Ménière’s disease (also known as endolymphatic hydrops)
Ménière’s Disease… One Patient’s Story
It is characterized by recurrent vertigo (dizziness), fluctuating hearing loss, tinnitus (low frequency ringing in the ears), ear pressure. It can begin on one side and then involve the other.
The symptoms are a result of disruption in the drainage of the fluid of the inner ear. This interferes with normal balance and hearing and sends the wrong signals to the brain resulting in symptoms.
People may be symptomatic for a short time then be symptom free for months to years. The symptoms return again. They can be more intense and last longer. Frequently some symptoms will decrease while others stay. It is not uncommon to continue to have a feeling of ‘wooziness’ but not actually have vertigo. This is often accompanied by a constant feeling of ear pressure.
The more frequent and intense these attacks are the more negative impact it has on the patients lifestyle. People who suffer from this often are afraid to leave the house, cannot be alone, stop driving and socializing.
Medications offered do not work for the majority of people. Lifestyle modifications such as reduced salt sugar and caffeine are always healthy but seldom make a difference to this disease. Surgery is used as a last resort. Often a labyrinthectomy is performed. This is effective in stopping the symptoms and rendering the patient deaf in that ear. However in approx 60% of people in recurs in the other ear.
Osteopathy is a very effective way to reduce the symptoms and manage this disease. For some, the reduction of symptoms has prevented the full onset of vertigo. Patients treated with osteopathy often return to a full and rewarding life. They can return to work, drive and socialize again. Most of all maintain their independence. This safe, effective treatment will not cure the disease but help reduce and manage the symptoms and improve quality of life !