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What is the cure for Meniere's disease?

Q: I am a 36 year old female, suffering from meniere's disease for the last 8 years. Over the years it is aggravating. I have symptoms like severe giddiness and headache. What is the cure?

A:There is no definitive cure for Meniere's Disease. However, there is symptomatic treatment (treatment for the symptoms) but not for the underlying cause of the disease - which in still not known fully in the case of Meniere's disease. The symptoms can be lessened or managed by the treatment. Some patients are able to identify triggers that can induce or aggravate the symptoms. When a trigger is identified, then avoidance of that trigger can reduce (but not eliminate) the frequency and duration of symptoms and episodes. The triggers include:

  • Salt - Many patients experience attacks following ingestion of salty foods.
  • Stress - Although it is difficult to quantify, stress seems to play a role in Meniere's disease.
  • Caffeine - Caffeine seems to be a potent trigger for some patients.
  • Alcohol - Alcohol is a trigger for some patients.
  • Allergies - These are believed by many to have an as yet undefined role in Meniere's disease; perhaps as a cause, or as a trigger.
  • Menstruation and Pregnancy - Many (female) patients experience Meniere's symptoms during menstruation. Some patients report that their symptoms of Meniere's disease first appeared either during pregnancy or soon after delivery.
  • Orgasm - Some patients report that orgasm triggers their symptoms.
  • Visual stimuli - Many patients report that certain visual events, especially parallel vertical lines, will trigger dizziness and other symptoms. Examples of these include streets and highways lined with trees or telephone poles, some movies, etc.
  • Changes in barometric pressure - Many patients report that changes in atmospheric pressure can trigger symptoms. However, not all episodes of Meniere's disease can be attributed to triggers. Possible symptomatic treatments range from dietary and lifestyle changes to medications to outpatient surgery to intra-cranial (brain) surgery. Virtually every treatment (including placebo treatment) works to some extent for some patients; no single treatment works for all patients.

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