What is Ménière’s disease?
Ménière’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes severe dizziness (vertigo), ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear. Ménière’s disease usually affects only one ear.
Attacks of dizziness may come on suddenly or after a short period of tinnitus or muffled hearing. Some people will have single attacks of dizziness separated by long periods of time. Others may experience many attacks closer together over a number of days. Some people with Ménière’s disease have vertigo so extreme that they lose their balance and fall. These episodes are called “drop attacks.”
Ménière’s disease can develop at any age, but it is more likely to happen to adults between 40 and 60 years of age. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that approximately 615,000 individuals in the United States are currently diagnosed with Ménière’s disease and that 45,500 cases are newly diagnosed each year.
Traditional Chinese Medicine/Acupuncture explains that Ménière’s disease is the result of three different conditions: Ascendant Liver Yang, Phlegm Dampness, or Deficiency of Qi and Blood. Ascendant Liver Yang will have the symptoms associated with Ménière’s disease, but also have restlessness, anxiety, depression or ruminating. Phlegm Dampness will have the symptoms associated with Ménière’s disease and also blurred vision, possible oppression of the chest, heavy limbs, palpitations, nausea and or vomitting. Deficiency of Qi and Blood, will have the symptoms associated with Ménière’s disease and in addition have decreased energy, insomnia, excessive dreaming. A person may manifest with some and not all of these symptoms.