Episodic auditory and vestibular disease characterised by sudden onset of vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus, and sensation of fullness in the affected ear. Earlier in the disease process, all symptoms may not be present.
The cause is unknown, but results in an over-production or impaired absorption of endolymph in the inner ear.
Diagnosis is made on clinical history and detailed audiological tests; other investigations may be required to exclude other causes.
Dietary changes and diuretics may control symptoms in early stages of the disease; specific medical therapies for vertigo control can be tried if required.
If symptoms persist despite maximal medical therapy, several surgical interventions are available.
Meniere's disease (MD) or Meniere's syndrome is an auditory disease characterised by an episodic sudden onset of vertigo, low-frequency hearing loss (in the early stages of the disorder), low-frequency roaring tinnitus, and sensation of fullness in the affected ear. Usually the terms are used interchangeably, but MD is commonly used if it is idiopathic (i.e., without known cause) and Meniere's syndrome if it is secondary to a number of known inner-ear disorders.  It is also called endolymphatic hydrops, because of the described pathological state observed on post mortem histological sectioning.  It is unclear whether this is a cause of symptoms or a result of the pathological process.
Ear Nose and Throat Associates of New York
SNG declares that she has no competing interests.
Professor Emeritus of Audiology
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
New York University
Specialist in Forensic and Occupational Audiology
MHM declares that he has no competing interests.
Associate Professor of Otology and Laryngology
Harvard Medical School
SDR declares that he has no competing interests.
Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
CJL declares that he has no competing interests.
Consultant ENT Surgeon
Leicester Royal Infirmary
PR declares that he has no competing interests.
Clinical Senior Lecturer & Consultant in Audiovestibular Medicine
University College London
DEB declares that she has no competing interests.
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