The inner ear is made up of two main parts: the Cochlea that is used for hearing, and the Labyrinth which is used for balance. Both of these parts are interconnected and are filled with endolymph; a fluid that is continually produced and reabsorbed by the ear so that it constantly remains at the same level. In Ménière’s disease, the fluid is not reabsorbed as swiftly as it is produced and this leads to a build up of pressure within the ear.
Symptoms of Ménière’s Disease
Ménière’s disease is characterised by a range of symptoms:
- Vertigo is a common symptom; when the world seems to spin and balance is affected
- Low frequency hearing loss can occur, when low-pitched sounds become more difficult to hear
- Tinnitus – a high pitched ringing or buzzing in the ears
- Pressure or fullness within the ear itself
It should be noted that in many cases only one of the symptoms is present, quite often the tinnitus aspect. Moderate or severe tinnitus is common in cases of Ménière’s disease and in the later stages the sounds may consist of more than one perceived noise and vary in frequency and volume.
What causes Ménière’s disease?
The cause of Ménière’s disease is not fully understood, but factors that may contribute to the disease include:
- Abnormal immune response
- Viral infection
- Head Trauma
- Genetic Predisposition
How to treat Ménière’s disease
Your doctor or ENT specialist can prescribe medication which can make attacks less severe and occur less frequently, and may be able to suggest treatment to assist with balance. In some cases surgery to the inner ear can reduce the build up of the fluid and hence reduce some of the symptoms. For the tinnitus aspect you may be referred to a special clinic or treatment centre.
Can you claim compensation for Ménière’s disease?
Essentially it depends on how the condition was brought on; if you can prove that it was due to head trauma caused at work, or in a situation where you were not to blame, then it is possible that you could make a claim for compensation. The easiest way to find out is to contact one of our solicitors today; they have a great deal of experience in these cases and will swiftly be able to tell you if you have a claim to make.