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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Meniere's Disease
      Category : Health Centers > Ears and Hearing Disorders

Meniere's Disease

Alternate Names : Menir's Syndrome

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Menir's disease is a disorder characterized by recurrent attacks of disabling vertigo. Vertigo is a sensation of movement when none is actually occurring. The person may feel that he or she is spinning or rotating abnormally.

What is going on in the body?

Menir's disease is a disorder of the inner ear. The inner ear is made up of the cochlea and the labyrinth. The cochlea is a snail-shaped structure involved in hearing. The labyrinth is made up of canals in the inner ear that control balance. Within the cochlea and labyrinth are two fluid-filled compartments. The separation between the two compartments is necessary for hearing and balance. It allows the nerves to communicate with each other within that space.

Experts believe that damage to the inner ear starts the process of Menir's disease. The injury causes fluid to build up in the two compartments. The pressure increases and damages the labyrinth. In some cases, the cochlea is also damaged.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

In most cases, the cause of Menir's disease is not known. There is some evidence that inflammation in the ear causes poor drainage of fluid. Possible causes of Menir's disease are as follows:

  • allergies, particularly food allergies
  • an autoimmune disorder , or condition in which the person's body creates antibodies against its own tissues
  • excessive intake of alcohol or caffeine
  • excessive sodium or sugar in the diet
  • genetic narrowing of parts of the inner ear
  • head injury
  • high cholesterol
  • hypothyroidism, or low levels of thyroid hormone
  • smoking
  • syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease, or STD
  • viral infections of the inner ear
  • Menir's disease is most common in people over age 40 and is as common in men as women.


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    Meniere's Disease: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Mark Loury, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 08/20/01

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