What is Meniere’s Disease and What’s the Best Way to Treat it?

What is Meniere’s Disease and What’s the Best Way to Treat it?

Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes vertigo, tinnitus (that buzzing or ringing sound in the ear), and loss of hearing. 

In particular, Meniere’s disease affects a part of the inner ear called the labyrinth. The bony labyrinth structure consists of three organs – the vestibule, the semicircular canals, and the cochlea.

Under normal conditions these organs are bathed with a special kind of fluid that is responsible for sending signals to your brain about balance, hearing, and movement.

When too much of this fluid clogs up these tiny inner ear organs, Meniere’s disease symptoms occurs.

This condition can occur at any age but most often affects younger and middle aged adults. Despite the cause of Meniere’s disease being unknown, there are effective treatments you can utilize to relieve your symptoms and reduce the chances of it having a long term impact on your life. In this article, we will review the common signs of Meniere’s disease and explore the best way to treat it!

Sign of Meniere's Disease include:

Tinnitus – this is when you hear an annoying buzzing, whistling, hissing, or ringing sound in your ear.

Vertigo episodes – A sensation where you feel like the world around you is spinning or moving. You may also feel lightheaded with a loss of balance.

Feeling of fullness in your ear – this can be caused by fluid build up in your ear.

Problems with balance and movement

Although Meniere’s disease causes are unknown, it is known that it causes poor fluid drainage in your ear and therefore an abnormal amount of fluid in the ear.

The causes of this fluid build-up can sometimes be caused by:

  • Viral infection
  • Genetics
  • Blockage which results in improper fluid drainage

Check out this post from BeActive Physiotherapy and Wellness to learn more about Vertigo (Read the caption)

How do you treat Meniere's disease?

You should always consult with your doctor when you suspect you may have Meniere’s Disease. The following are some of the treatment options they may present to you:

1.) Meniere’s Disease Diet

Part of Meniere’s disease treatment is adhering to a low sodium diet. This is because foods that are high in salt can increase your water retention which can contribute to the increase of fluid in the inner ear. Additionally reducing the intake of these substances can be helpful:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Coffee 
  • Sugary foods like table sugar, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, chocolate, candy, etc.

These substances are known to constrict your blood flow which can worsen symptoms. Slightly altering your diet can significantly help reduce the symptoms of Meniere’s disease!

2.) Medication Prescription

Your doctor may recommend or prescribe you with different types of medication to help with the symptoms of Menier’e disease. Some of these medications include:

Motion sickness drugs – These can help the with the spinning sensation you get during vertigo episodes. They also help with nausea, and vomiting during vertigo. A Common prescribed drug for this is Serc (betahistine dihydrochloride).

Nausea Medication – These help manage symptoms during acute attacks (i.e. Gravol)

Diuretics – drugs that reduce fluid retention in your body.  

3.) Physiotherapy

If you experience vertigo symptoms like dizziness and imbalance issues then vestibular exercises can help. Your doctor may refer you to a vestibular physiotherapist who can identify any impairments causing these symptoms and prescribe a treatment plan to improve them.

One of the most effective treatments of BPPV, courtesy of Aquatic Centre Physiotherapy


This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurts and discover whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a physiotherapist or chiropractor on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation on this session is to find out whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

Frequently Asked Questions

While there is no cure for Meniere’s disease, you can manage the symptoms with Physiotherapy, medications, and diet modifications.

Yes! Maintaining proper water intake helps flush sodium out of the system. If there is an increase in circulating sodium, it can increase fluid retention leading to the symptoms of Meniere’s disease.

Excess caffeine intake can cause vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels) and reduced blood flow to your inner ear which can make your symptoms worse. 

About Taylor Sipos

Taylor is a physiotherapist at The Orthopaedic Therapy Clinic located in Toronto, Ontario. He treats patients with various musculoskeletal conditions using patient education, exercise therapy, manual therapy and acupuncture. His treatment philosophy involves giving his patient’s the means to self-manage their injuries. He does this through reassurance, education and health promotion. Taylor uses the same principles as a patient educator at Pain Hero. He aims to provide you with high-quality, easy to understand information to teach you about your condition and how to improve it.

Medical Disclaimer:

The information presented in this blog post is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, treatment or a diagnosis, consult with a medical professional such as one suggested on this website. The Clinic Accelerator Inc. and the author of this page are not liable for the associated risks of using or acting upon the information contained in this article.

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