Ear Institute : Meniere’s Disease

Assessment

Reporting a good history of your symptoms to your otologist and audiologist is an important component to differentiating Meneire’s from other causes of vertigo. It is important to remember that vertigo is a symptom and not a diagnosis. Many disorders of the ear share similar symptoms and differentiating between them can be difficult without a clear representation of how the symptoms present in each patient.

Meniere’s disease is characterized by fluctuating episodes of vertigo. These episodes may be separated by days, months, or years. They can last anywhere from minutes to hours at a time and will often be accompanied by fullness, noises in the ear, and hearing loss. It is common for patients to report that their hearing returns once the vertigo has subsided.

Patients who present with symptoms similar to those described above will often undergo a series of evaluations of both the auditory and balance systems. This is may include:

  • Audiogram – a test of hearing and auditory function
  • Electrocochleography (EcoG) – a test of the inner ear fluids
  • Videonystagmography (VNG) – a test of the balance organ specific to rotational movement
  • Rotational chair testing – a test of the balance organ specific to rotational and linear movement
  • VEMP – a test of the balance organ specific to nerve function and linear movement

Goebel, J. (2001). Practical management of the dizzy patient. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Philadelphia, PA.