Vertigo, Meniere's Disease and Sound Therapy
Sound Therapy has brought welcome and lasting relief to many Meniere's, vertigo, and chronic vestibular integration disorder sufferers, and has been able to restore normal living to those who previously lived in horror of the unpredictable sense of spinning out of control.
Vertigo is the sensation that you or your surroundings are spinning, even though you and your surroundings are stationary. The illusion of movement is what sets vertigo apart from general dizziness.
Meniere's disease - a combination of vertigo, low frequency hearing loss and tinnitus - may be one of the most debilitating conditions a person can suffer from. Sudden attacks of dizziness, often severe enough to cause nausea and vomiting, come unexpectedly and can incapacitate the sufferer for weeks at a time. It is often associated with sensitivity to loud sounds.
Although there are other forms of vertigo, true Meniere's is caused by an increase in pressure on the fluids in the inner ear.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is sometimes mistaken for Meniere's Disease, and some people may receive both diagnoses from different practitioners. BBPV is generally typified by dizziness that comes on as a result of a particular movement, for example rollover in bed or bending over to do up your shoes.
A popular theory is that BBPV is usually caused by free-floating calcium crystals in the posterior semi circular canal. There is a treatment called canolith repositioning, in which the head is tilted in a certain procedure by a trained practitioner, to dislodge the crystals from the canal. Because BBPV is a complex condition, possibly also involving the integration of sensory pathways in the brain, some of thsoe diagnosed with BBPV have also benefited by Sound Therapy, as it can improve the pressure balance in the ear and the transmission of signals between the ear and brain.
Photo courtesy of dospaz
How Sound Therapy helps Meniere's Disease and Vertigo
Sound Therapy is a therapeutic self-help listening program based on the work of ear specialist Dr Alfred Tomatis, which uses specially recorded classical music to stimulate the brain and rehabilitate the ear. This portable system can be used at home or work and doesn't take any time out of your day.
Dr Tomatis had a unique theory on how Sound Therapy helps to alleviate Meniere's Syndrome. He believed that the excess pressure in the vestibular system (the semicircular canals in the ear) is caused by spasms or twitches in the stirrup muscle.
The stirrup muscle is one of the middle ear muscles and its role is to regulate the pressure on the inner ear fluid. The footplate of the stirrup presses on the oval window, the membrane which separates the middle ear from the inner ear chamber. Therefore when the stirrup muscle goes into spasm, there is a sudden change in the pressure in the inner ear fluid, causing a disturbance like a sudden storm to pass through the semi-circular canals. This communicates to the brain, via the vestibular branch of the auditory nerve, that there is sudden movement of the head, which gives one the feeling that the world is spinning or falling away beneath them.
Tomatis explains that once the stirrup muscle has been rehabilitated with the regular exercise provided by the Sound Therapy program, it no longer goes into spasm and the Meniere's attacks do not recur.
Sound Therapy has proven to be an effective vertigo treatment since it addresses the root physical problems with the ear and brain most commonly found with Meniere's Disease and vertigo. Sound Therapy is like physiotherapy for the ear and brain - daily exercise that helps strengthen the ear muscles and brain pathways.
Learn more about how Sound Therapy rehabilitates the ear.
Which Sound Therapy International Program should I use?
For Meniere's Disease or Vertigo, the best Sound Therapy program to start with is the Listening Foundation Program. For most, this program is all they need to successfully treat their vertigo attacks, tinnitus, and hearing problems.
For those that need more help, Advanced programs are available to move onto after using a Level 1 program for at least 300 hours. For Meniere's or vertigo, choose the Natural Hearing Improvement series.
Listener's Success Stories
- Tinnitus improved, hearing improved, no vertigo - 2 dizzy spells in March.
- Laurie Hrdlicka
27 May 2013
After 3 months (400 hours) of Sound Therapy
- About four years ago I started getting ringing in the left ear, followed by light-headedness and dizziness. Sometimes I couldn't
stand without falling. This I was getting about once a month, then twice a month, soon twice a week and not long later three or four
times a day. My doctor told me I had Meniere's Syndrome, which is a problem of the inner ear past the stirrup. There wasn't much that
could be done; I would just have to put up with it. Being my age was 53, I knew I would be quite some time putting up with this
- Then I heard about Sound Therapy. I bought the Sony Walkman and tapes. Now, four months later, I have no light-headedness and dizziness, and the ringing in my left ear has gone. The hearing in my left ear has also improved. I can't express how much Sound Therapy has done for me. I am never dragged out and tired any more. I can stay up very late at night and still get up rested early in the morning. Also, I don't get uptight and stressed about the little setbacks of the day, but can just relax and take them in my stride. I even find it easier to talk to people - am not so shy! It's like a new life.
- Darrell Johnson
- I think that anyone that has Meniere's would say it's horrific, if they have the severe type. I ended up in the hospital,
on one occasion, because I couldn't stop vomiting and you feel as though you are falling through the floor. You are lying on the
floor and you are hanging onto the floor virtually in terror because you feel as if you are flying backwards. It's the balance
in the middle ear that's affected... it's terrifying, to the point where I was almost suicidal at one stage. I said "I won't
live with this, I will have to leave the planet." From I've heard, anyone that's ever had it feels the same way. They don't really
want to live, you lose interest in life, it's such a shocking feeling. No one can describe it, you have to experience it. So
fortunately Ii didn't panic, I found ways to control it.
- Sound Therapy and chelation therapy stopped my Meniere's attacks entirely. Like all natural therapy it can't hurt you, and it very well could help.
- Lee Heffele
- I've had Meniere's on and off for about ten years. I used to get so giddy I would have to call a doctor. It had become
progressively worse, and I'd have an attack about once a fortnight. My attacks made me nauseous, and I'd get diarrhoea with it.
If an attack happened at night, my husband had to take me to hospital for a shot of stematil or maxilon. I tried SERC, multi B
forte and changed my diet, with little improvement.
- I started listening to Sound Therapy for three hours a day, and it was about eight weeks before I noticed a difference. I became able to go up to three months without an attack or feeling giddy, and I've only had to have one shot in the last year, when I cut back to two hours listening a day. I'm back up to three hours a day listening now and I can't speak highly enough of it. Sound Therapy is a miracle for me, to change such a debilitating thing.
- Name withheld
- So far the therapy has completely eliminated my attacks of Meniere's Syndrome - a miracle!
- Rupert Francis
Lower Templestowe, Australia
- Twelve months ago, I was diagnosed with Menieres. A recent re-examination by the same specialist revealed no Menieres symptoms. There has been a slight hearing improvement as well.
- Graham Winders
Vertigo & Dizziness
- Vertigo attacks are much decreased in severity and I recover from them much more quickly.
- Name withheld
10 July 2013
After 3 months of Sound Therapy (336 hours)
- Hi Simone,
- I am emailing to let you know I am really enjoying my Level 1. The sounds have actually calmed me to the point where if I feel my vertigo coming, I slip on my music and relax. I'm also feeling tired, yet just yesterday - one day only - I felt totally normal. No balance problems, no vertigo and very calm. If everyday went like that I would be cured. I am playing the sound therapy a minimum of 3 hours but usually more than that. I am taking it everywhere.
- I also wanted to let you know the books you sent are awesome. I am studying them like crazy. Interesting stuff.
4 July 2012
Just under 4 weeks of Sound Therapy
- My dizziness has disappeared! I feel that I sleep deeper. Very good
- Carol P
After 6 weeks of Sound Therapy
- About eight years ago, I read an article in a Women's magazine about the damaging effects of loud noise on our hearing. Sound Therapy was mentioned.
- Since I was suffering of frequent ringing in my ears, was very sensitive to noise, with frequent headaches etc, I rang the phone number given on the article.
- I read the book in one sitting. I was so impressed, that immediately after reading it, I purchased the tapes. I have said many times since, that the few hundred dollars I spent buying the tapes was the best investment I ever made for my health. From the very first moment I started listening , I knew they were going to do me good.
- I couldn't get enough. I listened for 6 hours straight. That same night I slept with my headphones on. I was amazed and very pleased.
- A few months later, the ringing in my ears, my regular dizzy spells, and my headaches, were largely gone. I felt so energized that I went from needing 8-9 hours sleep a night, to only 7. Many times since, I have woken up feeling fully rested after only 5 or 6 hours of sleep.
- Sound Therapy has certainly made a great difference to the enjoyment of my life. My ears and I are very grateful.
- Julia Angel Gulenc
Moorabin, Victoria, Australia
Balance and Vestibular Integration
- I went to work, shopped, did housework and cooking at home and generally "lived" with the earphones in my ears (a strange sight for a middle-aged woman in 1984!!) I only listened with the music in the background, not loudly at all. After about three months or so my balance, which had been awful for many years, had gone back to normal. That was 25 years ago and I'm still the same today.
- Shirley Cowburn
- I always felt the ground was moving, as if I was walking on a waterbed or something unstable. I didn't know that other people didn't experience this. Riding in a car I would have to watch the road all the time, even as a passenger. If anyone took a sharp turn or changed directions quickly while driving, it would really throw me out and make me feel ill, so I realised that I must Have a problem with my vestibular system.
- After I started using Sound Therapy, I felt as though the earth was stable for the first time in my life. After Sound Therapy, when that sense of constant motion stopped, I straight away felt more confident because I was more secure in my own body. It was the most amazing feeling. It also changed my peripheral vision and I believe part of that was the vestibular system settling down. I noticed that I had better depth perception, so instead of seeing everything as flat, I could see in 3D - depth was added to my world!"
- Jeanette McKay
Perth, Western Australia