Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Are There Any New Treatments for Meniere's disease?

Wednesday, 23 June 2010 10:38 AM

Question: I'm 65 years old and have had Meniere's disease since 1999. It was in remission for about five years but it came back with a vengeance, and now it goes away and then comes back a few weeks later. I am 98 percent deaf in my right ear. Are there any new treatments?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:
There has been little progress in developing effective treatment for Meniere’s disease over the last 10 years. Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear (labyrinth) associated with recurring attacks of vertigo for up to 24 hours at a time, often associated with tinnitus (ringing in the ear), nausea, vomiting, and hearing loss, especially of low frequencies. In 50 percent of sufferers, only one ear is affected.
As the disease progresses, hearing impairment and tinnitus may become constant. Meniere’s is associated with a buildup of fluid in the inner ear. Conventional treatment has included diuretics and salt restriction to decrease the frequency of attacks. Aggressive and destructive surgical ablation treatments are available but uncommonly used, and are reserved to relieve unrelenting vertigo. Unfortunately, no medications prevent the natural progression of the hearing loss associated with this disorder.

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