Meniere's disease

B A Woodworth, P C Fitzpatrick, G J Gianoli
Journal of the Louisiana State Medical Society: Official Organ of the Louisiana State Medical Society 2000, 152 (7): 314-9
Meniere's disease is an idiopathic disorder of the inner ear characterized by the syndrome of endolymphatic hydrops, episodic vertigo, fluctuating hearing loss, tinnitus, and aural fullness. People with this disorder may be severely disabled. Medical therapy exists in the form of diuretics and dietary restriction of salt to minimize the fluid pressure in the labyrinth and cochlea. Treatment of allergies with desensitization and steroids has also shown to be effective in selected patients. Surgical therapies exist in two categories, conservative and ablative. Endolymphatic sac decompression with or without shunt placement remains highly effective and we feel that it should be the first line surgical therapy for patients who fail medical therapy. Ablative therapies include labyrinthectomy (medical or surgical) and vestibular neurectomy. Both of these procedures control the episodic vertigo by destroying vestibular function in the affected ear and should be reserved for patients who have persistent vertigo in spite of more conservative treatments.

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