Meniere’s disease is an inner ear condition that impacts 12 in 100 people. In the US, there are approximately 600,000 to 750,000 cases along with numbers between 45,000 to 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Average age of onset is in between 20 to 50 years of age with no significant difference between gender.1
It is usually felt as a dizzying, spinning sensation (vertigo), often feeling unsteady with being on your feet, feeling nauseous or about to vomit, a drop in hearing or hearing a ringing, roaring, or buzzing sound in your ear. Commonly it can last minutes to hours (often 2 to 3 hours) and can start with one ear but eventually spread to the other ear. Symptoms can be different from person to another person and currently does not have a defined cure for the illness.2
Acupuncture had been known as a complementary and alternative therapy used widely from China and had been used dated back to the 5th century for otorhinolaryngology. Some of the applications of points are adopted to control vertigo caused by different illnesses including Meniere’s.3
Acupuncture does not cure the disease but offers a holistic approach towards addressing the different symptoms that the patients experience such as the dizziness, tinnitus, hearing loss to cite some. It aims to reduce the symptoms to a point where they can be less problematic or bothersome. According to TCM theory, the build-up of phlegm affects the flow of Qi and weak Kidney energy that may cause the dizziness, vertigo and other symptoms. To treat, acupuncture needles may be placed on the AP (acupuncture points) to the head and to the body. 4
Related studies of applying acupuncture to MD (Meniere’s Disease)
In a study, acupuncture was used to treat Meniere’s disease applying it to 34 patients who had been previously treating it with other medical methods without any satisfaction in results. After acupuncture treatment, the conditions of the patients had improved by a large degree.5
A warm-promotion needling method was used to treat another set of patients while monitoring the Dizziness Handicap Inventory, Tinnitus Handicap Inventory, and Pure Tone Audiometry for the before and after treatments to monitor its effectivity towards 30 patients. Streile acupuncture needles (0.30 x 40mm) were inserted in several acupuncture points such as GB20 Fengchi, TB21 Ermen, LI4 Hegu, and KD6 Zhaohai with different needling methods. In this study, the results proved effective and alleviated the symptoms the patients experienced significantly.6
Acupuncture is known as an alternative treatment for this disease and is proven to be effective based on studies and its’ results. It does not mean that it is a cure for the ailment but helps in alleviating the symptoms experienced by patients affected with Meniere’s and had helped patients in treating the symptoms along with proper care and monitoring.