Ménière’s syndrome is a disorder caused by a small defect in the vestibular labyrinth, which essentially causes an unexpected change in the barometric pressure within the chamber from the side with the defect to the good ear.  As a result of this change in barometric pressure, information being delivered to the area of the brain responsible for posture and balance is different from one side to the other.  Whenever this occurs, the brain experiences what we refer to as a sensory mismatch.  When a sensory mismatch occurs, whichever side the brain listens to will be wrong with respect to the other side.  As a result, of this mismatch, the eyes are pushed away from the side of the defect and when they can be pushed no further, they snap back to the neutral position, only to be pushed back again, over and over.  We call this cycle nystagmus, and it is nystagmus that is responsible for the feeling of rotary movement commonly associated with Ménière’s syndrome. This sensation is in essence, vertigo. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop here.  As I said earlier, this area of the brain is responsible for posture and balance.  As a result of the constant feed of “bad” information during an episode of Ménière’s syndrome, those afflicted invariably begin to demonstrate imbalance associated with dysequilibrium.  If nothing is done to compensate for this, balance deteriorates over time and risk of fall becomes high associated with severe instability and imbalance.  Although Ménière’s syndrome is not treatable, it is manageable.  Management is done through dietary measures and dietary recommendations specific to Ménière’s syndrome patients is available on my website.  The imbalance and dysequilibrium secondary to Ménière’s attacks, is easily treated.  Individuals with Ménière’s syndrome should be on a schedule at minimum once per season for CAPS posturographic stability and fall risk assessment, which literally takes 20 seconds.  As soon as balance is noted to be at less than acceptable level, this can be quickly remedied using neurologic-vestibular rehabilitation, much of which can be done at home if properly advised.  Using this method of ongoing analysis and quick remediation, imbalance will no longer be an issue for long term Ménière’s syndrome patients.  If you or someone you know has Ménière’s syndrome, we invite you to our office for a free balance screen.  If you pass, we see you in three months time, also free.  If you fail, we can talk about a management plan appropriate to your needs.

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