Meniere's Disease - Treatments

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How can Meniere's disease be treated?

  • Medications: A diuretic (water pill) such as triamterene (Dyazide, Maxzide) combined with a low salt diet, is the primary treatment of Meniere's disease. Anti-vertigo medications such as meclizine (Antivert, Bonine, Meni-D, Antrizine) mask the symptoms, providing relief, or diazepam (Valium) may provide temporary relief during more severe attacks of vertigo. Anti-nausea medications [for example, promethazine (Phenergan)] sometimes also are prescribed. Both anti-vertigo and anti-nausea medications may cause drowsiness. Because the nausea can be so severe at times, medications may be prescribed in the form of a suppository
  • Surgery: If vertigo attacks are not controlled medically and are disabling, one of the following surgical procedures may be recommended depending on the individual patient's situation:
    • endolymphatic shunt (A surgical procedure in which a shunt (tube) is placed in the endolymphatic sac that drains excess fluid from the ear.)
    • selective vestibular neurectomy
    • labyrinthectomy (surgical removal of the labyrinth of the ear) and eighth nerve section.

Although there is no real cure for Meniere's disease, the attacks of vertigo can be controlled in nearly all cases. If you have vertigo without warning, you should not drive, because failure to control the vehicle may be hazardous to yourself and to others. Safety may require you to forego ladders, scaffolds, and swimming.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Luis, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 16

I was diagnosed with Meniere's disease about 18 years ago. At the beginning the vertigos were horrible but the ENT put a shunt on the affected ear to help drain the excess fluid. It works as I only get lightheaded every now and then. I keep away from salt and take diuretic pills as needed. Hearing loss and ringing are there, nothing can be done about it so I just enjoy life and try to live a normal life.

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Comment from: managingmenieres, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 17

I have had Meniere's disease for over 10 years. I keep it under control with diet and exercise. No caffeine, and a low, low sodium diet, a maximum of 1000 mg per day of sodium. Lots of rigorous exercise that makes you sweat (excess salt leaving your body!) like cycling and boot camps. There are theories about Meniere's being an imbalance of sodium and potassium in the ear canal thus the prescribing of diuretics for treatment. However, exercise can do a better, more natural job of eliminating salt from the body.

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