Meniere’s disease

Alternative Names

Hydrops; Endolymphatic hydrops

Definition of Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s disease is an inner ear disorder that affects balance and hearing.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The inner ear has fluid-filled tubes called semicircular canals, or labyrinths. The canals, along with a nerve in your skull, help interpret your body’s position and maintain your balance.


Attacks or episodes of Meniere’s disease often start without warning. They may occur daily, or as rarely as once a year. The severity of each episode can vary.

Signs and tests

A brain and nervous system (neurological) examination may show problems with hearing, balance, or eye movement.


There is no known cure for Meniere’s disease. However, lifestyle changes and some treatments can often help relieve symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome varies. Meniere’s disease can often be controlled with treatment.


Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/3/2010

Ear anatomy
Tympanic membrane

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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