HealthLinks Charleston May/June 2022

www. Char l es tonPhys i c i ans . com | www.Hea l thL i nksChar l es ton . com | 75 treatments don't help, surgical options might be considered, such as endolymphatic sac decompression, labyrinthectomy or vestibular nerve section.” If you experience any symptoms of Ménière’s – pronounced main-yerrz – the first step toward determining if you have it and a best course of action starts with an ear examination by a qualified audiologist and an ear, nose and throat specialist. Assessments should begin with a basic test of your hearing and your balance. And, along the way, your audiologist and ENT physician should keep you informed about all of your options. “I educate my patients so that they understand the diagnostic and treatment process at every step of their testing,” said Dr. Jackson, who is certified by the American Board of Audiology. “And I care for patients of all ages and conditions.” The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that approximately 615,000 individuals in the United States are currently diagnosed with Ménière’s disease and that 45,500 new cases are diagnosed each year. As disorders go, it is relatively rare, affecting only about 0.2% of the U.S. population or 1 in every 500. About 60% of those affected either get better on their own or are able to manage their symptoms with diet or medications. But Dr. Jackson said that if the disease itself causes significant destruction to the balance organ of the affected ear, patients experiencing imbalance can benefit from vestibular rehabilitation therapy. “This kind of therapy is designed by a specially-trained vestibular physical therapist and works to improve balance and reduce problems related to dizziness,” she said. “The exercises help retrain your brain to integrate the cues and signals from your entire balance system. Working closely with an audiologist and an ENT can greatly improve the quality of life for people with Ménière’s disease. And although it isn’t curable, management of the disease along with prevention strategies and applicable treatment provide hope.” Dr. Kathryn Jackson of Upstate Hearing & Balance prepares a patient for hearing aid programming using “real ear” or probe microphone measures. Non-Profit, Faith-Based Senior Solutions Begin Your Easy Life at Franke! 1885 Rifle Range Rd. • Mt. Pleasant 29464 • Ask about virtual tours! 843.216.2222 or 800.940.7435 Thank you for voting us BEST Retirement Community, Independent Living Community, and Assisted Living