Groundbreaking Treatment for Balance Issues

Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England . 2019 Nov;101(8):602-605.

Menière’s Disease Treated by Grommet Insertion

R G Kanegaonkar et al.


Introduction: Menière’s disease (MD) is an uncommon cause of sudden profound vertigo. A variety of medical and surgical treatments have been used to manage this condition. This study reviewed the outcomes of patients treated with grommet insertion and transtympanic steroid injection.

Methods: Patients diagnosed with MD between 2007 and 2017 were identified, and case notes and audiological data were retrieved for those managed by grommet (ventilation tube) insertion with and without transtympanic steroid injection.

Results: Thirty-three patients were identified as being diagnosed with MD. Grommet insertion resulted in cessation or improvement of attacks in 91% of cases. The mean follow-up duration was 33.8 months (median: 29 months). The mean hearing threshold across the low frequencies improved from 57.2dBHL to 49.4dBHL (p=0.031). Following the intervention, improved tinnitus was reported in 80% of cases. Twelve patients (36%) reported aural fullness prior to grommet insertion; all reported improved symptoms following the procedure.

Conclusions: Early grommet insertion with transtympanic steroid injection, combined with customised vestibular physiotherapy, may provide an alternative first-line strategy for MD, preventing further true MD attacks. In some patients, it may significantly improve hearing thresholds.

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