Avoid sudden movements, which may worsen symptoms. You may need help walking during attacks.
Avoid bright lights, TV, and reading during attacks. They can make symptoms worse.
Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or climb until 1 week after your symptoms disappear. A sudden dizzy spell during these activities can be dangerous.
Remain still and rest when you have symptoms.
Gradually increase your activity after attacks.
Symptoms of Ménière's disease can cause stress. Make healthy lifestyle choices to help you cope:
Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet. Don't overeat.
Exercise regularly, if possible.
Get enough sleep.
Limit caffeine and alcohol.
Help ease stress by using relaxation techniques, such as:
Progressive muscle relaxation
Your health care provider may prescribe:
Antinausea medicines to relieve nausea and vomiting
Diazepam (Valium) or motion sickness medicines, such as meclizine (Antivert, Bonine, Dramamine) to relieve dizziness and vertigo
You may need ear surgery if your symptoms are severe and do not respond to other treatments.
Surgery to cut the vestibular nerve helps control vertigo. It does not damage hearing.
Injecting steroids or an antibiotic called gentamicin directly into the middle ear can help control vertigo.
Removing part of the inner ear (labyrinthectomy) helps treat vertigo. This causes complete hearing loss.
Hearing aids may be needed for severe hearing loss.
Ménière's disease can often be controlled with treatment. Or the condition may get better on its own. However, Ménière's can be chronic or disabling.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of Ménière's disease, or if symptoms get worse. These include hearing loss, ringing in the ears, or dizziness.
You can't prevent Ménière's disease. Treating early symptoms right away may help prevent the condition from getting worse. Treating an ear infection and other related disorders may be helpful.
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Phillips JS, Westerberg B. Intratympanic steroids for Ménière's disease or syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Jul 6;(7):CD008514.
Post RE, Dickerson LM. Dizziness: a diagnostic approach. Am Fam Physician. 2010;82:361-369.
Pullens B, van Benthem PP. Intratympanic gentamicin for Ménière's disease or syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Mar 16;(3):CD008234.
Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Department of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.