Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s disease or Meniere’s syndrome is a condition in which there is an excess of fluid in the inner ear. The excess fluid disturbs the ear’s balance and hearing mechanisms and produces a range of symptoms, including vertigo (a form of dizziness); tinnitus (a ringing noise in the ear); fluctuating hearing loss; and a feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear due to fluid build-up.

Vertigo attacks usually occur in clusters, with periods of remission ranging from days to years; and can occur without warning or predictability.  As noted above, this vertigo is often accompanied by tinnitus, distorted hearing and pressure in the ear. In the early stages of the condition, hearing returns to normal levels following an attack; but as the disease progresses, measurable and permanent hearing loss occurs.

Meniere’s disease affects one in every 600 Australians. Most of those are diagnosed as having the disease in only one ear initially, but some people may go on to develop the disease in both ears.

Currently there is no known medical cure for Meniere’s. When Meniere’s symptoms cannot be managed by a combination of lifestyle measures and medication, medical devices or surgical intervention may be considered.

People with Meniere’s disease may experience increased distortion with their hearing aids, such that an optimally fitted hearing aid may not give them the speech understanding that would be expected from similar hearing levels in a non-Meniere’s patient. A dedicated speech test (which is different to a routine audiogram or hearing test) with and without the hearing aids will enable patients to understand the optimal solution for their hearing, such as if they should continue with hearing aids or should in fact consider a Cochlear Implant.

Some people develop ‘drop attacks’ or ‘Tumarkin crisis’ where they experience a sudden sensation of falling. Drop attacks are dangerous as they can happen anywhere and warrant surgical ablation of the balance or vestibular system. Surgical ablation may also be warranted if there is troublesome vertigo uncontrollable by other means and the hearing is also poor. Hearing can be given back at the same time as the ablative surgery by the means of a Cochlear implant, which tends to also be beneficial for tinnitus.

Further information can be derived from the following links:
Meniere's research update

Assoc Prof Mukherjee’s Meniere’s Disease Papers


  1. Kashizadeh A, Pastras C, Rabiee N, Mohseni-Dargah M, Mukherjee P, Asadnia M. Potential nanotechnology-based diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for Meniere’s disease. Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine. 1016/j.nano.2022.102599
  2. Smith C, Curthoys I, Plontke S, Menzel M, Mukherjee P, Wong C, Laitman J. Insights into inner ear function and disease through novel visualization of the ductus reuniens, a seminal communication between hearing and balance mechanisms. JARO Accepted June 2022
  3. Smith CM, Curthoys IS, Mukherjee P, Wong C, Laitman JT. Three-dimensional visualization of the human membranous labyrinth – The Membrana Limitans and its role in vestibular form. Accepted The Anatomical Record 2021.
  4. Misra S, Cheng K, Curthoys I, Wong C, Mukherjee P. 3D-reconstructions of Bast’s Valve and Membranous Labyrinth: Insights for Vestibular Implantation and Meniere’s Disease. Otology and Neurotology. 2021; 42 (10) :e1652-1660
  5. John N, Campbell J, Morris S, Mukherjee P. A Randomised Control Trial to evaluate a Novel 3D Animation for Patient Education on Menière’s Disease. Accepted AJO 2020
  6. Mukherjee P, Eykamp K, Brown D, Curthoys I, Flanagan S, Biggs N, McNeill C, Gibson W. Cochlear Implantation in Meniere’s Disease with and without labyrinthectomy. Otology and Neurotology. 2017;38(2):192-198
  7. Brown DJ, Mukherjee P, Pastras C, Gibson WPR & Curthoys IS. Sensitivity of the cochlear nerve to acoustic and electrical stimulation months after a vestibular labyrinthecomy in guinea pigs. Hearing Research 2016; 335: 18-24.
  8. Flannagan S, Mukherjee P, Tonkin J. Outcomes in the use of intratympanic gentamicin in the treatment of Meniere’s disease. Journal of Laryngology and Otology. 2006; 120 (2): 98-102

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