What is Endolymphatic Hydrops (Meniere’s Disease)?
Endolymphatic hydrops is a condition in which the fluid balance in the inner ear is disturbed. This can occurs as a results of inner ear inflammation, trauma, or for unclear reasons. Endolymphatic hydrops resulting from unclear reasons is called Meniere’s disease.
How is Meniere’s Disease treated?
Hearing loss associated with Meniere’s Disease is nerve hearing loss, which cannot be corrected surgically. Hearing aids are typically the main treatment option. These devices now employ modern programmable electronics that make them function much better than older aids that are not programmable. Hearing aids typically allow patients to hear better and reduces the sensation of tinnitus. Patients whose hearing is so severe that hearing aids are not useful may be candidates for a cochlear implant.
Dizziness associated with Meniere’s Disease responds well to treatment with low salt diet, avoidance of triggering factors (e.g. stress) or treatment of triggering factors (e.g. allergy), and a diuretic medication. The few patients who do not respond well to these conservative treatments may undergo additional treatments. These include office procedures such as intratympanic steroid or gentamicin injection, and surgical treatments such as endolymphatic sac surgery, labyrinthectomy, and vestibular nerve section. Very few patients currently require surgical treatment due to the success of the office procedures.
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