Facts About Meniere's Disease
Meniere’s disease is a chronic disease of the inner ear characterized by vertigo, low frequency hearing loss, and ringing in the ears. Other symptoms may include fullness in ears and nausea. These symptoms can lead to a reduced postural control which can cause falls, especially in the elderly.
It is a disorder of the inner ear which is thought to be caused by increased pressure in the endolymphatic system. This increase of pressure causes an abnormal amount of fluid in the ear which affects balance. It is unlikely for there to be an increase in pressure without some destruction of the hearing function.
There is no known medical cure for this chronic disease. The prevalence increases with age peaking between 40-60 years of age. Risk factors include having a family history of this disease, preexisting autoimmune disorders, allergies, trauma to the head and/or ear.
Treatment includes dietary changes, medication, surgery, and other noninvasive forms such as chiropractic care or a hearing aid. Dietary changes, such as a low sodium diet, are the most widely accepted and used method for managing this disease. It is also recommended to avoid caffeine, smoking, alcohol and large quantities of chocolate because these are known to exacerbate the symptoms.
Evidence has been found linking upper cervical vertebral subluxation and Meniere’s Disease. There have been several reports documenting physiological improvements to patients with Meniere’s Disease managed with upper cervical chiropractic adjustments.
Chiropractic adjustments reducing the structural shifts that obstruct nerves associated with vertebral subluxation may help those suffering with Meniere’s Disease.
Case Study on Meniere's & Chiropractic
The 68-year-old woman in this study had Meniere’s disease for eight years. Each episode would begin with a continuous roaring in her left ear which would lead to 5-8 hours of crippling vertigo and vomiting. The vomiting occurred every three weeks up to eight hours each episode. She also had severe dizziness and neck pain. She had lasting difficulties up to 2-3 days after an episode where she could not walk alone. Medical dietary restrictions did not help her.
The chiropractor examined her and found structural shifts in her upper neck. She had postural changes and tight muscles in her neck. X-rays and MRI confirmed these findings. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.
Following upper cervical chiropractic care, her Meniere’s disease resolved. She did not have any more episodes of dizziness, vomiting, or vertigo. She reported that she was 95% better.
The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in patients with Meniere’s disease.
The Successful Health Outcome of a Meniere’s Disease Patient Following Orthospinology’s Upper Cervical Chiropractic Procedure to Reduce Atlas Subluxation: A Case Report & Review of Literature. Tyler Steward DC & Nathan Berner DC. Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research ~ Volume, 2020.