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Meniere’s Disease and Social Security Disability

Posted by Louis B. Lusk | Aug 30, 2013 | 0 Comments

Meniere's Disease and Social Security Disability

General hearing loss does not automatically qualify an individual for Social Security Disability, but there are some hearing difficulties that can open the door to SSD benefits. One of these conditions is Meniere's disease. Meniere's disease is marked by symptoms of vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, and ear pressure that come in bouts or attacks. “The disease usually occurs in people ages 40 to 60. It affects both men and women. Children also can have Ménière's disease.” The Cause The cause of Meniere's disease is not known. Some doctors believe that Meniere's disease causes a buildup of inner ear fluid that leads to the resulting symptoms. “It may be that too much fluid is produced or that the fluid does not properly drain from the inner ear, or it may be a combination of the two.” Meniere's usually affects “only one ear at a time” and “over time the inner ear can become damaged.” While Meniere's disease is not preventable generally, Meniere's can manifest after head injuries. “Wearing a helmet when bicycling, motorcycle riding, playing baseball, in-line skating, or during other sports activities can protect you from head injuries that could lead to Meniere's disease.” Diagnosis A doctor will take a complete medical history and do a physical exam. Then the doctor may run some tests to rule out other causes. Electronystagmography is used to measure eye movements when the inner ear is stimulated. This can indicate whether vertigo symptoms are caused by “the inner ear or the central nervous system.” MRIs and CTs are used to determine if a brain problem is causing symptoms. Hearing tests look for hearing loss from Meniere's attacks. “A specific type of hearing test, called an auditory brainstem response (ABR) test, may be done to find out whether the nerve from the inner ear to the brain is working correctly.” Treatment Meniere's disease is a chronic condition and there is no cure. Medication and dietary changes are used “to control symptoms and reduce the frequency of attacks.” Diuretics are used to reduce inner ear fluid levels. Antihistamines or sedatives are used as “vestibular suppressant medicines to calm the inner ear.” Diets low in salt and avoiding caffeine, alcohol and tobacco are highly recommended to lessen the incidence of attacks. It is also highly recommended to reduce stress as well. Social Security Disability Determinations The Social Security Administration (SSA) points out that Meniere's disease symptoms and attacks are unpredictable and remissions from these attacks can be short-term relief or long-lasting. “The severity of the impairment is best determined after prolonged observation and serial reexaminations.” The SSA requires a finding of both a disturbed function of the inner ear and established hearing loss through established testing methods for a diagnosis of Meniere's disease leading to the need for SSD. If you are considering applying for disability benefits in Georgia, you should contact our experienced attorney to assist you. See Related Posts: Sickle Cell Disease and Social Security Disability Intellectual Disability Replaces Mental Retardation Worrying to the Point of Disability

About the Author

Louis B. Lusk

About Louis B. Lusk – Disability Attorney Attorney Louis B. Lusk has helped thousands of disabled individuals recover Social Security disability and SSI disability benefits.  He is an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR), an organizat...


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