Meniere’s Disease, Hearing loss, and Huey Lewis
The disorder of the inner ear, Meniere’s disease, can lead to hearing loss and vertigo (Dizzy spells). Although only one ear gets affected by Meniere’s disease, the possibility of both ears getting affected is not completely out of the question.
The disease is not age-specific, as it can happen at any age. But mostly, the disease occurs between young and middle-aged adults. The disease is considered chronic or stays for a long time.
But with the help of proper treatment, it is possible to relieve the symptoms and minimize its long-term impact.
Symptoms of Meniere’s disease
Here we list you some signs and symptoms associated with Meniere’s disease:
The problem related to hearing loss in Meniere’s disease is discontinuous. The problem can come or go. But in some cases, permanent hearing loss is also evident.
Recurring episodes of dizziness
The disease may give you a spinning sensation that can start anytime or stop spontaneously. The episodes of this spinning sensation or vertigo can happen any time without any prior warning. This usually lasts for 20 minutes to several hours, but less than 24 hours. You might feel nausea due to severe Benign Paroxysmal positional Vertigo (BPPV).
The feeling of fullness in the ear
The person suffering from Meniere frequently feels the pressure inside their affected ear, known as aural fullness.
Tinnitus (Ringing in the ear)
This problem is the perception of buzzing, ringing, whistling, roaring, or hissing sound in your ear.
All the above symptoms after completion of the episode can improve or sometimes completely disappear for a while. With proper treatment and over time, the frequency of the recurring episodes of symptoms may lessen.
Causes for Meniere’s disease
The main cause of this Meniere’s disease is currently unknown. After studying the symptoms of Meniere’s disease, the cause for the disease is assumed to be the consequence of the amount of fluid in the inner ear. Still, the proper reason for Meniere’s disease is unknown.
The reason for the collection of fluid in the inner ear that might contribute to this Meniere’s disease is
- Abnormal immune response.
- Viral infection.
- Improper drainage of fluid, maybe due to blockage or anatomic abnormality.
- Genetic predisposition.
The most difficult complication associated with this Meniere’s disease is the permanent loss of hearing and unpredictable episodes of dizziness/ Vertigo. This problem can interrupt your normal life and may cause you to be stressed and fatigued.
Due to spontaneous vertigo, you can lose balance, increasing your risk for accidents and falls.
With your medical history and some assessment, your doctor can diagnose you with Meniere’s disease. For diagnosis, your doctor requires
- Two episodes of dizziness/ BPPV that lasts for more than 20 minutes but less than 24 hours.
- Feeling of whistling, roaring, buzzing or hissing in-ear/ Tinnitus.
- Feeling of fullness in-ear.
- Exclusion of causes that may lead to similar symptoms other than Meniere’s disease.
To diagnose this disease, your doctor will conduct some assessments like
- Hearing assessment
- Balance assessment
- Test for a tumor in the brain or other causes.
Currently, there is no permanent treatment for this Meniere’s disease. But there are a present number of treatments. These treatments can help you get vertigo relief and will relieve the symptoms and reduce the severity and frequency of episodes.
Unfortunately, there is no treatment for hearing loss due to Meniere’s disease.
It was January 2018 when singer Huey Lewis was also found diagnosed with this Meniere’s disease. He was about to play a corporate gig in Dallas with his longtime band, the News.
” As I walked to the stage, it sounded like a jet engine going on.” He said in his interview. “I knew something was wrong; I couldn’t find pitch- distorted- nightmare. It’s literally noised. It’s a cacophony.”