Meniere’s disease is a rare disorder of the inner ear that causes dizziness, vertigo and balance issues. The condition is usually present in one ear, and often leads to progressive hearing loss in that ear.
A Meniere’s disease episode may be preceded by fullness or aching, hearing fluctuation or tinnitus (ringing/buzzing) in one or both ears. Generally, in the early stages of Meniere’s disease, sudden episodes of vertigo, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, hearing loss, and sound sensitivity may occur. Episodes may last 2-4 hours.
Exhaustion is common after a severe attack, with some people needing to sleep for several hours.
Meniere’s episodes may occur in clusters – several attacks occurring within a short time. Sometimes weeks, months, or years may pass between episodes. Between episodes, most people are free of symptoms or only experience mild imbalance and tinnitus.
During later stages of Meniere’s disease, episodes may become less frequent or stop. However, balance problems, hearing loss and tinnitus may continue.