Sunday, January 22, 2012

Does Meniere’s disease lead to other health problems?

Have you ever thought that having Meniere’s disease has been the cause of you having other health problems? The first thing that comes to mind is hearing loss. While my hearing wasn’t that good before I was diagnosed with Meniere’s it is really bad now especially in my “Meniere’s” ear. Although I think that I lost a lot of the hearing after my last gent injection (I can’t say for sure) As for other health issues it seems that MD has also made them worse.

What made me think about all this was a comment that I read about acid reflux, which I have had for years. It doesn’t seem like there would be any connection between it and Meniere’s but who knows there might be.

Another problem that I know quite a few people have difficulty with is depression and with meniere’s it isn’t hard to see the connection between the two. Dealing with the thought that you may have an attack at any moment during the day is enough to make anyone depressed. In my own case I found that going to a counselor helped quite a bit in handling the stress and depression that it puts you under.

Something that I am going to try to do in 2012 is to live a healthier lifestyle. Hopefully by eating a healthy diet and exercising I will be able to feel better and have more energy. (I hope that I stick to it!)

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  1. One of the things I miss the most is my hearing. I now have 2 hearing aids ($6000+, not covered by insurance)to help with the hearing loss. As a recently retired teacher, I was known for my super sonic hearing. Some people have mommy ears...I had teacher ears. With the onset of my Menieres I lost a significant range of hearing. I now substitute and if I forget to wear my hearing aids I can't hear students when I call the roll. I have mis-interpreteted words...thinking they dropped the f-bomb but not they will tell you the truth. :) I don't wear my hearing aids at home and my boyfriend will complain that the tv is too loud, the radio too loud etc. I find I must look at people when they speak to understand them.
    Growing up I thought the worst disability would be hearing loss....I loved to listen to music, nature, whispers etc...never in my wildest dream did I ever imagine losing my hearing to a disease.

  2. Depression is clearly an offshoot of Meniere's, for obvious reasons. I'm intrigued by the introduction of reflux as another possible link.

    The issue I have now that I think might be tied to Meniere's and the treatments I've had for it is my vision. I used to have very good distance vision, almost 20/20. But since the treatments last year, and especially since the surgery to sever the vestibular nerve, I've noticed my distance vision is quite a bit worse than it was previously. I have no idea what could be behind that, unless it's just the ongoing baseline nystagmus.

    It sure is discouraging, though.

  3. Just thought id give you all an update on my situation. Well no vertigo since last October and had a grommet in December. No problems with the grommet, but I have been struggling to cope with other things related to menieres; Stress and depression mostly, as well as finding the tinnitus hard. Ive kind of got my self into a rut - don't want to do anything, or go anywhere and generally lost interest in life. I have also let this affect my university work ( Im in my final semester of pharmacy). However, Im managing the tinnitus better now with my hearing aid and waiting for tinnitus retraining. I am also taking up an old hobby, which I loved when I was youger - horse riding! I'm going to loan the horse I used to ride, and maybe buy him once I start working full time. In fact I plan to get back in the saddle today! I'm hoping this will help my balance out too. It has picked my spirits up no end, and I've noticed I pay less attention to the tunnitus when I'm occupied. It is a worry though that I will become sick again with the worst element to the disease (vertigo) but I don't want this thing to take over my life anymore. We only get one so I want to live full a life as possible. For me it's trying to balance the fun, work and rest and I'm not going to beat myself up if I have a bad day. I've heard of so many people getting better (Ryan Adams for example) and find it very encouraging. If they can do it, why can't I.

    Take Care,


  4. Becky, I'm glad you are going back to some of the things you used to love doing. It's really easy to just give up and spend your life sitting down to avoid any dizziness, but it's not much of a life, is it?

    I was really intrigued by your reference to Ryan Adams and had to look him up. I'm always somewhat pleased to hear about a celebrity who has Meniere's, because it might be the only way the rest of the world ever hears about Meniere's.

    Not that I'm pleased to hear that anyone else has this, but if people who are famous suffer from it and talk about it, the word will get out, and understanding for this dreadful disease will grow. I hope.

    The message, for now, seems to be this: Try to live your life as best you can, and don't give in to the urge to give up. I keep saying I won't let Meniere's define me, but it's harder to put that into action than it is to say it.

  5. Since first having the dreadful vertigo attacks last summer, I thought I was worse off than lots of people whose messages I read. Now, however after starting 2x8mg of betahisting hydrochloride (or do-hydrochloride) tabs per day, thanks to UK's National health Service, starting 2 September, I have had no further trouble. OK, I have industrial strength tinnitus and I am deaf in one ear but I can cope with that. Am I especially lucky, are tablets working, am I suddenly and so soon in remission? Don't care, I can get on with life.

    Each year, I visit Seattle area for 2-3 months and how I panicked last fall when my tablets ran out! Eventually I got some more posted from UK as cost so high to buy in US.

    Sometimes I wonder if medics in US conspire to make meds so dear as they make more profit from further treatment and operations. My doctor here says the tablets I take are really cheap. ie a few pounds a packet I think that means. HMMM!

  6. Not sure if MD is caused by or causes other body problems. I'm pretty damn healthy other than my MD and it's the only thing holding me back. It's been extremely tough to deal with.
    Mine started out as dizziness one morning and had to call in sick. That was about 12 years ago. Now it's progressed to a daily unsteadiness and occasional dizzy spells. I'm having to take a diuretic daily and have finally found OHSU here in Portland that specializes in the head and inner ear.
    Whatever you do, do not go to a regular ENT. You have to find a specialist that has dealt with MD specifically. I've seen a few ENTs and I got responses from "sorry we can't help you" to "here are some drugs, Have a nice day". My last ENT was nearly pointless but finally she recommended OHSU. I'd been seeing her for 4 years or more.
    We all have different symptoms. I've been on a very low salt diet which has helped but still isn't a fix. Keep up the hope. Keep trying different things that work for you. Low salt, low sugar, diuretics, whatever it takes.

  7. menieres leads to many other illnesses in my eyes, as do many other health problems.
    it is the catalyst for a chain reaction of other problems, as the lifestyle usually associated with menieres is not always the healthest way to live ones life (for me the lack of activity is a real big one with menieres. limited work sport etc), also the stress being dizzy is obviously sending negative emotions through ur body which in turn manifest to other negative things.
    the diet side of things, is probably funnilly enough the only good thing with menieres.

  8. Depression is a major factor as well as seclusion from my hearing and healthy friends. I know I'm not "depressed"...I'm just sad..that there are very few options left. I would be fabulous except for the disabling, pulsating tinnitus. Vertigo is rarely a problem any more. I've done my time. MD since probably 17 (that was the start of tinnitus, but then it went away), now 43, bilateral. I have had very slow progression, appeared full blown during pregnancy at age 26. I was very fortunate to have nearly a decade of remission in one ear. Then out of nowhere it's all gone and your life is not the same.

    Some things to ponder...
    I now have macrocytosis, (they think from many years of the diuretic) and now osteopenia, most likely, from steroid use. Now I will upgrade to the injections. It's a guessing game, what will work, what won't.
    I work part-time. Have an opportunity to spend thousands of dollars on TRT just as my husband is loosing his job.
    Just spend thousands having allergy testing done and am now on the daily drops. Also discovered I had major allergy to cow's milk!! Who knew!
    I'm the picture of health except for this. Very athletic. The stability ball and core training is key to staying active.
    I would love to hear more about the grommet. I have read about this.
    Nothing I have will kill me, just makes life a bit more challenging.

  9. hello anon
    its true regarding the depression, and the fact that its more sad then depressing.
    i have had the grommet and 3 steroid injections, would i reccomend it, yes. as it a very simple opertaion and not very evasive, it works a treat for some people.
    sadly i feel i need more in order to take my life to a managable place, hence i will be having the sac decompression in the near future also.

  10. Hello:
    I have been recently diagnosed with stage 3 MD. The current ENT I am seeing is suggesting steroid injections. Can someone tell me if it only helps the vertigo or does it help with problems looking from side to side or up and down.(These cause me to feel nausea)unsteadiness sensation of feeling like I have had 3 or 4 glasses of wine all the time. I have been doing vestibular rehab excercises on a daily basis but it has reached a stage where it has not gotten any better. Any suggestions would be helpful.

  11. Anonymous, have you been checked for BPPV? (benign positional paroxysmal vertigo) That is vertigo that happens when you move your head in certain ways, and I used to get it when I looked up above my head. There are exercises that you can do, or which an audiologist can help you do, to get past that.

    The steroid injections should help with any kind of vertigo, though, because they reduce inflammation that presses on the vestibular nerve.

  12. The Eply maneuver is very safe, simple, and quick for BPPV and is performed by a trained audiologist. A good ENT should be able to discern the difference.
    I, however, had MD many many years then discovered I had BPPV following a car accident with a head injury. I had not heard of it until then.

    Get many opinions.

  13. Hello Ali,

    I had the sac decompression with the shunt for vertigo in my R ear 14 years ago (3 year after the start of the vertigo) and it worked for me plus then gentamycin shots 7 years after that.

    I'm trying to save what remains of my L ear with steroid pills but I'm loosing and am now going on to the injection. I will not have vertigo unless I have the aural fullness in the L ear. So if the injections don't work in the L, I'm on steroids the rest of my life. I will do another decompression surgery if I can't keep the vertigo at bay. Since I'm bilateral, I don't see a way to get off the steroids since they are helping my R ear too.

    How much relief can I expect from injections? If the injection only lasts 36 hours to ? 8 weeks, what am I supposed to do until I get another shot?

  14. Great post on health care, its very easy to read and understand for anyone, This is great effort made by you for healthy fitness,
    Thank you for great support

  15. Nice healthy awareness information you have shared on meniere's disease. Thank you

  16. With respect to PPI and meniere's, here is a good article:

    Meniere's disease and the use of proton pump inhibitors.
    Pirodda A, Modugno GC, Manzari L, Raimondi MC, Brandolini C, Ferri GG, Borghi C.
    Department of Specialist Surgical and Anesthesiological Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.
    On the basis of previous observations we examined the possibility of a favourable effect of proton pump inhibitors (PPI) on Meniere's disease (MD). A preliminary step was made by retrospectively analysing the number of menieric crisis in group of patients suffering from MD and using PPI for other reasons as compared to a group of menieric subjects who had never used PPI.
    Between January 2001 and December 2006, 42 patients affected by MD were examined in the tertiary referral centre at the University Hospital of Bologna, Italy and in the private office of an ENT specialist in Cassino, Italy. Within the study group, 18 patients had used PPI for various reasons for at least 12 consecutive months, whilst 24 patients had never been prescribed them. We recorded the number of menieric crises reported in the observation period. The mean follow-up period was 21.9 months. Statistical analysis was performed by means of the x2 test and significance was defined when p<0.05.
    Most of MD patients (72%) using PPI suffered less than one episode of menieric crisis/year. On the other hand patients who had never used a PPI, experienced considerably more episodes only 16.7% having less than one crisis per year. This difference was statistically significant (p<0, 001).
    Even taking the limitations of this retrospective study into account the reported data nevertheless strongly suggest a possible role for proton pumps in the pathogenesis of MD. This could lead to interesting developments and contribute to a better definition of MD and the therapeutic possibilities.

  17. Regarding the PPI and Meniere's, that is just bizarre! I'm amazed that someone noticed a link between people taking medications to reduce acid reflux and a decrease in Meniere's attacks. And it's even more incredible that the research they did turned up a significant number of people on PPI's who didn't have MD attacks during the time they examined. I really wonder what they will turn up next, and where it will lead.

  18. That is interesting although the meds that I take don't seem to help with the meniere's (at least I don't think so:)