Frequently Asked Questions – Low Pressure Pulse Therapy

Why does pressure have an effect on Ménière's disease?

Pressure is an important part of how your ears function. People with Ménière's disease generally have too much of a certain fluid, called endolymph, in one or both of their inner ears. It is believed that this excess fluid disrupts the pressure in the ear, which causes the disease and its symptoms.1-3

Applying controlled micropressure pulses to the inner ear may reduce the excess fluid and relieve symptoms.

Does low pressure pulse therapy work for everyone with Ménière's disease?

Only your doctor can advise you on whether this treatment option is suitable for your condition. However, in general, low pressure pulse therapy is thought to be most effective for symptoms of rotary vertigo (the feeling of spinning even though you’re standing still).

How long does it take before I notice a difference in my symptoms?

It depends on your particular case of the disease. It’s very important to follow your prescribed treatment schedule as advised by your doctor. Some patients may experience a decrease in the intensity or frequency of their vertigo attacks after 5-6 weeks. However, it may take longer than that for some patients, and less for others. For questions pertaining to your specific condition, please consult your doctor.

Why must low pressure pulse treatments be repeated?

Endolymphatic fluid is continually produced in the ear, so it’s necessary to repeat the treatment regularly. Doctors usually prescribe three treatments per day. Each treatment may take about 5 minutes.

Why do I need a ventilation tube (vent tube) in my eardrum?

The device’s pressure pulses must travel from the outer ear to the middle ear, in order to affect the inner ear. Without the vent tube, your eardrum would block the pulses from reaching the middle ear.

Is the vent tube left in my eardrum permanently?

No. The vent tube is generally in place for as long as you need low pressure pulse therapy. Your doctor will check the tube periodically to make sure it’s still in place and working properly. Once the vent tube is removed, the eardrum usually heals.

How long do I keep using low pressure pulse therapy?

Low pressure pulse therapy may be used long-term in some Ménière’s disease patients. In general, patients use the therapy for as long as they need it. Some people may find that their symptoms return if they stop performing the treatments. Others may find that their Ménière’s disease may go into remission. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have questions about the status of your Ménière’s disease.

References

  1. Torok N. 1977. Old and new in Ménière’s disease. The Laryngoscope. 87(11):1870-1877.
  2. Schuknecht HF. 1975. Pathophysiology of Ménière’s disease. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 8(2):507-514.
  3. Gulya AJ, Schuknecht HF. 1982. Classification of endolymphatic hydrops. Am J Otolaryngol. 3(5):319-322.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 27 Sep 2010

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