Medtronic’s Meniett Low-Pressure Pulse Generation system is slowly gaining acceptance in the fight against Meniere’s disease. What’s Meniere’s? Why, it’s the idiopathic disorder of hearing loss, dizziness and vertigo. What’s Menniett? It’s the number two therapy, according to a survey of ENT docs:
Dietary modification was recommended as first-line therapy by 99 percent of the survey respondents, including moderate to strict salt restriction, decreased caffeine intake and avoidance of alcohol. A diuretic was also recommended by 96 percent of respondents. When asked what they would offer if initial treatment failed, respondents chose the Meniett® device first and most frequently over therapies such as intratympanic corticosteroids, endolymphatic sac mastoid shunt, intratympanic gentamicin perfusion and endolymphatic sac vein decompression.
Well, if you want to know more about how Meniett works, well, it’s got something to do with pressure waves in the inner ear. Even the makers aren’t really sure:
Once the leakage test is completed successfully, the device will begin sending pressure pulses that are transmitted to the middle ear through the ventilation tube. Pressure pulses help reduce excess endolymphatic fluid and restore the balance of the inner ear’s hydrodynamic system.
The ventilation tube allows the pressure pulses to reach the middle ear, where they influence the fluid system of the inner ear through two membranes, the oval window and the round window. Although the actual mechanisms are still not fully understood, one theory is that the action of the pressure pulses on the fluid system, combined with other physiologic reactions in the ear, forces the excess endolymphatic fluid back into the endolymphatic sac.