Meniere’s disease is a disorder that affects the inner ear. It causes severe dizziness (vertigo), ringing in the ear (tinnitus), varying degrees of hearing loss, and a pressure or pain in the ear. Generally, only one ear is affected. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 615,000 Americans have Meniere’s disease, with over 45,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Men and women are affected almost equally. The disease can occur at any age, but most cases occur in people in their 40s and 50s. The core cause of the disease is unknown, but it is thought that the symptoms of Meniere’s disease are caused by fluid build-up in the section of the inner ear called the labyrinth. This section of the ear is vital to control normal balance and hearing.
Information. Meniere’s disease is named after French physician Prosper Meniere. Meniere presented a paper to the French Academy of Medicine in 1861 that suggested the condition, later known to be Meniere’s disease, originated from damage to the inner ear. Before this, it was thought that the symptoms were caused by cerebral issues like those of epilepsy.