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"What is M?ni?re's disease?"
My teenage son was having strange episodes of dizziness and vertigo, so we took him to a doctor where they diagnosed him as having Meniere's disease. They said that we'll have to wait to see if it gets worse, if I understood right. What is Meniere's disease? Why would it get worse?
Meniere's disease is a disorder of the inner hear particularly a structure called the semicircular canal. It causes episodes of vertigo, hearing loss, ringing in the ears, and sense of pressure within the ears. It is thought to be caused by an increase in fluid or pressure within the inner ear structures. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Meniere's disease and thus it must be treated symptomatically. Patients are often encouraged to eat a low salt diet which can reduce the amount of fluid in the semi-circular canal. Diuretic such as Furosemide can also help lower this fluid level. During an attack, drugs such as meclizine can help reduce nausea which is often the most difficult to deal with symptoms. I suggest you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician, or whomever gave your son the diagnosis of Meniere's disease. Write down all you questions prior to going so that you are sure not to forget to ask something. Ask about his specific prognosis, what symptoms to watch out for, treatments he may need now or in the future, and dietary changes that can help symptoms. Also ask if you should have him see a specialist such as an ENT doctor or neurologist.
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