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What Is Micropressure Therapy?

Meniett animation

How the Meniett device delivers micropressure therapy for Ménière's disease
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Ménière’s disease can cause dizziness and vertigo with nausea and vomiting. Vertigo attacks can be sudden and severe, making it hard to function in daily life. The Meniett device provides micropressure therapy for Ménière’s disease, which may help you control your dizziness and vertigo symptoms.1-12

Origins of Pressure Therapy

Micropressure therapy for Ménière's disease developed from research on pressure changes and the inner ear. Beginning in the 1960s, scientists noticed that air pressure changes often caused dizziness in pilots and divers.13,14 If air pressure changes could cause dizziness, they thought, maybe pressure changes could relieve the dizziness of Ménière’s disease.

The First Pressure Treatments for Ménière’s Disease

The first Ménière’s disease patients were treated with pressure therapy in 1976. Patients went into a large hyperbaric pressure chamber and the air pressure was slowly adjusted. This treatment helped their symptoms, but it was inconvenient and not readily available to many patients.15,16 The inner ear constantly produces fluid, so pressure therapy has to be repeated regularly. Ménière’s disease patients needed an easier way.

Pressure Therapy That’s Easy and Convenient

Dr. Barbara Densert invented the Meniett® device in the 1990s. It received clearance in Europe in 1997 and FDA clearance in 1999 for Ménière’s disease treatment. The Meniett device is a small, portable micropressure device that is easy and convenient to use at home, work, or just about anywhere.

How Does the Meniett Device Work?

Ménière’s disease symptoms are caused by excess fluid and pressure in the inner ear. Scientists believe the Meniett's micropressure pulses help this fluid to flow, reducing the pressure and swelling in the inner ear. Doctors usually prescribe 3 Meniett treatments per day, 5 minutes each time for Ménière’s disease. See how it works.

American Academy of Otolaryngology Statement on Micropressure Therapy

The American Academy of Otolaryngology, the world’s largest organization of ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists, supports using micropressure therapy such as the Meniett device in certain cases of Ménière's disease, especially after diet/medical therapy hasn’t helped.17

References

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  1. Dornhoffer JL, King D. The effect of the Meniett device in patients with Ménière's disease: long-term results. Otol Neurotol 2008; 29(6):868-74.
  2. Mattox DE, Reichert M. Meniett device for Ménière's disease: use and compliance at 3 to 5 years. Otol Neurotol 2008; 29(1):29-32.
  3. Weining H, Fang L, Bo G, Jinmei Z. Clinical long-term effects of Meniett pulse generator for Ménière's disease. Acta Otolaryngol 2009; 129(8):819-825.
  4. Barbara M, Monini S, Chiappini I, Filipo R. Meniett therapy may avoid vestibular neurectomy in disabling Ménière's disease. Acta Otolaryngol 2007; 127(11):1136-1141.
  5. Nabi S, Parnes LS. Bilateral Ménière’s disease. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2009; 17:356-362.
  6. Thomsen J, Sass K, Ödkvist L, Arlinger S. Local over-pressure treatment reduces vestibular symptoms in patients with Ménière’s disease: a clinical, randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Otol Neurotol 2005; 26:68-73.
  7. Rajan GP, Din S, Atlas MD. Long-term effects of the Meniett device in Ménière’s disease: the Western Australian experience. J Laryngol Otol 2005; 119:391-395.
  8. Densert B, Sass K. Control of symptoms in patients with Ménière’s disease using middle ear applications: two years follow-up. Acta Otolaryngol 2001; 121(5):616-621.
  9. Gates GA, Green Jr. JD, Tucci DL, Telian SA. The effects of transtympanic micropressure treatment in people with unilateral Ménière’s disease. Arch of Oto – HNS 2004; 130(6):718-725.
  10. Gates GA, Verrall A, Green Jr. JD, Tucci DL, Telian SA. Meniett clinical trial: long-term follow-up. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2006; 132:1311-1316.
  11. Ödkvist LM, Arlinger S, Billermark E, Densert B, Lindholm S, Wallquist J. Effects of middle ear pressure changes on clinical symptoms in patients with Ménière’s disease: A clinical, multicenter, placebo-controlled study. Acta Otolaryngol Suppl 2000; 543: 99-101.
  12. Densert B, Densert O, Arlinger S, Sass K, Ödkvist LM. Immediate effects of middle ear pressure changes on the electrocochleographic recordings in patients with Ménière’s disease: A clinical placebo-controlled study. Am J Otol 1997; 18:726-733.
  13. Lundgren CEG. Alternobaric vertigo – a diving hazard. Br Med J. 1965; 2:511-513.
  14. Tjernström Ö. 1974. Alternobaric vertigo. An experimental study in man of vertigo due to atmospheric pressure changes. Thesis, Malmö General Hospital. 1974.
  15. Ingelstedt S, Ivarsson A, Tjernström Ö. Immediate relief of symptoms during acute attacks of Ménière's disease, using a pressure chamber. Acta Otolaryngol 1976; 82(5-6): 368-378.
  16. Younger R, Longridge NS, Mekjavic I. Effect of reduced atmospheric pressure on patients with fluctuating hearing loss due to Ménière’s disease. J Otolaryngol 1984; 13: 76-82.
  17. Committee on Equilibrium of the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery: Micropressure Therapy Policy Statement. March 2008.

 

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 21 Jul 2011

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