Improving diagnosis of Meniere’s disease

This post was written by Mike on February 23, 2016
Posted Under: General Information on Meniere's Disease / Syndrome

Audiologist proposes new method to diagnose Meniere’s disease

diagnosis of Meniere's diseaseThe diagnosis of Meniere’s Disease is almost a misnomer as stated on the main website Menieres-Help.Com for the simple reason Meniere’s is an idiopathic condition and diagnosis involves basically recording the symptom the sufferer has and discounting anything more sinister such as tumors.

A short extract from the main site explains this as such:

Diagnosis of Meniere’s is really confirming only that you have a set of symptoms that the doctors do no know the origin of. The standard acceptance of Meniere’s is what the medical profession quote as being a “triad of symptoms”. Those being: Dizziness, tinnitus and hearing loss.

If you only have one of these symptoms usually the doctors will not diagnose Meniere’s. Dissiness and tinnitus have many causes. Several of which can be side effects of prescription drugs. What the doctors are actually diagnosing you with is an idiopathic set of symptoms that are grouped together under the label “Meniere’s”.

No clinically proven definitive cause has been accepted yet, but as discussed elsewhere on this site, everything has a cause. Nothing happens for no reason and the cause or causes for your symptoms can be found and dealt with. This takes some effort on your part because once you have been diagnosed, your doctor is telling you he or she doesn’t know your cause and will only attempt to “treat” the symptoms. You can find your cause(s) and deal with them but will have to look elsewhere for professional help. Click here for more details on this.

Because the exact cause of your symptoms are unknown before diagnosis, it is really important to get a correct diagnosis. In order to rule out other problems, a very detailed history and physical examination will be required. Several tests using technology will also be carried out. You can read in more detail here.

Dr. Wafaa Kaf, professor of audiology in the communication sciences and disorders department at Missouri State University is seeking to improve diagnosis of the condition.

“There are two challenges with this disease,” said Kaf. “We can’t diagnose it as early as we want because current diagnosis is only based on clinical reports from the patient without the use of objective measures to confirm clinical diagnosis, and thus appropriate treatment isn’t offered soon enough. In addition, there is no known definite cause for it.”

overcome Meniere's disease

As an audiologist she comes from a perspective of concentrating on the hearing, or loss of it. She states:
“Meniere’s disease is a common disease of the inner ear affecting adults in their fourth decade of life. The disease is believed to be due to an abnormal increase in the amount of the inner ear fluid. If left untreated, this progressive disease may lead to deafness.”

There are two problems with these “assumptions” that conflict with the work we have done at Menieres Help for 12 years. Firstly, although it may be that the majority of people develop the symptoms of Meniere’s in midlife, we know it can strike at anytime and we have dealt with people as young as preteens or people in their old age. Meniere’s doesn’t seem to discriminate according to age or sex.

Secondly, “treating” the symptoms is the same old mindset that has gotten nowhere significant since it was first named in the 19th century. Without taking deafness lightly in any way, it can become the least of a sufferers worries once the full blown vertigo and drop attacks set in and the sufferer has live constantly with dizziness, brain fog, exhaustion and earsplitting tinnitus etc.

She also states above that “there is no known definitive cause for it”. There can not be a definitive cause for “it” because there are several possible causes for these symptoms that are lumped together with the Meniere’s label (it). These are the problems the suffer face. Contradicting views from Doctors and other health professionals who are “limited” in their view according to their specific area of expertise. It is almost never looked at in its entirety.

As always seems to be the case in modern medical culture the focus is always on treating the symptoms rather than looking at the root cause(s) and eliminating these causes from the sufferer’s life, therefore eliminating the symptoms altogether. If this is done and the sufferer no longer has the symptoms then “diagnosis” will automatically be that the sufferer no longer has “Meniere’s”. This is the contradiction of calling an idiopathic condition that we know without doubt can be cured through diet, supplementation and most importantly finding and dealing with the root cause(s) a “disease” and giving it a label (Meniere’s).

We know this from personal experience and the experiences of thousands who have contacted us at Menieres Help over the past 12 years. If you want to learn more about finding your root cause and eliminating Meniere’s from your life forever click here

That said, we must applaud Dr Kaf for her dedication to finding a definitive diagnosis.

Improving the diagnosis process

The current technique for objective diagnosis of Meniere disease is Electrocochleography, but Kaf knows that it lacks sensitivity to accurately detect Meniere’s disease in its early stage. She wants to improve the diagnosis process to understand the origin of the disease and its long-term effects.

Currently to test patients, an electrode is placed behind the ear and another in the ear canal. Clicking sounds will be presented to the patient’s ear via earphone and the system will record responses from the inner ear and the hearing nerve, which will be analyzed by an audiologist. The diagnosis is based on whether there is an abnormally large response from the inner ear compared to the hearing nerve response.

“My research is to modify the current technique to allow it to detect the disease earlier by presenting the click sounds at faster rates of up to 500 clicks per second,” said Kaf.

She explained that this increased speed is a stressor to the inner ear and the hearing nerve similar to a doctor putting a patient with heart condition on a treadmill while undergoing an echocardiogram (EKG). The stress during an EKG allows physicians to detect early dysfunction of the heart. In Kaf’s research, the modification to the current measure has the potential to detect Meniere’s disease and distinguish it from other inner ear or nerve lesions.

Click Here to Get Managing Meniere’s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free
Click Here to Get The Need for Balance – Dealing with the Causes of Meniere’s

You can read more about Dr Kaf’s research and volunteer for her study here

Read also:

How to overcome Meniere’s disease

Autoimmunity as a cause of Meniere’s disease

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