Lybrate Logo
Get the App
For Doctors
Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Meniere's Disease- What Exactly Is It?

Profile Image
Dr. Manni HingoraniENT Specialist • 21 Years Exp.MS - ENT, MBBS
Topic Image

It is a disorder of the inner ear, which is characterized by episodes of vertigo, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), hearing loss, and fullness in the ear.

Epidemiology, Incidence, and Prevalence

The reported prevalence of Meniere disease varies widely, from 15 per 100,000 in the United States to 157 per 100,000 in the United Kingdom.


The cause of Meniere’s disease is elevated endolymphatic pressure. Causes of elevated endolymphatic pressure include:

  1. Metabolic disturbances
  2. Hormonal imbalance
  3. Trauma
  4. Infections, such as otosyphilis and Cogan’s syndrome (interstitial keratitis)
  5. Autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, may cause an inflammatory response within the labyrinth

Signs and Symptoms

  1. Recurrent episodes of vertigo, hearing loss and tinnitus
  2. These episodes may be accompanied by a headache and a feeling of fullness in the ears
  3. People may also have additional symptoms related to irregular reactions of the autonomic nervous system, such as nausea, vomiting, and sweating, which are typical symptoms of vertigo and not of Meniere disease
  4. Sensation of being pushed sharply to the floor from behind
  5. Sudden falls without loss of consciousness

Complications of Meniere’s disease may include the following:

  • Injury due to falls
  • Anxiety regarding symptoms
  • Accidents due to vertigo spells
  • Disability due to unpredictable vertigo
  • Progressive imbalance and deafness
  • Intractable tinnitus

Differential Diagnosis


Laboratory studies - No blood test is specific for Meniere’s disease but to exclude obvious metabolic disturbances, infections, or hormonal imbalances:

MRI of the brain - Should be done to rule out abnormal anatomy or mass lesions. Specifically, acoustic neuromas or other cerebellopontine angle lesions, multiple sclerosis, or Arnold-Chiari malformations, also can be ruled out. Note that mass lesions rarely are found but are important to exclude.

CT scan of the brain - They are done to detect possible dehiscence of the semicircular canals, congenital abnormalities, widened cochlear and vestibular aqueducts, and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Audiometry - It is particularly helpful for documenting present hearing acuity and detecting future change.

Management - 

  1. Vestibulosuppressants
  2. Diuretics and diuretic-like medications
  3. Steroids
  4. Aminoglycosides
  5. Histamine agonists
  6. Endolymphatic sac decompression or shunt
  7. Labyrinthectomy

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!


Ask a free question

Get FREE multiple opinions from Doctors

posted anonymously

Book appointment with top doctors for Meniere's Disease treatment

View fees, clinc timings and reviews

Treatment Enquiry

Get treatment cost, find best hospital/clinics and know other details