Treating Meniere’s Disease: Lifestyle Changes

Healthcare provider fitting woman with hearing aid.

Certain changes may help you manage Meniere’s disease. Some of these changes are minor. Others require more work. They include avoiding certain substances. Special devices may also help make you more comfortable and improve your hearing.

Avoid certain substances

Certain substances affect how your body regulates fluid, and can make Meniere’s disease worse. These include:

  • Caffeine. Caffeine narrows your blood vessels. This reduces blood flow to your inner ear. Avoid drinks and foods that are high in caffeine, such as coffee, cola, and chocolate.

  • Alcohol. Alcohol can upset your sense of balance. Avoid alcohol, or limit it to very small amounts.

  • Tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke narrows your blood vessels, weakens your immune system, and harms your general health. By affecting your circulation, smoking may contribute to Meniere’s symptoms. Quitting smoking is always a good idea.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

  • Get regular sleep.

  • Eat a nutritious, low-salt diet. Limit the amount of salt (sodium) you eat to between 1,500 mg and 2,000 mg per day.

  • Get regular exercise, but don't get too tired.

Explore helpful devices

If Meniere’s disease has permanently affected your hearing, a hearing aid may help you hear better. Hearing aids come in many different models. You can find one that is best for your needs and lifestyle. Other devices can help cover up tinnitus. A fan or a radio tuned to music or static, or a white-noise device specifically designed to create background noise may help. A masking device that makes white noise all the time can be worn directly in the ear. Ask your healthcare provider if these devices are right for you.

Pay attention to your body

People with Meniere’s disease sometimes find that such things as bright lights, loud noises, or very low sounds bring on symptoms or make the symptoms worse. Pay attention to how you feel. If something makes you feel worse, talk with your healthcare provider. Also talk with your provider if you have any questions.