Spin My Head Right Round
From many a night at a noisy bar, we know that being able to hear and stand without falling down are sort of important functions. But they're even more important if you're a Broadway actress.
Unfortch for Kristin Chenoweth, the performer suffers from Meniere's disease, and her condition has gotten so bad that she's now considering surgery.
According to our expert, Los Angeles internist Dr. Andrea Ruman, "Meniere's disease is an inner ear disorder that causes recurring and spontaneous vertigo (a sensation of a spinning motion), fluctuating hearing loss, and tinnitus, the perception of a ringing, buzzing, roaring, whistling or hissing sound in your ear." Dang... Meniere's really does remind us of those nights when we promised we'd never drink again.
Dr. Ruman continues with more important info about Meniere's disease:
"The cause of Meniere's disease, which usually only affects one ear, isn't well understood. It appears to be the result of the abnormal volume or composition of inner ear fluid. People in their 40 to 50s are most commonly affected, but this disease can affect people of all ages. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that approximately 615,000 individuals in the United States are currently diagnosed with Meniere's disease and that 45,500 cases are newly diagnosed each year.
No cure exists for Meniere's disease. Medications can be prescribed to help with vertigo and the associated nausea. In addition, long-term treatments are available. Most commonly, diuretics that reduce the amount of fluid in the body can help alter the volume of fluid in the inner ear and relieve symptoms. Lifestyle modification including reducing the amount of sodium you consume can also be helpful.
If vertigo attacks associated with Meniere's disease are severe and debilitating and other treatments don't help, surgery may be an option. Procedures may include: endolymphatic sac decompression whereby a small portion of bone is removed above the endolymphatic sac and vestibular nerve section, a procedure involving cutting the nerve that connects balance and movement sensors in your inner ear to the brain (vestibular nerve)."
This all sounds pretty unpleasant (to say the least), but good to know there are treatment options for those who suffer.