Find the latest information on COVID-19, monkeypox, and the flu vaccine
New to MyHealth?
Manage Your Care From Anywhere.
Access your health information from any device with MyHealth. You can message your clinic, view lab results, schedule an appointment, and pay your bill.
Ménière’s Disease Treatments
There is no cure for Ménière’s disease, but treatment can prevent attacks or reduce their severity. You may start with lifestyle changes or medications. Your clinician may also recommend treatments such as injections and surgery. Our vestibular balance disorder specialists are with you at every step to find a strategy that works and improves your quality of life.
- Specialized expertise in diagnosing and treating all types of vestibular disorders.
- Pioneering surgical and nonsurgical treatment options that require deep knowledge and skill not widely available.
- A collaborative team of vestibular disorder specialists that work together to provide complete, compassionate care.
- Clinical trials that offer eligible patients earlier access to the latest treatments for vestibular balance disorders.
- Comprehensive support services that give you the medical, emotional, and spiritual help you need to cope with severe vestibular balance disorders.
Connect to Care
Let us help find personalized care options for you and your family.
Interested in an Online Second Opinion?
The Stanford Medicine Online Second Opinion program offers you easy access to our world-class doctors. It’s all done remotely, and you don’t have to visit our hospital or one of our clinics for this service. You don’t even need to leave home!
Visit our online second opinion page to learn more.
Treatments for Ménière’s disease range from lifestyle changes to surgery. Our clinicians typically recommend noninvasive treatments first. If your symptoms continue, we will discuss more invasive steps. As your partner in care, we help you make the best decision for your condition and needs.
Lowering the fluid volume in your inner ear can help prevent attacks. Excess salt in your diet causes your body to retain fluid, which can build up in your inner ear. Your clinician may recommend a low-salt diet or a diuretic (water pill) to decrease fluid retention.
Some people report reduced episodes by limiting or avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and smoking. You can also prevent attacks by recognizing triggers such as emotional stress, fatigue, illness, or allergies. By avoiding your triggers and maintaining good overall health, you may have better disease control.
Your clinician may prescribe medications to use when you have an attack. These medications do not lower fluid pressure in your inner ear, but they do provide symptom relief. They include:
- Antiemetics to reduce nausea and vomiting
- Vestibular suppressants to reduce vertigo and anxiety associated with attacks
Medications can also help prevent and reduce the frequency of Ménière’s disease attacks. They include:
- Diuretics to reduce fluid build-up in the inner ear
- Migraine medications, due to the overlap of migraine and Ménière’s disease
Doctors may inject medications into the middle ear to treat Ménière’s disease:
- Steroids may reduce dizziness and are safe to use, but their effect varies.
- Gentamicin helps control vertigo but may cause permanent damage to the hair cells in the inner ear that help you hear and maintain balance. This damage may cause irreversible loss of balance and hearing.
We typically perform surgery when other treatments have failed and symptoms are causing severe disability. Surgical options for Ménière’s disease include:
- Endolymphatic sac operation: The endolymphatic sac regulates the volume and pressure of fluid in the inner ear. Doctors think Ménière’s disease may be due to compression of the sac. Endolymphatic sac operation removes bone from around the sac to reduce pressure.
- Labyrinthectomy: This surgery involves removing the inner ear’s vestibular system (semicircular canals and vestibule). A side effect of labyrinthectomy is hearing loss in the affected ear. Though highly effective, it is typically an option only for people who have already lost hearing in that ear.
- Vestibular nerve section: In this procedure, the surgeon cuts the nerve that sends signals from the semicircular canal to the brain. Doctors rarely use this procedure since it is not always effective.
You may benefit from a hearing aid if you have hearing loss from Ménière’s disease. Options include:
- Amplification devices that make the sound around you louder
- Implants, such as bone-conduction hearing devices and cochlear implants
Balance therapy is a specialized exercise program to help you improve your balance and manage vertigo and dizziness. A physical therapist teaches you exercises, such as:
- Balance retraining to help you adapt to imbalance and feel steadier
- BPPV exercises to move the crystals that cause BPPV out of your inner ear
- Habituation exercises, which teach your brain to ignore dizziness by exposing you to motions that typically cause you to feel dizzy
- Posture training to practice standing and sitting
- Stretching exercises to increase your flexibility
- Vision stability exercises to help you control your eye movements
- Walking exercises to practice maintaining your balance