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Progression of symptoms of dizziness in Ménière's disease.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the progression of symptoms of dizziness in Ménière's disease (MD) by disease duration.

DESIGN: Prospective study of patients with MD. Patients were clinically examined, filled out a questionnaire concerning their symptoms, and were divided into 7 groups based on disease duration.

SETTING: Tertiary referral clinic.

PATIENTS: Sample of 243 consecutive patients with a definite diagnosis of MD who were referred to the vestibular laboratory. Disease duration varied from recent onset to 41 years.

RESULTS: No differences were found in frequency, intensity, or duration of vertigo attacks between the different groups. Patients who had MD for less than 10 years experienced less continuous vertigo than those who had MD for more than 20 years. Seventy-five percent of patients who had MD for more than 20 years considered their vertigo attacks severe and 36% still had attacks 1 to 4 times per week. Nausea associated with vertigo was most common among those with a long disease history.

CONCLUSION: Patients with MD can have severe symptoms of dizziness even after a 20-year disease history.

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