There is now new hope for many of those living with Meniere’s disease and the tinnitus that is so often a part of it.
A new drug currently in trials shows promise for relieving the symptoms of the disease. Could you be one of the thousands to benefit in the near future?
What is Meniere’s disease?
Experts estimate that approximately 45,500 people are diagnosed with Meniere’s disease each year. It is a disease that targets the inner ear causing frustrating symptoms such as:
- Tinnitus (otherwise known as ringing in the ear or buzzing in the ear)
- Loss of balance
- Hearing loss
- Vertigo (may be accompanied by nausea and similar associated symptoms)
- A feeling of fullness in the ear
People in their 40s and 50s are most at risk for developing Meniere’s disease, and it generally affects just one ear.
While the exact cause is still unknown, theories include inflammation, changes to the fluid of the inner ear, autoimmune disease, and even genetics.
Regardless of the cause, the symptoms of Meniere’s disease, such as tinnitus, can have a serious impact on daily life for those affected. A new drug fast-tracking its way through the FDA’s approval process may help change that for thousands.
Relief in sight
Sound Pharmaceuticals, based in Seattle, maybe changing everything for those with Meniere’s disease. Instead of managing the disease with just diet, diuretics and steroids, sufferers may soon be able to take the drug SPI-1005 to help minimize the tinnitus and reverse the hearing loss that so often goes hand-in-hand with the disease.
Because there are currently no other options available, SPI-1005 has qualified for the Fast Track Designation as it goes through the FDA’s new drug application process. This fast-tracking could mean relief for thousands that much sooner!
While the promising new drug that would be taken orally is not yet available, Sound Pharmaceuticals, hearing healthcare experts, and those living with Meniere’s disease are hopeful that approval is right around the corner.
Tinnitus isn’t just a symptom of Meniere’s disease. This ringing or buzzing in the ears affects approximately 15% of the population. It has also been linked to anxiety and depression.
Though there is no cure for tinnitus yet, there are several treatment options now available to help manage its effects including:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Designed to help individuals reframe negative thoughts into neutral or positive thoughts.
- Sound therapy – Uses low-level white noise or specific sounds to help reduce the sound of tinnitus.
- Relaxation Therapy – Uses strategies to reduce stress, such as deep breathing and guided relaxation exercises.
- Mindfulness – Often combined with other therapies, mindfulness meditation is proving a powerful tool for managing tinnitus.
- Alternative Treatments – While research is limited, many choose alternative approaches such as acupuncture, hypnosis, and supplements to help manage tinnitus.
If you believe you have tinnitus, contact our office to schedule a hearing evaluation or work with your hearing healthcare provider to manage symptoms and maintain your physical, emotional and, mental health with tinnitus.