Meniere's disease affects a small amount of the population, but recent studies by the Mayo Clinic suggest it may be more common than previously thought. Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes episodes in which you feel as if you're spinning (vertigo), have fluctuating hearing loss, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), and sometimes a feeling of fullness or pressure in your ear. It can affect one of both ears.
Meniere's disease can occur at any age, but it usually starts between the ages of 20 and 50. It's considered a chronic condition, but various treatments can help relieve symptoms and minimize the long-term impact on your life. (Mayo Clinic, 2015 and The American Hearing Research Foundation, 2012)
A recent study performed by SCNM second year resident Dr. Lauren Salisbury has shown traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture to be effective in the treatment of Meniere’s disease. In her study, Dr. Salisbury describes a case study where a patient reported a five-month history of Meniere’s disease caused by exposure to elevated temperatures. The patient had previously been evaluated by a neurologist as well as an ear, nose and throat doctor and was treated with conventional medicine which did not improve her symptoms.
Over a period of ten weeks, the same patient was then treated with a series of acupuncture treatments and traditional Chinese herbal medication, which completely resolved the majority of the symptoms. The patient no longer needed to take the medication previously prescribed by the neurologist, which had to be taken every six hours with little-no effectiveness.
Including holistic methods in treatment of conditions such as Meniere’s disease can vastly improve people’s lives. These treatments strive to eradicate the root of the problem, thereby eliminating the symptoms, and improving quality of life for the patient.
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