||Meniere's disease (idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops) is a disorder of the inner ear that classically is characterized by recurrent episodes of vertigo, tinnitus, and sensorineural hearing loss. The episodes of vertigo are often preceded by a sensation of fullness or pressure in the affected ear, and an increase in both the amount of hearing loss and the severity of the tinnitus. The actual onset of the vertigo is usually sudden and severe, and associated with nausea and vomiting. This severe vertigo usually lasts for a few hours, and is then followed by several hours of milder vertigo or generalized unsteadiness.
In the early stages of the disease, the hearing loss is greatest in the lower frequencies, and typically recovers between attacks; however, over time the hearing loss becomes permanent and extends to all frequencies. The degree of hearing loss characteristically fluctuates, increasing in association with the episodes of vertigo. With the passage of time the typical discrete vertiginous attacks of early Meniere's disease are replaced by a chronic persistent state of dysequilibrium. Vestibular testing will usually demonstrate a decreased caloric response in the affected ear.