11 Sep Meniere’s Disease
This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “Meniere’s Disease”. This topic has relevance in the Science and Technology section of the UPSC CSE exam.
About Meniere’s Disease?
GS 3: Science and Technology
Impact of Meniere’s Disease on Individuals?
Cure and Treatment of Meniere’s Disease?
Why in the news:
Recently, a celebrity fainted on stage due to Meniere’s disease.
Causes of Meniere’s Disease
Meniere’s disease is thought to arise from an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear, referred to as the labyrinth. This buildup of fluid can disrupt the normal transmission of balance and hearing signals between the inner ear and the brain.
Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease
- Vertigo stands out as the most prominent and recognizable symptom of Meniere’s disease. It manifests as a sudden and intense sensation of spinning or whirling, creating the perception that either the individual or their surroundings are in motion, even when they are not.
- Vertigo episodes vary in duration and severity and are frequently accompanied by nausea and vomiting. These episodes can be debilitating and may necessitate individuals lying down until they subside.
- Tinnitus: Tinnitus presents as a persistent ringing, buzzing, or roaring sound in the ears. It is a prevalent symptom of Meniere’s disease and can be both bothersome and distracting.
- Hearing Loss: Typically, hearing loss in Meniere’s disease initially affects low-frequency sounds and may eventually extend to higher frequencies as well.
Affected Population Characteristics
- Age of Onset
Meniere’s disease can manifest at any age, but it is most frequently diagnosed in individuals between the ages of 40 and 60. However, cases have been reported in younger individuals and, on occasion, in children.
- Rare Condition
Meniere’s disease is classified as a relatively uncommon condition. This rarity can pose challenges in diagnosis and management, as healthcare providers may have limited exposure to the condition.
- Genetic Component
Approximately 7-10% of individuals with Meniere’s disease have a family history of the disorder. This genetic connection implies that inherited factors may contribute to the development of Meniere’s disease in specific individuals.
Impact of Meniere’s Disease on Individuals
- Quality of Life: The unpredictable nature of vertigo attacks can disrupt daily activities, making it challenging to work, travel, or perform routine tasks without the constant fear of sudden dizziness.
- Emotional and Psychological Effects: Many individuals with Meniere’s disease grapple with anxiety, stress, and depression, particularly because they are often uncertain when the next vertigo attack might occur.
- Social Isolation: People with Meniere’s disease may experience social isolation. They may avoid social gatherings, public places, and even interactions with family and friends.
- Hearing Loss: Hearing loss is a prevalent symptom of Meniere’s disease, and it can profoundly affect an individual’s ability to communicate effectively.
- Financial Burden: Managing Meniere’s disease often involves ongoing medical appointments, treatments, and the purchase of hearing aids. These expenses can create a financial burden for individuals and their families.
Cure and Treatment of Meniere’s Disease
Lack of Cure: Meniere’s disease is a chronic condition for which, currently, there is no cure. Consequently, the primary focus of management revolves around alleviating symptoms and enhancing the overall quality of life for individuals affected by the condition.
- Dietary Changes: Dietary modifications, such as reducing salt intake, can be crucial in managing fluid retention within the inner ear and decreasing the frequency and severity of vertigo attacks.
- Medication: Medications such as anti-vertigo drugs and antiemetics can be prescribed to mitigate vertigo and alleviate nausea during episodes.
- Hearing Aids: For individuals experiencing hearing loss, hearing aids or cochlear implants can be highly beneficial.
- Surgical Interventions: These procedures are designed to address the buildup of fluid in the inner ear. Available choices comprise procedures such as endolymphatic sac decompression or vestibular nerve section.
- Emotional and Psychological Support: Seeking support from mental health professionals, such as counselors, can assist individuals in managing anxiety, depression, and stress related to the condition.
- Support Groups: Participation in support groups tailored to Meniere’s disease can provide individuals with a valuable sense of community and shared experiences
- Individualized Treatment Plans: Given the unique nature of each person’s experience with Meniere’s disease, treatment plans should be customized to address their specific needs and symptoms
Q.1 Which of the following statements is correct regarding Meniere’s disease?
- It is caused by a viral infection in the inner ear.
- Hearing loss in Meniere’s disease primarily affects high-frequency sounds.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Q.2 Which of the following statements is correct regarding Meniere’s disease?
- Vertigo is a common symptom of Meniere’s disease.
- Meniere’s disease can be cured with antibiotics.
- Tinnitus is a symptom of Meniere’s disease.
How many of the above statement/s is/are correct?
(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
Q.3 Rare diseases present a complex challenge to healthcare systems worldwide. Analyze the ethical considerations surrounding resource allocation in healthcare for rare diseases compared to common diseases.