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Meniere's Disease

Meniere's Disease is an inner ear disorder that causes sudden unexpected vertigo, dizziness, and balance issues as well as tinnitus, pressure or pain in the ear, and intermittent hearing loss.
Students with Meniere's Disease have very little warning of dizziness, balance issues, pain, or intermittent hearing loss. Other occasional symptoms include headaches, abdominal discomfort, and nausea as a result of the vertigo. Students with Meniere's Disease tend to recover hearing in between episodes but as the episodes continue their hearing ability will deteriorate. Experts currently think Meniere's Disease is caused by the rupture of a membrane in the inner ear that allows two distinct inner ear fluids to mix. Milder cases of Meniere's Disease may be the result of fluid in the inner ear.

Observing Meniere's Disease in the Classroom

Faculty might observe the following in students with Meniere's Disease:

  • Might have headaches or ear pain
  • May occasionally have difficulty hearing or understanding what is said
  • May appear dizzy
  • May need to leave the classroom unexpectedly
  • May wait until the other students leave to avoid being in a crowd of students
  • May require a hearing assistance system or transcription


Related Functional Characteristics

Fatigue (Cognitive) : Students with Meniere's disease have difficulty with fluctuating hearing and dizziness requiring substantial effort to maintain attention in the classroom.

Hearing Loss : Students with Meniere's disease can experience intermittent hearing loss, usually in one ear; the frequency and severity vary but the hearing loss is typically progressive.

Motor Skill (Gross Lower) : Students with Meniere's disease may have balance problems that make it difficult for them to maintain balance in crowded hall ways or on uneven ground.

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