Menieres disease is a disorder of the flow of fluids of the inner ear. It can cause severe dizziness, a roaring sound in your ears called tinnitus (ringing), hearing loss that comes and goes and the feeling of ear pressure or pain. It usually affects just one ear. It is a common cause of hearing loss.
The symptoms of Menieres disease are variable; not all sufferers experience the same symptoms. However, “classic Menieres” is considered to have the following four symptoms:
- Attacks of rotational vertigo that can be severe, incapacitating, unpredictable, and last anywhere from minutes to hours, but generally no longer than 24 hours. Prolonged attacks can occur, lasting from several days to several weeks, often causing the sufferer to be severely incapacitated. This combines with an increase in volume of tinnitus and temporary, albeit significant, hearing loss. Hearing may improve after an attack, but often becomes progressively worse. Nausea, vomiting, and sweating sometimes accompany vertigo, but are symptoms of vertigo, and not of Menieres.
- Fluctuating, progressive, unilateral (in one ear) or bilateral (in both ears) hearing loss, usually in lower frequencies. For some, sounds can appear tinny or distorted, and patients can experience unusual sensitivity to noises.
- Unilateral or bilateral tinnitus.
- A sensation of fullness or pressure in one or both ears.