Over on Hearing Health and Technology Matters’ Dizziness Depot, Alan Desmond has been discussing Meniere’s Disease. He published a 10 part series in 2012 on this subject but decided it was time for an update. No it’s not going to take 10 parts. Maybe half as many. 🙂
The first part discusses the use of Betahistine as a treatment. Meniere’s Update #1 Betahistine. Betahistine is frequently used in the UK but is not approved by the FDA for use in the US. There has been one important study that has shown that while harmless Betahistine it probably does little to treat Meniere’s.
The second part of the series focuses on Diet and Diuretics. There is a lot of good information in this section. In the summary Desmond states “it appears the general sentiment is that it (a low sodium diet and diuretics) might help and it will do no harm.”
Part 3 discusses the use of the Meniette Device. I had a guest write about her experience with the Meniette device, you can read about it here. Desmond summarizes his write up saying, “the evidence keeps building that the Meniett device is a plausible idea, with little evidence of clinical effectiveness.”
Part 4 focuses on Endolymphatic Sac Surgery. I had Endolymphatic Sac Decompression surgery, you can read about my experience here. I was unfamiliar with some of what Desmond discusses in this section. I found it very interesting. I wish I had read it before I had my surgery. As he said in the last paragraph, “All of the procedures discussed have similar impact on control of vertigo symptoms, and that effect is not terribly different than the natural course of Meniere’s disease in patients that do not undergo any of the mentioned procedures.”
Part 4.5 Middle Ear Muscles and Meniere’s. This part talks about something I’ve never heard of before. It was mentioned in part 4, and it is expanded on here. There is a procedure where you sever certain muscles in the middle ear to control Meniere’s symptoms. You must read this part of the update to get a clear view of this procedure. It’s very interesting.
Part 5, discusses the Natural Course of Meniere’s Disease. So does it help to do destructive surgeries or would it be the same as the natural course of the disease? If you look at percentages it’s about the same. However, if you are having vertigo on a regular basis you are pretty desperate to do anything to stop it, so when a doctor tells you that a surgery may help, well you jump on it. I know I did. But I also know, in my case, that it didn’t really help in the long run. If you have Meniere’s in one ear, the chances are your symptoms will greatly reduce in 2 years and will mostly go away in 8 years. There is a small percentage where this is not the case, these people will continue to be symptomatic. This does not include patients who are bilateral.
Meniere’s Update Finale – In the finale Desmond discusses the proposed causes of Meniere’s, and goes into detail on the migraine variant.
I also read a new study comparing steroid injections to gentamicin injections in controlling attacks of severe dizziness, and preserving hearing loss. It found that steroid injections are equal in controlling vertigo without causing the hearing loss that gentamicin does. I found this study interesting. The study doesn’t mention that you may lose your balance function with gentamicin injections, it only mentions hearing loss as the destructive measure. Regardless, if intratympanic steroid injection are equal in controlling vertigo, then one would not need to resort to gentamicin injections. This is good news for me, as the next step we planned to take is steroid injections, if it didn’t work we were going to talk about gentamicin (again, if you’ve been reading this blog, you know we’ve discussed it before). This study changes that thought process. I do not see the need to even discuss gentamicin if it will not control vertigo any better than steroid injections.
I think I’m caught up on all things Meniere’s for today. I do think now might be a good time to give an update on me. Recently I’ve been having a lot more vertigo and over all dizziness. As the Summer went away so did my reprieve. I may be talking to my doctor about steroid injections soon, but right now I’m handling things okay. As I carry on, I’ll talk more about it.
How is everyone out there doing lately? Check in with me. 🙂