Now for Something Completely Different, Ménière’s Disease Vertigo Attacks
As some of you may know….
I own several horrible diseases that are quite disruptive to my life.
The focus of today’s post is Ménière’s Disease Vertigo Attacks.
Because today I’m having yet another Vertigo attack! Joy!
What is Ménière’s Disease ?
It is an Inner Ear Disease that causes Deafness, NEVER-ENDING Loud Tinnitus (Ringing in the ears), Vertigo Attacks, Dizziness, Nausea, Ear Pain….
Ménière’s Disease :
“Ménière’s disease is a chronic, incurable vestibular (inner ear) disorder defined in 1995 by the Committee on Hearing and Equilibrium of the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery as “the idiopathic syndrome of endolymphatic hydrops.” In plain language, this means that Ménière’s disease, a form of endolymphatic hydrops, produces a recurring set of symptoms as a result of abnormally large amounts of a fluid called endolymph collecting in the inner ear.”
“Experts aren’t sure what generates the symptoms of an acute attack of Ménière’s disease. The leading theory is that they result from increased pressure of an abnormally large amount of endolymph in the inner ear and/or from the presence of potassium in an area of the inner ear where it doesn’t belong. These conditions may be due to breaks in the membrane separating endolymph from the other inner ear fluid, perilymph. Some people with Ménière’s disease find that certain events and situations, sometimes called triggers, can set off attacks. These triggers include stress, overwork, fatigue, emotional distress, additional illnesses, pressure changes, certain foods, and too much salt in the diet.”
“Ménière’s disease may start with fluctuating hearing loss, eventually progressing to attacks of vertigo and dizziness.
Oncoming attacks are often preceded by an “aura,” or the specific set of warning symptoms, listed below. Paying attention to these warning symptoms can allow a person to move to a safe or more comfortable situation before an attack.
- balance disturbance
- dizziness, lightheadedness
- headache, increased ear pressure
- hearing loss or tinnitus increase
- sound sensitivity
- vague feeling of uneasiness
During an attack of early-stage Ménière’s disease, symptoms include:
- spontaneous, violent vertigo
- fluctuating hearing loss
- ear fullness (aural fullness) and/or tinnitus
In addition to the above main symptoms, attacks can also include:
- anxiety, fear
- blurry vision or eye jerking
- nausea and vomiting
- cold sweat, palpitations or rapid pulse
Following the attack, a period of extreme fatigue or exhaustion often occurs, prompting the need for hours of sleep.
The periods between attacks are symptom free for some people and symptomatic for others. Many symptoms have been reported after and between attacks:
- anger, anxiety, fear, worry
- appetite change
- concentration difficulty, distractibility, tendency to grope for words
- fatigue, malaise, sleepiness
- headache, heavy head sensation
- lightheadedness (faintness)
- loss of self-confidence and self-reliance
- nausea, queasiness, motion sickness
- neck ache or stiff neck
- palpitations or rapid pulse, cold sweat
- sound distortion and sensitivity
- unsteadiness (sudden falls, staggering or stumbling, difficulty turning or walking in poorly lit areas, tendency to look down or to grope for stable handholds)
- vision difficulties (problems with blurring, bouncing, depth perception, glare intensification, focusing, watching movement; difficulty looking through lenses such as binoculars or cameras)
Late-stage Ménière’s disease refers to a set of symptoms rather than a point in time. Hearing loss is more significant and is less likely to fluctuate. Tinnitus and/or aural fullness may be stronger and more constant. Attacks of vertigo may be replaced by more constant struggles with vision and balance, including difficulty walking in the dark and occasional sudden loss of balance. Sometimes, drop attacks of vestibular origin (Tumarkin’s otolithic crisis) occur in this stage of Ménière’s disease and are characterized by sudden brief loss of posture without loss of consciousness.”
I can tell you what a Vertigo Attack is like, and can also tell you that you NEVER want to get one!
1) It is like you are TOTALLY Drunk, combined with,
2) Stomach flu.
A HORRENDOUS combination!
It can happen anywhere at anytime!
I was crossing a very busy road a couple of weeks ago, and suddenly had an attack and almost fell over into oncoming traffic—I thought I was a dead man.
If you are alone when it happens, all kinds of shit can happen, and none of it very good!
If you are lucky, you will be at home when it happens, but there’s no negotiating with Vertigo or Ménière’s Disease.
It can take hours for the dizziness to fully go away.
It will definitely Fůçķ Up your day.
A day in the life of a Ménière’s Disease owner.