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Meniere's Syndrome
December 2003

Q. I have Meniere's Syndrome and have several questions. Is it possible, while having attacks, to run a low-grade fever? Why is Meniere's misdiagnosed as inner ear infection with flu symptoms? What is the difference between vestibular neuronitis and Meniere's? Are upper respiratory problems related to Meniere's, since it has to do with ears and drainage?

A. Meniere's syndrome is characterized by hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing), and attacks of vertigo, a severe form of dizziness or sensation of spinning. The cause is not known. The symptoms can be attributed to some disturbance of fluid flow in the inner ear which helps us control balance.

Meniere's affects men and women equally and usually begins between ages 20-50. The first step is to confirm the diagnosis so that treatment options are clear. This often involves some imaging studies such as an MRI of the brain to look for problems such as an acoustic neuroma, a tumor on the nerve for hearing. A neurologist or ENT doctor may be consulted on this possibility. Fever is not a common feature of a Meniere's attack. Vestibular neuronitis is a term used to describe a temporary case of vertigo that resolves without affecting the hearing. Such episodes are often associated with acute respiratory symptoms.

http://www.familydoctor.org/handouts/096.html

http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/balance/thebasics_menieres.asp

http://www.vestibular.org/sgs.html

http://www.entnet.org/meniere.html

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