Meniere’s Syndrome by David Kelly
Meniere’s is a disorder of the inner ear that is also known as idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops. This condition causes increased hydraulic pressure within the inner ear endolymphatic system. Excess pressure accumulation in the endolymph can cause symptoms including:
- Fluctuating Hearing Loss
- Tinnitus or Ringing in the Ears
- Aural Fullness
Although Meniere’s disease can affect people of any age, people in their 40s and 50s are more likely to experience it. This condition is considered to be chronic and there is no cure, but there are various treatment strategies that will minimize the effect on your life and relieve symptoms. Symptoms vary, some will experience many attacks over several days, and others will have an isolated attack every once in a while. To diagnose the disease, you must have tinnitus, hearing loss and vertigo more than once. Symptoms usually begin with the feeling of pressure in the ear, followed by tinnitus, hearing loss and vertigo. These episodes will last anywhere from 20 minutes to four hours. People with Meniere’s will generally experience episodes in clusters with long periods of remission.
How can Vestibular Physiotherapy help?
Meniere’s is a condition of the vestibular system, and just like any system, if we stress it, it can improve it’s function. If comparing it to the muscular system, when you strain or tear a muscle, we stress the muscular system with loading the tissues, which improves the muscle and helps it become stronger. The vestibular system is no different. When we stress it, we can see improvement in balance, gait, and coordination. This is where vestibular physiotherapy can be beneficial.
We will take a thorough subjective examination to understand the background of the issue and the effects the pathology is having on the day to day life of the patient. Objectively the patient will undergo some balance and gait testing so we can develop a baseline measurement. From here we will develop and exercise program mainly based around balance and coordination to stress the vestibular – ocular system. Including exercise such as balancing while moving your head from side to side, using stable and unstable surfaces. This over the course of a number of weeks is progressively made harder as the patient adapts and improves.
If you are experiencing vertigo, ringing in the ears or hearing loss, you can contact us on 091-569706 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or book online with any of our Chartered Physiotherapists at galwaybayphysio.ie.