Thanks for writing in.
I have gone through your history and would like to make the following comments:
Meniere's disease is diagnosed on the following criteria:
b. Fluctuating hearing loss
d. Fullness in the ear
There is usually nausea and vomiting, the hearing usually worsens during an attack and the tinnitus also worsens. Earache is not a usual symptom.
Meniere's disease should normally respond to a salt restricted diet, acetazolamide (diamox) and betahistine (Vertin).
You should get a PTA (Pure Tone Audiogram) to document any hearing loss. Meniere's disease usually causes low frequency hearing loss initially (Audiogram sloping to left).
Get a Tympanogram done to check middle ear pressures and Eustachian Tube function. If this Impedance Audiogram is normal, it may be Meniere's as it does not affect the middle ear.
If this Impedance Audiogram is abnormal, then a trial of medication should be taken for three to four weeks. If this does not work, a myringotomy with a grommet insertion may help. Steroid drops can be given for a longer duration through this ventilation tube.
A MRI Scan is usually advised in a patient of vertigo so as not to miss any major cause, one of which is an Acoustic Neuroma. I must emphasize that Acoustic Neuromas are rare and almost 99% of MRIs are normal. Acoustic Neuromas also have other symptoms depending upon their size. They are benign and extremely slow growing.
MRI Scans display anatomy and form, not function. The Eustachian tube is normally in a collapsed state. It can be voluntarily opened by yawning, swallowing, chewing gum, blowing your nose or performing the Valsalva maneuver. A Tympanogram and eardrum examination is more important.
If you do go in for an MRI, try a 3 Tesla Scan. It may pick up the subtle changes due to Meniere's disease in the inner ear.
If steroids have not controlled your Tinnitus and your middle ear is normal (no Eustachian tube dysfunction), then you may try Caroverine injectable or capsules.
Hope that this information helps and hope that you will get better soon.
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Dr. Sumit Bhatti