Meniere’s disease happens at any age but typically affects those between ages 20 and 50. It often affects only one ear, but is a chronic condition, and while it may disappear for long stretches, even years, it typically comes back at some point.
Signs of Meniere’s Disease
The symptoms of Meniere’s disease often occur gradually, but their impact on lifestyles and work can be debilitating. They include:
1) Recurring vertigo – Imagine yourself on a merry-go-round that stops and starts without warning, and you’ll get the idea of vertigo. Episodes during Meniere’s attacks can range from 20 minutes to 24 hours, and the severity varies from mildly annoying to causing vomiting and nausea.
2) Hearing loss – This can fade in and out in the early stages, but eventually becomes permanent in most cases.
3) Tinnitus – Imagine ringing, buzzing, roaring, whistling or hissing sounds in the ear, and you’ll have a good idea of tinnitus. Some people live with the condition, but others are emotionally upset by the inability to escape the sounds.
4) Fullness in the ear – This can manifest as a pressure in the ear or be felt on the side of the head.
5) Inability to focus – Because Meniere’s disease affects balance, the ability to pinpoint objects across a room can become distorted.