David Mason R.H.A.D Hearing Aid Audiologist Ampleforth, York.    Tel: 0800 612 7 812
0800 612 7812

David has now retired and has
handed over the business to
Mr Robert Donnan RHAD.

Please be assured that his service and commitment to his clients are in direct parallel with our own. He has recently opened a branch in Fulford, York and has a number of other highly useful resources that you may find useful in the future. This includes Micro suction.

You can have every confidence in his service and I'm delighted to say that he always treats people with consideration and commitment. If you are interested in the latest hearing instruments he will only be too pleased to organise a free trial.

David Mason - August 2016

www.rjdhearingcare.co.uk

York Hearing Practice, 92 Main Street, Fulford, YORK YO10 4PS

Freephone 0800 612 7812



Ménière's disease

Symptoms of Ménière’s


The signs and symptoms of Ménière’s syndrome are due to a problem with the inner ear, the part of the ear responsible for balance as well as hearing. If you have Ménière’s, you will recognise these symptoms:

    menieres
  • Vertigo (a spinning or whirling sensation that causes balance problems). Vertigo is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sweating. Attacks of vertigo usually begin suddenly and may last for 20 minutes to several hours. You may have attacks rarely, frequently, or in clusters. The first attack is usually the most intense.
  • Problems with hearing. Hearing is often partially or completely lost during vertigo attacks. It's common for hearing to gradually worsen as the illness progresses.
  • Tinnitus (ringing, buzzing, whistling, or roaring noises in the ear). These may come and go or may always be present. The noises may get louder just before a vertigo attack.
  • A feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear. This sensation is sometimes felt most strongly immediately before a vertigo attack.

You may feel fine between attacks, or hearing or balance problems may continue between attacks. Although Ménière’s usually affects only one ear, it can occasionally develop in both ears.

No cure yet, but you can get help

Ménière’s disease is almost always idiopathic, which means that no specific cause for the disease can be found. At this time, Ménière’s disease has no cure but the uncomfortable symptoms of Ménière’s can be managed.

You and your doctor can develop a plan to help ease your symptoms. Your doctor can also recommend changes in your daily life to help make living with Ménière’s easier.

What your doctor can do

Your doctor can confirm a diagnosis of Ménière’s. Then you and your doctor can discuss how Ménière’s affects your life and develop a plan to manage your symptoms. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, medications and medical procedures.

Taking medications

Certain medications can help manage Ménière’s symptoms. Some help reduce fluid pressure in the inner ear that leads to symptoms. Others help ease symptoms themselves. No medication will cure Ménière’s, and no medication is right for everyone. You and your doctor can work together to choose the most effective medication regime for you.

Certain medications can help ease the symptoms of a vertigo attack. These include:

  • Anti-dizziness medications to help relieve vertigo.
  • Anti-nausea (also called antiemetic) medications to help you relax and sleep during a vertigo attack.

Note: Because of the nausea and vomiting that accompany vertigo attacks, these medications may be prescribed in rectal suppository form.

Antibiotic therapy

Certain antibiotics may permanently shut down the balance portion of the inner ear, helping to relieve symptoms of vertigo. Antibiotic therapy is generally given in the doctor's surgery over a period of several weeks.

If only one ear needs treatment, liquid antibiotic is injected directly into the inner ear. If both ears need treatment, liquid antibiotic is injected into a muscle, such as the arm.

Surgery

Surgical procedures for Ménière’s include:

  • Endolymphatic sac decompression. A small amount of bone is removed from around the endolymphatic sac, and tubing may be placed in or near the sac. This may help relieve pressure on the sac.
  • Vestibular neurectomy. The nerve from the balance portion of the ear is cut so the brain doesn't receive signals which could trigger a vertigo attack. Usually, the brain readjusts in a short time to only one ear regulating balance.
  • Labyrinthectomy. The entire balance canal is removed, eliminating balance and hearing in that ear. The brain can usually adjust to one ear regulating balance, but can't compensate for lost hearing, so this procedure is usually done only in people with little or no hearing in the affected ear.

Your doctor can discuss these and other surgical procedures with you. If surgery is the best option for you, your doctor can tell you how to prepare and describe what will happen during and after the procedure.

What you can do

Eating a low-salt diet

You can learn how to live more comfortably with Ménière’s. Limiting the amount of salt you eat can often keep Ménière’s under control. Other tips - such as reducing stress in your life and learning what to do during an attack – may also help.

Above all, stay active and keep a positive outlook. Ménière’s doesn't have to stop you from doing most of what you want and need to do.

Avoid certain substances

Certain substances affect how your body regulates fluid, and can make Ménière’s worse. These include:

    avoid-substances
  • Caffeine, which constricts your blood vessels and reduces blood flow to your inner ear. Avoid drinks and foods (such as coffee, cola, and chocolate) that are high in caffeine.
  • Alcohol, which can disturb your sense of balance. Avoid alcohol, or limit it to very small amounts; and
  • Smoking, which constricts blood vessels, weakens your immune system, and harms your general health. By affecting your circulation, smoking may contribute to Ménière’s symptoms.

    Giving up smoking is always a good idea.

Other lifestyle changes

In addition to changes in your diet, certain other changes may help you manage Ménière’s. Some of these changes are minor. Others require more dedication. They include cutting down stress and avoiding certain substances. Special devices may also help make you more comfortable and improve your hearing. Ask your doctor whether any of these lifestyle changes are appropriate for you.

Work at reducing your stress level

Stress doesn't cause Ménière’s, but it may trigger Ménière’s symptoms or make them worse. Ask your doctor about stress reduction techniques. The tips below can help you get started:

  • Know what makes you feel tense and how your body responds to tension. ‘Listen’ to your body for signs such as headaches, stomach upsets, tensed muscles, clenched teeth, or other symptoms that tell you you're under stress.
  • Talk to your doctor about starting a regular exercise programme that includes aerobic activity (such as walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming). Exercise is a great stress reducer.
  • Take time out from your daily errands and chores to do things you enjoy and find relaxing. Don't look at relaxation time as ‘wasted’ time, but as an investment in your health.
  • Ask your doctor about visualisation techniques, deep-breathing exercises, stretching and yoga. These are all methods that may help you reduce stress in your life.

Pay attention to your body

People with Ménière’s sometimes find that such things as bright lights, loud noises, or very low sounds bring on symptoms or make the symptoms worse. Pay attention to how you feel. If you notice something making you feel worse, talk to your doctor.

Explore helpful devices

If Ménière’s has permanently affected your hearing, a hearing aid may help you hear better. Hearing aids come in many different models, and one can be chosen that suits your needs and lifestyle.

In addition, certain devices can help cover up (mask) annoying and bothersome tinnitus. (British Tinnitus Association - Freephone 0800.018.0527, website www.tinnitus.org.uk.)

Try a fan or a radio tuned to music or static, or purchase a white noise device specifically designed to create pleasant background noise. The range of masking noises that are available to you will ensure that you can get some variety, for example, one night you may decide to listen to the ocean and another night the calming effect of wind in the trees.

A masking device that generates constant white noise can be worn directly in the ear. Your doctor should be able to provide you with information and recommendations about hearing aids, white-noise devices, and masking devices.

Coping with Ménière’s disease

Coping with an illness such as Ménière’s is not easy. But, with some changes, you can live a full and normal life. Learn as much as you can about how to deal with attacks and how you can help yourself between attacks. Also, educate the people around you.

Talk to your employer, friends, and family. The more they know about Ménière’s, the easier it will be for them to understand what you're going through and to offer help when they can.

Your daily life

Ménière’s unpredictable and disruptive symptoms will probably mean having to make adjustments in your daily life. Keep these strategies in mind:

  • At work: If Ménière’s interferes with your job, think about changes that would help. Then talk to your employer. If changes can't be made, ask whether moving to a better-suited position within the company is an option.
  • At home: If your balance is unsteady, move sharp, breakable objects out of the way. Arrange stable, sturdy objects so that you can use them for support; and
  • In the car: If you have attacks that occur without warning, driving may be dangerous for you. Explore public or private transportation options. Low-cost transportation is often available for those who need it.

Your emotions

While learning to cope with chronic illness, you may find you have periods of depression, frustration, anger and fear. These are all normal feelings. Give yourself time to adjust. But don’t give in to self-pity.

You can live and cope with Ménière’s. Stay active – don’t let Ménière’s stop you from living a full, enjoyable life. Stay close to family and friends.

Tell them how you’re feeling and how they can help you. Also, spend time with them doing things you enjoy.

Notes to family and friends

Having a loved one with a chronic illness can be challenging. Your loved one will have to make changes in his or her life. Your own life may change as well. To make the transition easier, try these tips below:

  • Communicate. Talk about your feelings and concerns, and encourage your loved one to do the same. The more you communicate, the fewer misunderstandings you're likely to have.
  • Support. Offer your loved one the emotional and physical support he or she needs. But avoid being overprotective or controlling.


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