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Meniere’s Disease: What’s Causing It and Self-Care Tips

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Meniere’s Disease is a disorder of the inner ear that is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Vertigo
  • Tinnitus
  • Abnormal headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hearing loss
  • A feeling of congestion in the affected ear
  • Sweating

Meniere’s often starts by affecting only one ear. Over time, the other ear may be affected too. Those suffering from Meniere’s sometimes have drop attacks or the sudden falling to the ground while still conscious. Episodes of Meniere’s disease may persist anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours. The duration between episodes differs, and hearing loss and tinnitus may become constant if ignored. Meniere’s most often afflicts people between 40 and 60 years of age. Women tend to have it more often than men. It affects approximately 1 in every 1,000 people.

The Origin of Meniere’s Disease

In the early 1800s, people used to believe that the brain was causing this condition until Dr. Prosper Meniere discovered that the symptoms linked with the disorder were coming from the inner ear. He also established that it was a single disorder that included several symptoms. Eventually, his theory became widely accepted, and the name Meniere’s disease was coined.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and vertigo request our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.

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Possible Causes of Meniere’s Disease

Little is known about Meniere’s disease, including its exact cause, but it is often attributed to both genetics and environmental factors. Many theories are considered as to why it occurs, including:

  • Viral infections
  • Blood vessel constriction
  • Autoimmune reactions

About 10% of Meniere’s cases run in families. Symptoms are connected to an irregular build-up of fluid in the labyrinth and inner ear. A hearing test and discussion of symptoms with a doctore must be completed before a diagnosis is made. Other conditions that share the same symptoms with Meniere’s are vestibular migraines and transient ischemic attacks.

Self-Care Tips to Get Relief from Meniere’s Disease

There are no approved methods to prevent attacks from occurring. The first step to getting relief from Meniere’s is to ease each symptom. Prescription medications can be taken to stop nausea and anxiety. Other recommendations are listed below:

  • Maintaining a low-sodium diet
  • Corticosteroids
  • Diuretics to decrease fluid retention
  • Physical therapy to help with balance
  • Counseling to help with anxiety

Surgeries and Treatments for Meniere’s Disease

For severe cases, injections in the ear or even surgery are recommended by doctors, but only if all other options do not seem to work. These are last resorts due to the risks involved. Some of these risky treatments are as follows:

  • Surgery to decompress the endolymphatic sac. This includes implanting a shunt and removing the sac to reduce vertigo. However, there’s the risk that the shunts may displace. That’s why doctors only recommend using it when nothing else works.
  • Labyrinthectomy may also be done in cases with acute hearing loss and vertigo.  A drug is inserted into the ear to kill part or most of the vestibular apparatus. However, in most cases, hearing is almost always lost in the affected ear.
  • Tympanostomy tubes are put to those who have Meniere’s and eustachian tube dysfunction. However, studies found little evidence to support that they are effective in treating Meniere’s.
  • Vestibular neurectomy cuts the nerve to the part of the inner ear that controls balance. Through this procedure, hearing is preserved. It’s dangerous though as doctors have to cut open the lining of the brain. Hospitals require patients to stay for a few days after surgery to monitor progress.

Natural Ways to Control Meniere’s Disease

There are other steps you can take to manage your Meniere’s disease without taking medications. These ways can be done by changing some aspects of your lifestyle.  

  • Balance carbs and proteins: When carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars, the amount of insulin in your bloodstream surges. Protein, on the other hand, causes the body to release glucagon to regulate the amount of insulin.
  • Keep a low sodium diet: Having too much salt in the body can cause inflammation – a  top contributor to the onset of Meniere’s. By lowering your salt intake, fluid retention can be reduced.
  • Drink lots of water: This may seem ironic as we have mentioned getting rid of the excess fluid in the body. However, a virus, bacteria, or pathogen may be triggering the fluid build-up to occur. Drinking plenty of water flushes out the body and balances the water contained within.
  • Avoid inflammatory foods, sugar substitutes, and MSG: These foods are hard to digest and can cause inflammation and further problems. Aspartame and MSG have been reported to aggravate Meniere’s.
  • Avoid caffeine: Caffeine-containing fluids and foods such as coffee, tea, and chocolate have stimulant properties that may make your symptoms worse. Caffeine also makes tinnitus louder and triggers episodes.
  • Reduce the amount of stress in your life: Being exposed to stress increases your risk of getting an attack of Meniere’s disease that may extend for hours.  Manage your stress gracefully.

Correct Spinal Alignment Cures Meniere’s Disease

One underlying cause of Meniere’s disease that doctors are looking at is a misalignment in the top bones of the neck – the C1 and C2 vertebrae. A misalignment in this area puts the brainstem under pressure and causes it to send incorrect signals to the brain. It also impacts the nerve that connects the ear to the brain. This can be the culprit for the fluid build-up and the onset of Meniere’s.

A study observed 139 Meniere’s patients before and after they received care from an upper cervical chiropractor. All of them had prior trauma to their head or neck, such as whiplash or a trip and fall. Every one of these patients saw a significant improvement in their symptoms after having their neck bones realigned.

Here at Mountain State Wellness in Morgantown, WV, we use a very gentle method that does not require us to pop or crack the spine. Instead, we encourage the bones to realign naturally. Our patients report similar results as those in the above study. If you are looking for a natural way to relieve your vertigo or Meniere’s disease, give us a call today.  

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lucas Watterson or Dr. Amy Watterson call our Morgantown office at 304-292-7740 You can also click the button below.

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if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.


Four Common Causes of Vertigo, One Natural & Effective Solution

By / Vertigo / Comments Off on Four Common Causes of Vertigo, One Natural & Effective Solution

four-common-causes-of-vertigo-one-natural-effective-solution,Vertigo Treatment Morgantown WV, vertigo causes, feeling dizzy, causes of dizziness, what causes dizziness and lightheadedness, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo treatment, how to get rid of vertigo, vertigo symptoms, labyrinthitis, how to stop vertigoVertigo is the sensation that everything is spinning or whirling around you or that you are spinning while the world around you stands still.  Accompanying this sensation is often nausea, vomiting, and double vision. Vertigo is not a disease or condition all on its own. Rather, it is a symptom of many other health conditions.  If you are experiencing vertigo, it is important to dig beneath the surface of the symptom to figure out why.

How Does the Body Keep its Sense of Balance?

Your body has a complicated system it uses to maintain its sense of balance and orientation in space.  A properly functioning sense of balance is something most of us take for granted. When it’s working right, there’s no reason to ever really pay attention to it.  However, when vertigo strikes, it can often signal a problem in the vestibular system. There are several components to your body’s balance system:

  • Eyesight – information taken in through your eyes is processed by the brain that provides cues as to how you are oriented relative to the environment around you.
  • Muscles, skin, and joints – sensors in your muscles and joints called proprioceptors are sensitive to pressure and stretch.  When your body moves, it activates these sensors that allow your brain to understand where our body is positioned in space.
  • Vestibular system – the vestibular apparatus is located within each of your inner ears and is made up of two gravity-detecting organs and three fluid-filled semicircular canals.  The vestibular system provides sensory information about equilibrium, spatial orientation, and motion, particularly concerning head position.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and vertigo request our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.

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All of this information gathered by these components is sent to the brainstem, the part of your central nervous system that connects the brain within your skull to the spinal cord protected by your spinal column.  When everything works properly, the information is processed, and the necessary adjustments are made so that you can maintain your desired posture and stay balanced. Vestibular disorders occur when a problem arises in the way these signals are sent and received, and this can lead to vertigo.

Four Most Common Causes of Vertigo

  1. BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) – BPPV causes short bursts of vertigo that are associated with a change in head position, such as rolling over in bed.  Episodes usually last for a minute or less and can be accompanied by nausea or vomiting and abnormal eye movements called nystagmus.  BPPV occurs because a calcium particle that is normally embedded in one part of the inner ear migrates into another area where it doesn’t belong.  This disturbs normal balance signals and essentially tricks the brain into thinking you are moving. The Epley maneuver is commonly used to try and relieve symptoms.
  2. Meniere’s disease – Sometimes referred to as endolymphatic hydrous, Meniere’s disease can cause disabling bouts of vertigo.  There are other symptoms associated with the condition, including fluctuating hearing loss, ringing in the affected ear (tinnitus), and the sensation of fullness in the ear.  People ages 20-50 are most typically impacted. Those suffering from Meniere’s disease experience an excess of fluid within the inner ear either due to increased production or decreased reabsorption.  Episodes can last from an hour up to an entire day.
  3. Labyrinthitis – Labyrinthitis is a bacterial infection of the inner ear that can cause severe vertigo, loss of balance, and hearing loss.  People with labyrinthitis will commonly also have pain and fever. People who have had repeated otitis media (middle ear infection) or have perforated their eardrum may be at greater risk of developing this vertigo-causing condition.
  4. Vestibular neuronitis – The vestibular nerve, which helps to control balance, connects the inner ear to the brain.  Likely due to a virus, it can become inflamed and cause sudden, severe vertigo attacks. The condition usually lasts 7-10 days and the first vertigo attack is usually the most severe.

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Upper Cervical Care – A Natural Solution for Vertigo Sufferers

If you recall from above, the brainstem acts as a relay station for all of the balance signals obtained by the various parts of the body.  The brainstem is responsible for processing these signals and then relaying the appropriate response to the right place so that you can maintain your sense of balance.  Your brainstem is protected by the upper two vertebrae in your neck – the atlas (C1) and axis (C2) – as it exits from the base of the skull. These two small bones not only protect this critical part of your central nervous system, they also bear the weight of the head and provide it with the ability to move and turn in all directions.

Vertigo and the neck are connected.  In fact, many vertigo sufferers that come to see us can recall some type of head or neck injury in their past, ranging from a mild sports injury or car accident to a major incident.  Because the atlas is so freely movable, it makes it particularly prone to misaligning when an injury occurs. If the atlas is not properly aligned it can cause irritation to the brainstem, distorting normal brain-body communication as well as blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow.  This can be a contributing factor in the development of vertigo-causing conditions.

If you are dealing with any of these four most common causes of vertigo, then having your neck examined by an upper cervical chiropractor can be the first step towards getting to the underlying cause of the problem.  Upper cervical care focuses on this crucial area of the spine, and we are specially trained to provide the most precise adjustments possible for each individual patient. NUCCA care is extremely gentle, making it suitable for vertigo sufferers of all ages and conditions.  For more information and to see if our approach is a good fit for you, contact us for a complimentary consultation.

 

References:

https://vestibular.org/understanding-vestibular-disorder/human-balance-system

https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/ear,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/approach-to-the-patient-with-ear-problems/dizziness-and-vertigo

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lucas Watterson or Dr. Amy Watterson call our Morgantown office at 304-292-7740 You can also click the button below.

Schedule a Complimentary Consultation,Vertigo Treatment Morgantown WV, vertigo causes, feeling dizzy, causes of dizziness, what causes dizziness and lightheadedness, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo treatment, how to get rid of vertigo, vertigo symptoms, labyrinthitis, how to stop vertigo

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.