Ménière's disease

Ménière's (say "men-YEERS") disease is a disorder of the inner ear that affects hearing and balance. It causes sudden attacks of vertigo (a spinning sensation), tinnitus (a loud ringing in the ears), and hearing loss that may be temporary or permanent.

It may also cause:

  • Nausea and vomiting that occur with vertigo.
  • A feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear.

The cause of Ménière's disease is not known, but it may be related to a fluid imbalance in the inner ear.

Treatment includes medicines and sometimes surgery to destroy the balance center in the inner ear. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, salt, and stress may prevent attacks of vertigo.

Last Updated: October 20, 2008

Author: Monica Rhodes

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology

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