Sunday, 6 December 2009

The lasting effects of Meniere's Disease.

Due to Meniere's Disease both my hearing and balance are permanently damaged in my affected ear.  I am lucky so far to only have this disease in one ear (there is a 50% chance I will one day develop it in my other ear).  My 'good' ear has taken over my hearing now and in most normal day to day activities I am able to participate in conversations and hear sounds around me, so you wouldn't notice that I am quite deaf in my left ear.  However, in some noisy environments I will struggle to hear someone talking to me if they are facing my 'bad' ear.  For instance walking down a busy street with someone on my left makes it almost impossible for me to hear what they are saying with traffic noise steadily on my right side.

This year with my many repeated attacks my hearing has worsened in my left ear.  The attacks have also made the balance damage on my left side a lot worse.  To be upright and walk my right side must have taken over.  (It's amazing how the brain can relearn and then compensate for damage.)  However, the balance damage leaves me feeling like I am moving sometimes, when in fact I am completely still (like getting off a boat and maintaining your sea legs).  It can be very unpleasant and often I am assessing whether I am actually moving or not by scanning my surroundings.

There was a period of a couple of weeks where I felt like I was moving almost non-stop (after going through some very awful balance tests, which I do not recommend at all - unnecessary and unneeded).  I was scared that I was going to remain in motion for the rest of my life.  Some Meniere's Disease suffers (usually those with MD in both ears) remain in constant motion.  Can you imagine that?  Feeling like you are constantly swaying nearly every minute of the day, whether you are moving or not.  A couple of weeks of it was enough for me.  And I felt motion sick with the constant movement.  I am so glad it resettled again and now I am back to occasionally feeling like I am in motion.  This happened to me when I was first diagnosed too and it did eventually cease altogether.  So I am hoping if the vertigo attacks continue to stay away maybe I will once again regain control of my balance.


Anonymous said...

I'm 32 and about three years ago I was diagnosed with Meniere's in the other my other ear. Now with bilateral Meniere's raising two kids and maintaining employment is driving me insane! Look forward to the good days and keep at it!

Tanya said...

Thanks. I hope it eases up for you soon!