Currently, there is no way to cure Ménière's disease. Treatments include acupuncture, herbal remedies, and various medications. Diuretics, vasodilator medications, and a low-salt diet help relieve symptoms by taking fluid away from the head and ear and maintaining the fluid balance in the body. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol may also help.
Diuretics, also referred to as "water pills," are medications that force the kidneys to pass more fluid, salt, and potassium than normal from the body. Taking these between attacks may reduce the frequency of attacks. People taking some types of diuretics also have to take extra potassium to replace the potassium the diuretics remove. Anti-nausea medications such as dimenhydrinate* can be taken in the form of tablets or suppositories. Betahistine is another medication that can be used to treat the vertigo associated with Meniere’s disease.
Listening to music can "mask" the tinnitus or noises in a person's ears. Some people wear a tinnitus masker, which is a little device that makes noise behind their ear to block the awareness of the tinnitus.
If these treatments don't work, surgery may be an option. However, it doesn't always work and can cause ear damage. A type of surgery called labyrinthectomy usually relieves the dizziness but it results in total hearing and balance loss in the affected ear.
Another surgical procedure involves cutting the nerve leading to the organ of balance in the middle ear. Like a labyrinthectomy, this procedure relieves the dizziness. However, unlike a labyrinthectomy, it often preserves the hearing in the ear that was operated on. It is a more complex operation and requires a longer hospital stay, and there is a risk of damage to other parts of the ear.
Endolymphatic sac surgery is another type of surgery that is often used for people who have dizziness but good hearing, as it can relieve the dizziness and usually preserves hearing in the ear that is operated on. However, in about 4% of cases, hearing gets worse. It does not usually relieve tinnitus. A "shunt" or plastic tube to drain fluid from the ear isn't always successful.
Chemicals can also be used to destroy either all or part of the balancing functions of the ear. The medication gentamicin is placed into the middle ear using a tube through the eardrum. It destroys some hearing cells, but it helps make the vertigo attacks less severe and may leave people with enough hearing so that they can function. However, hearing loss is a possibility.
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Menieres-Disease