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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Meniere's Disease


These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Meniereís Disease
Question: My discomfort began some time ago. As I watched a movie, I had to leave the theatre before the end of the film due to difficulty in watching the screen and my head was feeling heavy. As I reached home, I felt even more unbalanced. I had to stand and walk slowly for about four hours in order to try to regain some balance, discomfort prevented me from either sitting or lying down. I thought I had a heart problem. My blood pressure was regular (110/70 vs. my usual 125/80), but my pulse was low (~45-50). I had some feeling of nausea though I did not vomit. Actually, I could not eat because biting just a piece of bread gave me a strong headache on each side above the jaw. I finally managed to sleep around midnight, keeping my head high with several pillows. The next morning, I went to the hospital, my heartbeat was still slow but an ECG test showed no particular irregularity. A blood test did not show anything unusual but I still had this strange feeling of losing my balance. Two doctors I met mentioned to me Meniere's disease as a possible explanation for my problem. I rested for a couple days, then went to my office. I found it relatively hard to concentrate and I often had this feeling of vertigo again though not as strong as initially felt the previous Saturday. The feeling was particularly strong during or after meals and lasted Thursday and Friday. I check Meniere's disease characteristics on the Internet and found that I had several of the symptoms (vertigo, feeling of nausea, strong weakness) but did not suffer from any hearing loss, tinnitus or sensation of fullness. If I have the Meniere's disease, I would be incapable of telling on which ear it might be. My questions are:

  1. Do you think I might have the Meniere's disease?
  2. How can the Meniere's disease be diagnosed?
  3. Can you recommend any good doctor in Hong Kong or in Asia ?

Answer: Maybe, but, why is your pulse so low? Two usual possibilities , one is hypothyroidism and the other is intrinsic heart disease. Menieres is a diagnosis of symptoms, but, I wouldn't rush here because it is basically untreatable so a medical blind end (possible, but,doesn't help you). Can't help on the doctors.

Meniereís Disease
Question: I suffer from this disorder and have had surgery twice. I still suffer from its symptoms. Are there any new developments that you are aware of in the treatment of this disorder?

Answer: No - this is a very frustrating condition. Usually nothing is of any use.

Meniereís Disease
Question: My mother is going to South America in the Spring and she is concerned about taking anti-malaria drugs because she has Meniereís Disease. Do you know how the medications will effect her?: Which medication would you recommend her to take?

Answer: Although these drugs can cause vertigo, she will not know if she has this side effect until she takes the medicines. I would recommend a trial of the medications while she is at home to see if she has any vertigo.

Herbal Therapy
Question: An friend of mine was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease. The following drugs are prescribed: - 1) Stugeron 2) Klorpo 3)Tryptanol 4) Stemetil I only know that Stemetil is basically to reduce giddiness, what about the purposes of the other three drugs in treating the illness? I understand that gingko is often prescribed by doctors for Meniere's Disease. What is the safe & effective dosage recommended? Since Gingko is a natural product, would there be a possibility of an overdosage?

Answer: These are not prescription drugs; but herbal remedies. I really am not an expert on herbal remedies. In general, there is no medical treatment for Meniene'e Syndrome. Gingko is used to treat the vertigo and may have some effect. There does not appear to be much toxicity involved with the use of this drug.

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