Mnire's disease is a rare disorder that affects the inner ear. It can cause Vertigo , tinnitus , hearing loss , and a feeling of pressure deep inside the ear.

People with Mnire's disease usually experience some or all of these symptoms during sudden attacks, which typically last around two to three hours, although it can take a day or two for the symptoms to disappear completely.

It's worth noting, however, that the symptoms and severity of Mnire's disease vary widely from person to person. Some people may experience frequent attacks of vertigo along with hearing loss, while others may have severe tinnitus with minor vertigo. Other symptoms include sensitivity to sound (hyperacusis) or distorted sound.

See your GP if you experience any of the symptoms of Mnire's disease, so they can try to identify the problem and refer you to a specialist if necessary.

In the early stages, most people have sudden and unpredictable attacks of vertigo, accompanied by nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

The attacks of vertigo continue, but may come and goand become less severe. It's common to experience a loss of balance or dizziness before or after these attacks. Permanent hearing loss and tinnitus continue to develop and may be worse during attacks of vertigo.

During the later stages, the episodes of vertigo tend to occur less frequently andsometimes stop altogether over time. However, the tinnitus and hearing loss often become worse andyou may be left with permanent balance and hearingproblems.

Who is affected

In the UK, it's estimated that around one in 1,000 people have Mnire's disease.

Mnire's disease most commonly affects people aged 20-60 and it's thought to be slightly more common in women than men.

What causes Mnire's disease?

The exact cause of Mnire's disease is unknown, but it's thought to be caused by a problem with pressure deep inside the ear.

Factorsthat can increase your risk of developing Mnire's disease include a family history of the condition and a chemical imbalance in the fluid in your inner ear.

However, current treatments aren't able to cure the condition.

Possible treatments include:

  • medicines to treat the symptoms and prevent attacks
  • changes to your eating habits, such as a low-salt diet
  • balance training (vestibular rehabilitation)
  • relaxation techniques
  • surgery, in more severe cases

Anumber of different surgical proceduresmay be used to treat Mnires disease, depending on how severe the symptoms are and whether one or both ears are affected. However, the effectiveness of surgery isunclear and research is continuing.

The unpredictable nature of the attacks and the restrictions this can place on your activities can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression .

Your GP can offer advice and support if you're finding it difficult to cope with the effect Mnire's disease is having on your life. There are also a number of support groups, such as the Meniere's Society , that can provide assistance and advice.

This helps scientists look for better ways to prevent and treat this condition. You can opt out of the register at any time.

Find out more about the register .

Vertigo is the sensation that you or the environment around you is moving or spinning.

Tinnitus is the medical name for the perception of noise in one ear, both ears or in the head. The noise comes from inside the body rather than an outside source.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 5 Jan 2017