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ask: How long do Meniere's attacks usually last

I fell last year and hit the back of my head and neck pretty hard on ice. Since that time I have been having inner ear problems. I feel they are somewhat aggravated by allergies but I have been suffering from vomiting and vertigo whenever I get an attack. My attacks seem to come on about once a month and last off and on for several hours. I am at a loss as to what I can do or not do to prevent an attack since I do not know what causes one. An ENT diagnosed me with Meniere's disease about 2 months ago but I have been dealing with this problem for about a year. I lost 75% of my hearing in one ear and have constant tinnitus. Usually before an attack the back of my neck gets tight and stiff and feels heavy and my ears feel clogged.

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Anonymous

I have had Meniere's off and on for 17 years. This latest attack has lasted 2 months, and still going. I have had episodes last up to 4 months. I have been so bad that I couldn't get out of bed and couldn't drive. This time around the severity is in bed at night, when I get out of bed or in the shower. I have been to 3 different ENT's and they all have told me the same thing. I will go away on it's own, but could take Antivert, or Valium to help with the problem. Also told me once I got it, I would get it again.

February 16, 2011 - 4:36pm
Pat Elliott

Hi Angela - Good for you in getting another opinion! I hope the meeting goes well and you get the help you need. Yes, the allergies could be impacting your ears as well as the sinus area. I would suggest that you look at the various options available to you and discuss them with your ENT who will also have additional knowledge from working with others in your geographic area and from the results of being able to physically examine you. Obviously you don't want to lose any more hearing and you'd like to get back to the more "normal" life you had before the fall. It may help to take a written list of topics and questions to your appointment so you can make the most of the time there which is usually very limited.

I was inspired by your question, and a couple of other similar ones that came in recently, to look into this further, and learned about specialized physical rehabilitation programs, offered by physical therapists, that help people with Meniere's and other balance disorders. You may also want to look into this type of treatment program too.
http://www.empowher.com/news/herarticle/2010/04/14/dizziness-disorders-n...

Let us know how the ENT visit goes, and your thoughts. There's a lot of information you need to absorb in order to be able to advocate for your own health.
Best, Pat

April 14, 2010 - 5:23pm
Pat Elliott

Hi Angela - Thanks for reaching out to us to learn more about Meniere's disease which is a disorder of the labyrinth in the inner ear. This is a system of cavities and canals in the inner ear that affects hearing, balance, and eye movement. Meniere's is a medical disorder which requires diagnosis and treatment or the condition will worsen. You'll find information on the symptoms, causes and treatments for Meniere's disease on the EmpowHER reference page: http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/menieres-disease#definition

From the information you've given, it appears as if you may have developed Meniere's when you were injured last year, have a recent diagnosis, but do not have a treatment plan and are trying to treat yourself? Is that correct? It's important to get the right treatment, otherwise you could lose the rest of your hearing. If you need assistance in locating a physician we would be happy to help. Just let us know where you live (city, state).

The reference page includes links at the bottom to organizations which can help you in understanding this disease and your treatment options, including http://www.menieres.org/ where you can connect with other patients. You're not alone in coping with this, and help is available. Will you let us know what you decide to do? We wish you the best. Pat

April 13, 2010 - 6:09pm
chattyqueen (reply to Pat Elliott)

Pat, I did see an ENT who specializes in Menieres but was not happy with him. I am going tomorrow to see my regular ENT and see if he can help in any way. I have severe allergies as well and am wondering if this is making matters worse. I am sure it doesn't help because my allergies affects my ears. What treatment, if any, do you know of that is beneficial. The ones I read about are pretty scary and I do not want to get my nerve severed by surgery, etc. Those measures are too drastic for me. I am just very depressed because I felt fine up until my fall. Thanks for your response.

April 14, 2010 - 3:39pm
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