Help for individuals

Help for Individuals

Salt Skip News

Why all the importance on Salt and Sodium content?

Salt matters for two very compelling reasons:

  • it causes or aggravates over 20 salt-related health problems
  • at least 6 million Australians (half the adult population) have one or more salt-related health problems

The two most common and very serious health problems are:

  • pre-hypertension
  • hypertension

The two health problems with the most dramatic difference when skipping salt (both recovering within 4 weeks) are:

  • premenstrual syndrome
  • the vertigo of Meniere’s Disease

Salt Skip News, distributed in the ‘BP Monitor’, the Queensland Hypertension Association newsletter, is published bi monthly from February to December. It contains a variety of articles focusing on low salt. You can download the newsletters below:

Salt Skip News 165

Salt Skip News 166

Salt Skip News 167

Salt Skip News 168

Salt Skip News 169

Salt Skip News 170

Salt Skip News 171

Salt Skip News 172

Salt Skip News 173

Salt Skip News 174

International

International information regarding Meniere’s Disease

The following links to international web sites are provided for your additional information.

The Meniere’s Society United Kingdom
www.menieres.org.uk

Vestibular Disorders Association (USA)
www.vestibular.org

Meniere’s Disease Information Centre (USA)
www.menieresinfo.com

Dr Tim C Hain (USA)
www.dizziness-and-balance.com

BC Balance And Dizziness Disorders Society (Canada)
www.balanceanddizziness.org

Hearwell (New Zealand)
www.hearwell.co.nz

International Federation of Hard of Hearing People 
www.ifhoh.org

Meniere’s Association Italy
www.aimmitalia.it
This site is written in Italian. Should you wish to read it in English it is best to Google the site and click on the translate button.

Papers

Research reports and other papers

Papers

On this page you will find news about the activities of Meniere’s Australia Inc.

This will include events and activities, submissions to government, campaigns and discussion papers, new developments and fund raising activities.

All members are invited to send in their notices by emailing to: info@menieres.org.au
Any news-worthy items accepted.

Meniere’s Support Group of Victoria – Membership Survey 2006

In 2006 a research team from Chronic Illness Alliance conducted a survey of MSGV members which confirmed the vital role MA plays in helping people cope with Meniere’s.

Download the survey.

Senate Inquiry into Hearing Health in Australia

Submission from Meniere’s Australia Inc.

Managing Hearing Loss and Meniere’s disease and vestibular conditions in Australia requires:

  • Better identification and diagnostic skills of GP’s with regards to hearing loss and disorders of the ear.
  • Increased content regarding hearing loss and disorders of the ear in curriculum and professional training programs via the Division of General Practices.
  • Better referral networks to audiologists who specialise in Tinnitus, Meniere’s disease and other disorders of the inner ear as well as other organisations.
  • Recognition and financial support of the role organisations such as Meniere’s Australia, Better Hearing and State Deafness organisations in service delivery, providing peer support, counselling and case management.

To learn more about what Meniere’s Australia had to say download the submission.

Following the initial submission Meniere’s Australia was invited to speak with the Senators in Melbourne 2009. MA committee members John Cook, Lynn Polson, Rick Osborn and Neil Wingrave attended the meeting and spoke with the Senators about key issues for people with Meniere’s.

Read about what the Meniere’s team had to say to the Senators here.

Meniere’s Australia was delighted to learn that our efforts preparing papers and talking with various officers and members of Government – Federal and State has been successful with a Recommendation from the Senate with regards to Meniere’s, which forms part of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee’s Report titled Hear Us: Inquiry into Hearing Health in Australia. Tabled in the Senate on 13 May 2010:-

Recommendation 19
6.52 The Committee recommends that the Department of Health and Ageing works with Meniere’s Australia to identify opportunities for research into the prevalence of Meniere’s disease in Australia, rates of diagnosis, options for treatment and personal managment, and the socio-economic impact of the disease, including on the employment and lifestyles of those affected.

Consumer Advocacy & Support Groups Delivering Local Support in a National Framework to future generations of hearing impaired Australians

A Paper presented to 6th National Deafness Sector Summit, Sydney 23rd April 2010.

The author advocates adoption of a Holistic Model of Assistance to future generations’ of hearing impaired Australians through:-

Consumer Advocacy and Support Groups adopting a National Structure and Focus in delivering services locally and establishing clinical pathways to include a component of Consumer Advocacy and Support Group activity The experience and benefits of establishing a Meniere’s Australia out of State Support bodies is given as a case study.

Download the Report for further details.

Review of WA’s Current and Future Hospital & Community Health Care Services

‘Identifying any outstanding needs and gaps in health care services’

Support groups play a vital role in the community, by offering people with health (and mental health) issues an affordable and sustainable way to access information, help and understanding. In the current economic climate, with the rise in the occurrence of mental illness, and with an ageing population, the need for support groups is likely to increase.

To read more about what Meniere’s Australia WA Branch has to say about this issue download the report.

Health Technology Assessment Review

A submission about the opportunity for Australians to access the Meniett™ Pressure Pulse therapy in the management of Meniere’s disease.

For more information click here to read the full report.

What Causes Menieres Disease?

Causes of Meniere’s disease

Excess fluid in the inner ear

The exact cause of Meniere’s disease is not known. Research has linked the symptoms of Meniere’s to an excess of fluid in the inner ear that disturbs the balance and hearing organs.

The inner ear is composed of:

  • three semicircular canals and otolith organs – these control balance
  • the snail-shaped cochlea – this is the hearing organ

Within the cochlea there are two types of fluid separated by membranes:

  • endolymph – rich in potassium
  • perilymph – rich in sodium

In Meniere’s disease there is too much endolymph fluid in the inner ear. This condition of excess fluid is referred to as endolymphatic hydrops.

The pressure from this excess fluid interferes with the functioning of the delicate cells that are responsible for balance and hearing. Hearing loss and tinnitus (abnormal noise in the ear) are the result. As the disease progresses the cells become irreparably damaged.

Many people with Meniere’s can actually feel the fluid building up and the feeling of fullness this produces. Sudden movement of this excess fluid is the most likely cause of the attacks of vertigo (dizziness) that are typical of Meniere’s.

What causes the fluid build up?

The mechanisms that control the secretions of endolymph fluid are unknown. Many factors appear to cause endolymphatic hydrops (excess fluid) in the inner ear. The most common are:

  • Auto-immune reactions
  • Allergic responses
  • Autonomic nervous system imbalances
  • Blockages and/or damage to the endolymphatic structures
  • Dietary deficiencies
  • Viral infections
  • Vascular (circulation) irregularities

What is Menieres Disease

What is Meniere’s Disease?

A disease of the inner ear

Meniere’s disease 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:

  • vertigo (a form of dizziness where your surroundings appear to spin)
  • tinnitus (an abnormal ringing noise inside the ear)
  • fluctuating hearing loss
  • a feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear due to fluid build-up

Attacks of vertigo usually occur in clusters with varying periods of remission (from days to years) between attacks. Vertigo attacks can occur without any warning and you cannot predict how severe the vertigo will be or how long it will last.

Tinnitus, distorted hearing and pressure in the ear often occur in conjunction with the vertigo. 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.

Estimates vary but around 90% of people with Meniere’s have the disease in only one ear when first diagnosed. Around 50% of these may go on to develop the disease in both ears.

Who gets Meniere’s?

Meniere’s disease affects one in every 600 Australians. It appears that Meniere’s is diagnosed around late thirties to early fifties. It is uncommon for children to be diagnosed. Unfortunately this is a time of life when people are busy with family and careers.

Treatment

Currently there is no known medical cure for Meniere’s. The condition can however be managed to some degree through medication, diet, stress reduction, exercise programs, natural therapies and as a last resort, surgery.

There are treatment options for the acute attack of vertigo as well as options for the symptoms experienced and prevention of further attacks.