MENIERE'S DISEASE

Contents

WHAT IS MÉNIÈRE’S DISEASE?

Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear, affecting the vestibular system.

This condition causes episodes of Vertigo, dizziness, loss of balance, a feeling of fullness in the ear, tinnitus and sudden hearing loss. This is a chronic condition that usually starts after a physical accident, injuring the head or neck (80% of cases).

It then gradually builds up over time, usually affecting one ear and resulting in deterioration in hearing and quality of life for sufferers. Research shows the average time between the initial injury and the symptoms start is 15 years! This indicates that even an old injury, which may not seem important, may have been the initial trigger for the condition.

benign positional paroxysmal vertigo
benign positional paroxysmal vertigo

SYMPTOMS OF MÉNIÈRE’S DISEASE

The symptoms are caused by a fluid imbalance (endolymph) resulting in pressure in the inner ear. This liquid will stimulate parts of the balance control centres in the inner ear, disturbing their normal function and leading to symptoms like:

  • Vertigo attacks (dizziness with a spinning sensation)
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Buzzing, ringing or roaring in one ear
  • Hearing loss
  • Affected balance and hearing
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhoea
  • Depression

However, it is important to note that symptoms vary from person to person. Hence, it is important to be diagnosed at an early stage or as soon as possible. Your Meniere’s disease specialist may conduct a hearing test to identify the extent of your symptoms.

CAUSES AND TRIGGERS OF MENIERE’S DISEASE

There is no established cause for Meniere’s Disease in the medical field. However, it is safe to say that it is likely caused by a combination of factors.

For example, the majority of cases start after some physical trauma to the head or neck. This could be a car accident, fall on ice, fight, or even a sports injury. As a matter of fact, head and neck trauma has been reported by patients (either recently or in the past) for over 80% of sufferers. At the time, there may have been pain, or the accident may have appeared ‘harmless’. However, this injury often causes damage that worsens over time as the body degenerates.

Some recognised risk factors that specialists have noted include:

When stressed, the brain works harder on mental and emotional tasks. With this reduced capacity, there is less focus on maintaining the body’s healthy balance, including regulating liquid in the ear and maintaining proper nerve function.

Moving the head quickly will shift the endolymph liquid inside the inner ear. And when moving too fast, people with Ménière’s Disease may incur dizziness and Vertigo as they are more sensitive to the movements. This can also occur due to movements of the neck. If the neck movement pinches the nerves, it may stimulate a part of the inner ear, triggering a Ménière’s Disease attack. This is particularly likely if there has been a head or neck injury in the patient’s medical history.
Changes in weather and temperature have been reported by medical practitioners in Singapore as triggers of Ménière’s Disease attacks. This may be due to the weather affecting the liquid in the inner ear and the body not responding in time due to the imbalance already being present.
If the body doesn’t get adequate rest, the immune system will be weakened, and the body will not be able to heal itself efficiently.
  • Inflammation of the Subluxated Atlanto Occipital Articulation (where the skull attaches to the top of the neck) with swelling putting pressure on the adjacent middle ear structures
  • Ear infections
  • Traction of the cranial nerves
  • Cerebrospinal fluid flow problems
  • Irritation of sympathetic nerves
  • Viral infection
  • Congenital or genetic factors

Given the complexity of Ménière’s Disease, consulting a certified specialist is advised so you can take the best possible steps towards improving your condition.

Care for meniere’s disease in Singapore

Patients diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease often struggle most with unexpected episodes of Vertigo and the possibility of permanent hearing loss. While the use of hearing aids can counteract short-term hearing loss, the long-term effects of the disease may require you to make some lifestyle changes. Seeking care may help reduce fatigue and stress caused by the interruption of one’s daily life. Common relief methods amongst sufferers currently consist of medication, injections and possible surgery. However, to this date, medicine has not produced long-term relief. Most therapies only help with short-term symptoms or, in some cases, do not work at all. If the pressure remains on the sympathetic and cranial nerves due to the Atlanto Occipital Subluxation, the symptoms will return.

Endolymphaytic sac decompression

Endolymphatic sac decompression is a procedure that is performed by a specialist to reverse the damage of Meniere’s disease to the ear while maintaining a healthy balance in the patient’s hearing levels. The decompression procedure can be carried out on an outpatient basis or in an ambulatory surgery centre under general anaesthesia. It can help patients with Meniere’s seeking some form of Vertigo relief.

There are, however, risks associated with Endolymphatic sac decompression, such as the aggravation of vertigo attacks, further hearing loss and, in rare cases, tinnitus. Additionally, the effectiveness of the procedure can vary among individuals, and it may not provide complete relief for all patients. A thorough evaluation and consultation with a specialist are necessary to determine the suitability of endolymphatic sac decompression and discuss potential outcomes.

Exercises for Meniere’s disease

Ménière’s exercises can be performed to supplement care from your healthcare provider. It can also offer potential benefits in managing symptoms of Meniere’s and improving overall well-being. Other potential benefits may include improved balance, reduced dizziness and Vertigo episodes, and enhanced coordination and stability. These exercises can also promote better psychological coping and stress management. However, they will not fix the underlying inner ear problem caused by nerve compression in the neck (cervical spine).Therefore, be sure to consult your Upper Cervical Chiropractor before starting any new Meniere’s exercises.

Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy is an alternative procedure for those diagnosed with Vertigo, Meniere’s syndrome, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), dizziness, imbalance and migraines.

This form of therapy is often engaged to target secondary problems caused by vestibular nerve issues. It uses exercise and movements to relieve vertigo and dizziness. It is a way to retrain the balance system in order to reduce the severity and frequency of the problems experienced. However, it is important to consider the potential risks and limitations. In some cases, vestibular rehabilitation may not completely get rid of the symptoms associated with Meniere’s disease, and individual outcomes can vary. It also requires commitment and consistency to see significant improvements. Additionally, the exercises should be tailored to each individual’s specific needs and performed under the guidance of a trained healthcare professional to ensure safety and effectiveness.

When to visit a Meniere’s Disease Specialist?

Knowing when to visit a Meniere’s specialist is crucial for proper diagnosis and proper management of the condition. If you experience recurring episodes of Vertigo, accompanied by symptoms like hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and a feeling of fullness in the affected ear, it is advisable to seek medical attention immediately.

A Meniere’s specialist can also be considered for advice on the appropriate interventions and to conduct a thorough evaluation to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other potential causes of your symptoms. They may perform various tests, including hearing tests, balance assessments, and imaging studies, to gather information about your condition.

Additionally, if you have been previously diagnosed with Meniere’s but are struggling with uncontrolled symptoms, it is essential to consult a specialist for further evaluation and adjustment of your therapy plan. Prompt and appropriate care from a Meniere’s specialist can help manage the symptoms and prevent further aggravations associated with the condition.

Diagnosing Meniere’s disease

The current diagnosis for Ménière’s includes a medical history with 2 episodes of vertigo, hearing loss and a feeling of fullness in the inner ear. When signs and symptoms of vertigo appear, the first action your specialist may take is to take MRI or CT scans to exclude serious conditions, like a tumour in the inner ear.

An X-ray and Computed Thermography Nerve Scans should be taken for all Meniere’s cases to assess the upper neck for its condition and the presence of Atlanto Occipital Subluxation.

Most people with Ménière’s will experience some degree of hearing loss. Typically, patients have problems hearing low frequencies or combined high and low frequencies, with normal hearing in the mid frequencies. This fluctuating hearing loss may go unnoticed initially, leading to permanent hearing loss in the long run. Thus, the medical examination also includes a hearing test and certain balance tests to identify balance problems and stress of the inner ear and cranial nerves, such as Videonystagmography.

female chiropractor scanning female patient in singapore

Chiropractic care for Meniere’s disease

Chiropractors focus on the nervous system. In particular, Upper Cervical specific Chiropractors are specialists who specialise in the bones in the top part of the neck, known as the Occiput, Atlas and Axis. This is the location of the Atlanto Occipital Articulation, as mentioned above. Experienced in this field, you can be assured that your concerns and symptoms will be addressed when seeking the advice of an Upper Cervical Chiropractor.

This is demonstrated in research from the Burcon Institute, which shows some level of improvements in Meniere’s with Chiropractic intervention. In a study of 300 patients, 97% were able to get their vertigo under control within 6 weeks. Over the full course of the medical plan, there was over a 90% improvement in their symptoms.

If you are looking for Chiropractic interventions in Singapore, Vitality Chiropractic offers various services. At Vitality, our patients with Ménière’s have their symptoms addressed with Upper Cervical care, particularly in the frequency and severity of dizziness, episodes of vertigo attacks and the fullness of the inner ear. There is also the potential of seeing some form of improvement in hearing and tinnitus. With our experience with Meniere’s cases, you can be assured that we can address your concerns effectively.

Additionally, we specialise in Upper Cervical care, ensuring you have access to knowledgeable specialists who fully understand your condition.  Our NeuroPro method combines computed infrared thermography nerves scans and bio-mechanical x-rays. By leveraging the benefits of both scans, our team can address the problem and provide care for Ménière’s, enabling us to support patients with targeted therapies.

Our Specialist, Shaan, has undergone post-graduate work, has years of experience and has a history of helping patients suffering from Ménière’s symptoms.

chiropractor singapore treatment done by our doctor with a patient

FOLLOW UP STEPS

After receiving a diagnosis of Meniere’s Disease, it is important to follow up with appropriate steps to manage the condition. This includes scheduling regular follow-up appointments with a Meniere’s specialist to monitor symptoms, discuss any changes or concerns, and adjust therapy as necessary. It is also important to adhere to medication regimens, implement recommended lifestyle modifications such as a low-sodium diet and stress management techniques, consider participating in vestibular rehabilitation therapy, seek support from support groups, and undergo regular hearing and balance assessments. By following these follow-up steps, individuals with Meniere’s disease can manage their symptoms.

RISKS OF NOT ADDRESSING MENIERE’S DISEASE

Failing to address Meniere’s Disease can have significant implications for an individual’s daily life and long-term prognosis. Without proper management, the symptoms of Meniere’s, including recurrent Vertigo attacks, dizziness, hearing loss, and tinnitus, can severely impact one’s quality of life, making it difficult to perform everyday activities, work, or enjoy social interactions. The condition can also progress over time, leading to further deterioration of hearing and balance function. Additionally, ignored Meniere’s may result in increased frequency and intensity of Vertigo episodes, causing physical and emotional distress. Seeking timely and appropriate management is crucial to manage symptoms, minimise the impact on daily life, and potentially slow down the progression.

MENIERE'S DISEASE CHIROPRACTIC RATES

Here are the expected rates for Meniere’s Disease care services at Vitality Chiropractic centres.

discovery call
Included as part of our services
(10 minutes)
  • Jump on a call to discuss your concerns and determine if we are the right fit for you.

Consultation
$ 150
(60 minutes)
  • During the initial consultation, we will run a physical examination, postural assessment, and nerve system test.

Test Results
Included as part of our services
(45 minutes)
  • Our chiropractor will explain the findings and test results from the consultation. A customised care plan will then be developed for you.

Single Session
$ 90-130
(30-35 minutes)
  • We will perform a nerve scan and adjustment as needed. Re-examinations and rehab exercises might be implemented.

MEET OUR MENIERE'S DISEASE SPECIALISTs

Shaan is a GCC registered Chiropractor from London (UK) who graduated from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (UK). He has completed post-graduate studies and has been a decade of experience..

He founded Vitality Chiropractic Centres to open the first Upper Cervical clinic in Singapore.

He is the Alliance of Chiropractic (AOC) Vice President and Chairman for Outreach, organising events with People’s Association (PA) and other charities. Shaan has served thousands of patients, with experience in patients with headaches, migraines, vertigo, Meniere’s, whiplash, IBS and other chronic nervous system problems.

“You are always better off with a healthy nerve system than an unhealthy nerve system, regardless of symptoms” – Shaan

Jessey is a GCC registered Chiropractor from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), graduated from Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (UK). She has experience serving patients from 2 weeks old to 96 years old prior to moving to Singapore and joining Vitality Chiropractic.

She has completed post-graduate studies and is Singapore’s first female Upper Cervical Chiropractor.

Jessey is active in outreach, participating in charitable trips to Cambodia and within Singapore. Jessey has experience helping patients with headaches, migraines, vertigo, Meniere’s, slipped disc, anxiety, fibrillations, IBS and other chronic nerve system problems. She also has a special interest in children and younger patients.

“I am passionate about helping people kick-start their healing process and have a second chance at life” – Jessey

If you’ve been struggling with Ménière’s disease, call 8438 9550, email help@vitalitychiropracticcentres.com or fill in your information below to book your appointment.

OUR PATIENT REVIEWS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MENIERE'S DISEASE

The timeline for seeing improvements in symptoms for Meniere’s can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience relief within a few weeks or months with appropriate treatment, while others may take longer. It is important to work closely with a healthcare professional to develop a personalised therapy plan and regularly monitor progress to determine the effectiveness of interventions and adjust them as needed.

While chiropractic care can help with managing symptoms of Meniere’s, there are potential risks to consider. These may include temporary exacerbation of symptoms, discomfort during adjustments, and the possibility of adverse reactions to treatment. It is important to consult with a qualified chiropractor who specialises in Meniere’s to discuss the potential risks and benefits of chiropractic care and ensure proper evaluation and monitoring throughout the therapy process.

While there are no specific dietary guidelines for Meniere’s, certain dietary modifications may help manage symptoms. These include reducing sodium intake to minimise fluid retention, limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption, and avoiding trigger foods that may worsen symptoms. Additionally, maintaining a balanced and healthy diet can support overall well-being. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised dietary recommendations based on individual needs and medical history.

Meniere’s is a chronic condition, and while there is no cure, its symptoms can vary in intensity and frequency over time. In some cases, individuals may experience periods of remission where symptoms improve or resolve on their own. However, the progression and course of the disease can be unpredictable, and it is recommended to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and management. A healthcare professional can help develop a personalised therapy plan to manage the symptoms, even if the condition does not resolve completely on its own.

With proper management and lifestyle adjustments, it is possible to lead a fulfilling life with Meniere’s. Strategies for coping include maintaining a healthy diet, managing stress levels, getting regular exercise, avoiding triggers like excessive salt and caffeine, using hearing aids if necessary, and practising relaxation techniques. Support from healthcare professionals, support groups, and loved ones can also be beneficial in navigating the challenges of Meniere’s Disease and maintaining a positive outlook. By implementing these strategies, individuals with Meniere’s can optimise their quality of life and pursue their goals and aspirations.

Yes, there are specific exercises that can help individuals cope with Meniere’s. These exercises are often part of vestibular rehabilitation therapy and aim to address issues related to balance, dizziness, and overall stability. Common exercises include stabilisation exercises, balance training exercises, and habituation exercises. These exercises are designed to strengthen the vestibular system and help the brain adapt to the sensations of dizziness. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional or physical therapist specialising in vestibular rehabilitation to determine the most suitable exercises for individual needs and to ensure proper guidance and safety during the exercise programme.

Stress management techniques play a crucial role in reducing the symptoms of Meniere’s. This is because stress has been known to exacerbate the frequency and severity of Vertigo attacks. By implementing effective stress management strategies such as relaxation techniques, mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, and engaging in activities that promote relaxation and emotional well-being, individuals with Meniere’s can better manage stress levels. Reduced stress can contribute to a more stable vestibular system and help prevent the aggravation of other associated symptoms like Vertigo attacks, leading to improved overall symptom management.

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