  7. thanks Jeff for the information and comment
    David

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  8. I am blown away by all the posts, I finally have gotten tubes put in both ears on monday and have suffered from menieres diease for 27 years and no once was tubes mentioned for relief. I ended up also have chemo and steroid injections into the tube now for the neuritis as the nerve is damage and surgery now isnt an aption as i have a balance issue to begin with and would not be able to stand up if they proceed with the surgery. So its day 3 and have noticed a bit of difference hoping to be able to get off the serc . Its frightening how many ent's i went to see and finally ended up seeing a neuro surgeon who would try anything as were the ent's didnt seem to interested. Thank you for all the info on this site and wish everyone some kind of relief from this miserable diease.

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  9. hello lauri
    i am having the tubes/grommit put in tmrw, cant wait, there was a cancellation, so i jumped at the chance.
    will keep you updated
    ali

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  10. Ali~
    Terrific! Glad you were able to get in sooner.
    I have my fingers crossed for you. Hopefully it will be as painless as possible.
    If they do help you, I will also have it done, since I'm heavily leaning towards 'no' on having Gent injections.
    Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!
    Lauri

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  11. Ali~
    How are you doing? You ok?
    I'm hoping the tubes are helping you.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Lauri

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  12. Hey Guys it's going on 10 weeks with vertigo and off balance issues. I'm going to see my 3rd Ent tOmorrow. I believe my situation happened because f the 1st dr. I went to see him because I was having vertigo spells which were manageable and he decided to do a myringotomy in office without explaining why he was doing and he did not put tubes and 1 days later my world began to spin and hasn't stopped I can't walk without feeling like the floor is moving with me. Please let me know if anyone has had these problems im also going to ask about placing tubes in my ear with the new doc


    Letty

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  13. Hi Letty,
    I've never had the tubes put in my ears but it seems that it has helped with other folks. I hate to hear about how bad your vertigo is! Please be careful and stay in touch
    David

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  14. Went to New doc today he says he doesn't think it's an inner ear issue he actually thinks its MS or a cervical issue and recommends me seeing a neurologist. I have a lot of other symptoms and he says that would cause my vertigo but he wants me to be under his care still I m so happy that this doc is actually looking outside the box

    Letty

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  15. hello letty
    the first thing any dr should do with hearing loss and vertigo is go down the channel of an mri to see if there is any neurological problems. good luck.
    kindest regards
    ali

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  16. I know this is an older post, but I wondered how the tubes are doing. I don't have menier's, I have painful ear pressure and disequilibrium (not vertigo). I feel fluid build up in my ears constantly. I have an appointment next Wednesday and left my doctor a note saying I want tubes. We will see what happens I guess.

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  17. let us know if you get the tubes
    good luck
    David

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  18. Since September of 2008 I have been suffering with Meniere's, and after several episodes in the first two years, and trying diuretics to reduce fluid levels and of course a reduction in salt, the episodes still happened with frequency. Then my ENT suggested trying the tube in my left ear (the only one ringing) and after a year of having it I have had zero episodes. My case is probably not as bad as some I've read on here, but the tube works for me. At least it has been, the past couple of days I have felt slightly dizzy, but I just saw my ENT for a checkup last week and the tube was still in, so I'm wondering if it's something else. But wanted to share my experience and thank everyone for sharing theirs.

    Tim

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