The House Center for Ménière’s Disease Research is dedicated to understanding the natural history of Ménière’s disease and furthering research into resources and treatments for individuals living with this disease.
About Ménière’s Disease
Ménière’s disease is a condition of the inner ear characterized by repeated attacks of severe dizziness and vertigo, sensorineural hearing loss and hearing fluctuation, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). It is estimated that Ménière’s disease affects approximately 615,000 individuals in the United States, with 45,000 newly diagnosed cases each year. Although it can develop at any time, it is more likely to affect individuals between 40 and 60 years of age.
The underlying cause of Ménière’s disease remains unclear. Several theories include allergies or other autoimmune factors, abnormal inner ear structure, vestibular migraines, viral infections, and genetics. The symptoms associated with Ménière’s disease can be debilitating. While there is not yet a cure, most individuals living with Ménière’s can find relief of vertigo through diet, drugs, assistive devices, or surgery. There has never been an effective treatment found to improve or stabilize the symptom of hearing loss associated with Ménière’s, other than the use of hearing aids or assistive devices in those patients who have serviceable hearing. While these treatments do currently exist, research surrounding the cause and innovative clinical treatments are necessary to improve the lives of those living with Ménière’s disease.
Understanding the Natural History of Ménière’s disease and Treatments
We hope to build a prospective database of patient data examining efficacy of treatment modalities to improve quality of life.
Implementation of Continued Data Collection
Several surveys assessing severity of Ménière’s symptoms are well-established. The Center aims to utilize these in conjunction with a new questionnaire created by HIF researchers to collect data from clinicians and patients at the Center and across the country.
Apply Research Findings to the Process of Clinical Care
Our goal is to provide a platform for Ménière’s patients to access resources and educational materials. As the symptoms associated with Ménière’s are “invisible”, it is common for a Ménière’s disease diagnosis to be delayed or incorrectly identified, as hearing loss, hearing fluctuation, vertigo, and tinnitus often present at different times. A lack of knowledge regarding Ménière’s can make it difficult for both patients and healthcare providers to understand the limitations associated with Ménière’s disease. To help raise awareness and further patient care outside of the clinic, the Center will distribute educational tools and resources to healthcare providers and patients, as well as their families and caregivers.