By Mr. Lovedeep Kholia, Audiology
The ears are a set of engineering marvels. The three parts, namely- outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear work in conjunction to impart the sense of sound. The ears are tasked with a two-fold task to help people hear and maintain balance. People suffering from Meniere’s disease may suffer from both hearing loss and dizzying spells. It is a saving grace that the disease mostly affects one of the ears.
However, it is a chronic condition that usually develops at the start of adulthood. Nevertheless, there are some treatment options at the disposal of the Audiologist which can help cope with the fallout of this disease.
How an Audiologist Can Help With Meniere’s Disease?
With Hearing Aids
Hearing loss arising out of Meniere’s disease is different from other types of hearing loss. In this case, soft sounds appear feeble, but loud sounds appear very loud and painful. Hearing aids can help with such problems. The function of hearing aid in such patients is to tone down the sound for loud ones and amplify it for feeble ones. In a sense, the device tends to bring parity into hearing perception in both ears. Since one can hear clearly only when he or she has an equivalent sound perception in both ears, a hearing aid can help. An Audiologist can suggest the best set of hearing aids for specific people, since symptoms of the disease may be different for different people.
Another common problem often encountered by people suffering from Meniere’s disease is that they are unable to locate the source of sound. The process of locating the source of sound is carried out in the brain by analysing the differences between the sound inputs coming from individual ears.
However, people suffering from this disease often hear in one ear only. This gives the impression that the sound is coming from the side of the able ear. An Audiologist can help in this condition too by aiding the impaired ear. As the hearing aid improves hearing in the impaired ear, it helps to bring a semblance of balance in hearing between the two ears. This can help in the localization of sound.
With Medication for Vertigo
A hearing aid can bring a balance in hearing between the two ears, but the Audiologist also needs to treat symptoms of Vertigo. For treatment of Vertigo, Audiologists usually resort to medication. He or she can prescribe medicines for motion sickness as well as nausea. For motion sickness, he may prescribe medications that help bring down the sensation of spinning and also help control nausea and vomiting. If the doctor is not able to bring nausea and vomiting under control, the doctor may prescribe other medicines too.
There is hardly any cure for Meniere’s disease. However, an Audiologist can bring down the severity significantly with proper medicine and a compatible hearing aid. It is important to consult a renowned Audiologist for this disease.