Lola’s elderly mother, Maria, had been complaining of ringing in her right ear and seemed to be having trouble hearing on that side. She had also had a few mild episodes of vertigo. Then, one day, Maria had a case of vertigo that was bad enough to send her to the emergency room. The doctor diagnosed her with Meniere’s disease. Lola had never heard of it and was uncertain how it would affect the care her mom needed. The doctor encouraged her to learn more about the disease so that she would know what to expect and how she could ensure her mother stayed safe when dizziness occurred.
An Overview of Meniere’s Disease
Meniere’s disease is a condition that affects the inner ear and causes vertigo, a kind of dizziness that feels like the person is sitting still while the room spins around them. There’s no cure for the disease, but there are treatments that can help to ease the symptoms.
Doctors don’t know just what causes a person to develop Meniere’s disease. It typically begins when a person is in young adulthood or middle-aged. However, it can strike at any age, even into old age. The symptoms of Meniere’s disease are likely caused by having too much fluid in the inner ear, but doctors don’t know what causes the excess fluid to build up.
The abnormal fluid amounts are probably the result of a combination of things, such as:
- Poor fluid drainage.
- Abnormalities in the body’s immune response.
- Infection from a virus.
Meniere’s disease causes a variety of symptoms. The most troubling of them, especially for older adults who are already prone to falls, is vertigo. Episodes of vertigo occur intermittently and last from about 20 minutes to several hours. The older adult might also feel nauseated because of the vertigo. Other symptoms include:
- Hearing loss that can last for a while and then get better. As time goes on, most people who have Meniere’s disease end up with permanent hearing loss.
- A sensation of ringing in the ear, called tinnitus. It may also sound like buzzing, roaring, whistling, or hissing.
- Pressure or a feeling of fullness in the affected ear.
If your older family member has Meniere’s disease, senior care can help them to deal with the symptoms. Because vertigo can lead to a dangerous fall, a senior care provider can help your aging relative when they need to move around, such as to go to the bathroom. Senior care providers can also take older adults on outings, so they don’t need to worry that an episode will begin when they are in public, making them unsafe.
If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Sedalia, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.