Ménière's Disease is a disorder of the inner ear. It is caused by a build-up of pressure within the fluid chambers of the inner ear which causes the hair cells in the inner ear to become damaged and produces an uneven transmission of sensory information to the brain. It affects females more than males and can occur at any age. Usually only one ear is affected.
Ménière's Disease can also produce vestibular symptoms of
Nausea and Vomiting
Fluctuating Hearing Loss
These symptoms can last for as little as 20 minutes, or last up to 4 hours in symptomatic bouts. Symptomatic bouts can reoccur for weeks and in some cases months.
Through a comprehensive history and a series of tests that involve moving the head into specific orientations. These tests aim to determine which ear is effected by Ménière's disease. This is done through an assessment of eye movements in a very specific pattern called nystagmus. At Vestibular Rehab we use Frenzel goggles to accurately check for nystagmus during these tests. During the assessment we will also investigate potential triggers of the bouts.
Based on findings from the exam, patients undergo a treatment technique called habitualisation. This consist of a specific series of exercises used to recalibrate the body's balance system and to improve it. Your physiotherapist will also provide you with specific exercises to restore the balance to the vestibular system so that your sense of orientation and the stability of your vision particularly when moving your head improves and you feel more confident in your balance.
We will also plan for lifestyle changes to reduce the bouts of illnesses, these will include looking into:
Stress and travel
Side effects of certain medications
Stress or anxiety
After the Session:
Your physiotherapist will provide a structured program with exercises to complete at home. Physiotherapy has been shown to help manage the symptoms of Ménière's disease during an attack. On average patients will find significant ways to manage their symptoms following two or three sessions.