Anyone who has ever suffered from vertigo can tell you how uncomfortable and disorienting the experience can be. When a person has Meniere’s disease, vertigo is one of the primary side effects. The condition can be uncomfortable to the point of feeling disabling and may affect a person long-term of for life. If you have been diagnosed with Meniere’s disease and require home healthcare services, reach out to United Energy Workers Healthcare to learn more about whether or not you qualify.
What Is Meniere’s Disease?
Meniere’s disease is a condition that is characterized by recurring episodes of vertigo, which refers to a spontaneous spinning sensation that can last for minutes or hours; hearing loss; ringing in the ears; and a feeling of fullness in the area, often characterized by a feeling of pressure (Mayo Clinic 2018).
Who Gets Meniere’s Disease?
Meniere’s disease is a complicated condition, in large part because the exact cause of Meniere’s disease is unknown. While the condition is related to the improper and abnormal amount of fluid in the ear, why this occurs isn’t fully understood. That being said, factors that may increase the risk of developing Meniere’s disease include hereditary/genetic factors, abnormal immune response factors, a viral infection, or improper fluid damage.
Complications for Meniere’s Disease
While Meniere’s disease is not fatal, episodes of hearing loss and vertigo can be very difficult to live with, leading to discomfort, temporary disability, and stress. Sometimes, the condition can be linked to depression from the stress of dealing with the disease.
How Is Meniere’s Disease Diagnosed?
Rather than using a blood test or any sort of imaging test, which are usually necessary when diagnosing other conditions, Meniere’s disease will be diagnosed primarily through an assessment and a review of your conditions. In order to be diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, a patient must have had at least two episodes of vertigo lasting for 20 minutes or longer, verified hearing loss (a hearing test will be conducted), tinnitus, and the lack of any other explanation/illness that could be causing these problems, such as exposure to a very loud sound. While blood tests won’t be used to diagnose Meniere’s, as stated above, they may be used to rule out other problems that could have similar side effects.
Treatment for Meniere’s Disease
While no cure exists for Meniere’s disease, a person who is diagnosed with Meniere’s disease can treat their symptoms and, in most cases, live a very high-quality life in spite of having the condition. There are medications for vertigo that can be used to alleviate nausea and motion-sickness that are associated with the condition. There are other non-medication therapies that a person may consider that can help, too, including the use of a hearing aid, physical therapy to help with balance issues that arise after a bout of vertigo, and positive pressure therapy, which is a unique type of therapy that focuses on applying pressure to the middle ear to help reduce the buildup of fluid.
In very severe cases of Meniere’s disease, surgery may be required (MedlinePlus 2016).
Living with Meniere’s Disease
In addition to working with a doctor to explore different medications and treatment options that may help to alleviate conditions, those who are suffering from Meniere’s disease often also benefit from seeking psychological services to help them cope with the stress that can accompany the condition.
During an episode of vertigo, there are certain things that a person can do to help manage symptoms in the moment. These include sitting or lying down (which is also the safest way to deal with an episode of vertigo), resting during and after an attack, and being aware that vertigo might mean a decline in balance, even after the attack is over. As such, using a cane or another walking device may help.
Learn More About Home Healthcare Services
Meniere’s disease, while not fatal, can be very uncomfortable and challenging to live with. In some cases, having Meniere’s disease may prevent you from being able to participate in everyday activities, and could preclude you from working normal hours or maintaining a job. If you have been diagnosed with Meniere’s, you may need extra care and support.
At United Energy Workers Healthcare, we provide high-quality, free home healthcare services to those who qualify through EEOICPA/RECA programs. If you want to learn more about these programs and the conditions that qualify, please reach out to our team directly for more information and assistance navigating the home healthcare system.