Meniere’s Disease (also known as endolymphatic hydrops) is the result of a fluid imbalance in the inner ear. Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease include vertigo, sensitivity to loud sounds, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), temporary or permanent hearing loss, and fullness/pressure in the ears. Severe attacks can include nausea, vomiting, and an increased risk for falls. Attacks can be sudden and last for several hours.
Steroid Injection for Meniere’s Disease
Steroids are a powerful anti-inflammatory medication when placed in the ear in small doses. When used in Meniere’s Disease, a steroid injection reduces the frequency and severity of vertigo attacks. Approximately 87% of patients experience such improvements according to the results of medical studies.
The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes. First, patients lie down flat on their back on the examining table with head turned so that the affected ear is facing up. Our ENT physicians perform the procedure with the aid of a special type of microscope. Some physicians apply a medicine directly on the eardrum to numb it before the procedure. Next, a needle is inserted through the eardrum into the middle ear. The needle contains a small amount of a steroid (dexamethasone) sometimes mixed with a small amount of lidocaine for numbing. The injection fills the middle ear.
What happens after Steroid Treatment for Meniere’s Disease?
After the procedure, patients will lie down flat on their back on the examining table with head turned so that the treated ear is facing up. Typically, patients remain in this position for 15 to 30 minutes. (This time varies based on physician preference.) Finally, a cotton ball is placed in the treated ear.
The ear should be kept dry for 24 hours (no swimming or direct shower spray to the head or ear). Mild discomfort, gurgling, popping, and moisture in the ear canal following the injection are common, temporary sensations. Patients typically notice improvements with their symptoms within 2-3 days.
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