Have you been diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease? If you have, you should consider seeing a vertigo chiropractor in Kelowna.

Meniere’s disease can be a debilitating condition that causes severe vertigo attacks, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), the feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear, and hearing loss that worsens over time.  What causes this set of symptoms is an abnormally large amount of fluid called endolymph that accumulates in the inner ear. It’s unclear why, in those who develop Meniere’s disease, endolymph collects in the inner ear, but theories include poor fluid drainage because of a blockage, genetic predisposition, an autoimmune reaction, or viral infection.

The Progression of Meniere’s Disease Symptoms

The symptoms of a Meniere’s attack can vary from person to person and affected individuals’ attacks may differ from one to the next.  Meniere’s disease symptoms may start out quite mild and then evolve to become more permanent and disabling. An attack can be preceded by a set of warning signs and symptoms:

  • A vague feeling of uneasiness
  • Increase in ear pressure or fullness
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Heightened sensitivity to sound
  • Feeling off-balance or unsteady
  • Headache
  • Neck pain and/or stiffness

Symptoms once an attack begins can include:

  • Fluctuating tinnitus and hearing loss in the affected ear
  • Sudden and severe vertigo attacks
  • Fullness and pressure in the ear
  • Nausea or vomiting (often as a result of vertigo)
  • Anxiety
  • Nystagmus (abnormal eye movements) or other vision changes
  • Rapid pulse rate

In the period following an attack, a Meniere’s sufferer is likely to feel exhaustion and extreme fatigue.  For some, months or even years may pass in between attacks. For others, they may be far more frequent. Because Meniere’s disease can be so unpredictable, it can make getting the proper care complicated.

Natural Solutions for Meniere’s Disease

If you’ve been diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, you’ve likely been offered or prescribed a variety of medications for both short-term and long-term symptom management.  Medications might include anti-nausea drugs, steroids, antibiotics, and diuretics. Whether you’re seeking out more natural methods of caring for Meniere’s disease because you’re concerned about the side effects of long-term medication usage, or you simply want to take a more holistic approach to your self-care routine, you might want to consider the following options:

  • Avoid unhealthy foods – a low-sodium diet will often be recommended to Meniere’s disease sufferers in order to reduce overall fluid retention in the body.  This can be a natural way to try and help reduce the fluid accumulation in the inner ear that causes pressure and the sensation of fullness.  Other dietary changes might also be beneficial, including the reduction or elimination of processed foods, additives (like MSG), and artificial sweeteners.
  • Eliminate bad habits – excess alcohol consumption and smoking are two bad habits that Meniere’s disease sufferers should try to kick.   Drinking too much can easily increase inflammation and potentially worsen symptoms. Smoking, aside from the risk to your lungs, increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases that can decrease the oxygen levels needed to keep your body’s tissues healthy.  
  • Equip yourself to cope with stress – increased stress levels can be one of the main culprits when it comes to Meniere’s attack triggers.  While stress is an inevitable part of daily life, learning to manage it better can prevent it from pushing you over the edge.  There are many methods and techniques you can explore: meditation, regular exercise, listening to music, breathing techniques, and socializing with friends can all help you to temper your stress levels and lessen your odds of an attack.
  • Upper cervical chiropractic care – there’s a growing amount of evidence that connects Meniere’s disease with a specific misalignment that occurs at the junction between the head and neck.  The atlas vertebra, or C1, bears the weight of the head but is also the most freely movable segment of the spine. This unique combination of factors makes it vulnerable to misaligning as a result of an injury or wear and tear.  An atlas misalignment can affect the inner ear due to its close proximity to it, and may also cause irritation to the vestibulocochlear nerve (the eighth cranial nerve) which branches off of the brainstem and carries signals that control hearing and balance.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Gets to the Root Cause

There is one thing that, whether they realize it or not, many Meniere’s disease sufferers have in common, and that’s some kind of past history of head or neck injury.  Because it takes years, sometimes over a decade, before the onset of Meniere’s symptoms, many people who are affected never connect the injury with their current condition.

Upper cervical chiropractic care is unique in that it is aimed at precisely and gently correcting the head/neck misalignments, called upper cervical subluxations, that may be triggering the collection of Meniere’s symptoms  As an experienced vertigo chiropractor based in Kelowna, British Columbia, we at Functional Spinal Care  take a thorough and detailed approach that gives individualized care to each of our patients. Based on measurements taken from specialized imaging, a customized adjustment is created specifically for that individual.  Because these corrections are so precise, they require very little force in order to accomplish a gentle, lasting correction.

If you are suffering from Meniere’s disease or from any other health condition that causes episodes of vertigo, then seeking out upper cervical chiropractic way may be the best natural means of regaining your quality of life.  As a result of their upper cervical correction, many Meniere’s patients have experienced a reduction in the severity and frequency of their symptoms.