so is Meniere's disease an autoimmune disease?
Not in and of itself. It can be brought on by an auto-immune disorder or it can be idiopathic. Meniere's disease results from fluctuating pressure of the fluid within the inner ear. A system of membranes, called the membranous labyrinth, contains a fluid called endolymph. The membranes can become dilated like a balloon when pressure increases. This is called "hydrops". One way for this to happen is when the drainage system, called the endolymphatic duct or sac is blocked. In some cases, the endolymphatic duct may be obstructed by scar tissue, or may be narrow from birth or by inflammation or damage due to an auto-immune disorder.
There is a conditon known as auto-immune ear disease. Autoimmune inner ear disease or "AIED" consists of a syndrome of progressive hearing loss and/or dizziness which is caused by antibodies or immune cells which are attacking the inner ear. The symptoms are a reduction of hearing accompanied by tinnitus (ringing, hissing, roaring) which occurs over a few months. They symptoms are on both sides and the hearing loss and tinnitus resemble Meniere's disease, and attacks of dizziness are accompanied by abnormal blood tests for self-antibodies. About 50% of patients with AIED have imbalance.
The immune system is complex and there are several ways that it can damage the inner ear. Both allergy and traditional "autoimmune disease" such as Ankylosing spondylitis, Behcet's, Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (SLE), Sjoegren's syndrome (dry eye syndrome), Cogan's disease, ulcerative colitis, Wegener's granulomatosis, relapsing polychondritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma can cause or be associated with AIED.
AIED is rare, probably accounting for less than 1% of all cases of hearing impairment or dizziness. About 16% of persons with Meniere's disease in both ears, and 6% of persons with Meniere's disease of any kind may be due to immune dysfunction.
Have I answered your question or have I confused you more????
Let me know
Peace and Blessings
Since SLE is hereditary for the most part. I was wondering that since my Dad has Meniere's disease if it might have played a role in myself getting SLE?
SLE is not really a hereditary disease alone, many researchers believe that heridity and genetics are involved in the development of Lupus. "Studies on identical twins, where one of the twins has SLE, have shown that anywhere from 24 to 69 percent of the time, the second twin will have or will develop the disease. This suggests not only that inheritance plays a significant role in the development of SLE, but that other factors are important as well.
If genetics were the sole basis of the disease, both identical twins either would always have the disease or would not have the disease. Instead, it has been found that, for first-degree relatives of people with SLE, the risk of them developing SLE in their lifetime is about three percent. While this number is fairly low, it is much higher than the risk to the general population. The type of inheritance where a disease runs in a family, but has no direct inheritance pattern, is called polygenic. This reflects the belief that the genetic susceptibility is due to multiple genes, and that a certain threshold of genetic susceptibility must be reached before an external process is capable of triggering the disease. Many of the best known examples of polygenic inheritance occur in the rheumatic diseases, such as Lupus."
So, to answer your question, the probability is pretty small that your father's Meniere's disease predisposed you to Lupus, especially since Meniere's can be an idiopathic disease and/or can be brought on by an auto-immune disorder. So, if your father's Meniere's disease was brought on by an auto-immune disorder, it is more likely that the genetic susceptibility lies within that disorder - whatever it may be. If your father's Meniere's was idiopathic, then there is little to no chance that it predisposed you to Lupus.
Peace and Blessings
Thanks so much for answering my question. My grandmother my Dad's mom had hearing loss unsure if it was Menieres or not but she did have Syphilis and I've heard that having this is a known cause of Menieres. So I'm just thinking maybe it's been handed on down the line(autoimmune prob's). Thanks so much for your replies.
I just finished reading "Lupus Q&A by Robert G. Lahita and Robert H. Phillips. One of the topics referred to the connection between MS symptoms and the Antiphospholipid Syndrome (which I do have). To quote the entire thing:
"An MRI often reveals that patients who have antiphospholipid syndrome have areas in the brain that look like demyelination has occured. Demyelination is the removal of the covering of the nerve. Myelin is like insulation of the nerve, and its removal results in disturbed transmission. It is often difficult in patents to differentiate the phospholipid syndrome from multiple sclerosis or Lyme disease. Patients with the antiphospholipid brain lesions often have symptoms of multiple scleroisis, such as numbness in the fingers and toes and dizziness. Some require specific tests for multiple sclerosis such as a spinal tap or visual evoked responses to make the differentiation."
I was drawn to your question since it's a question I have had for some time, too! It made some sense to me after reading this book and the fact that I DO have antiphospholipid syndrome. Have you been tested for it?
I found out after having a TIA about 5 years ago.
I have been going through the Diagnosis game . My neuro told me I had MS, Before looking at my MRIs . He said the deficits were so strong and I lost the vision in my left eye pretty much. I have severe optic neuropathy in that eye. I was sent off to a neuro-opthamologist who said.. umm this isnt optic neuritis, its severe optic neuropathy. I have a positive anti cardiolipin antibody. I have kidney involvement with protein and blood frequently in my urine as well as frequent urinary incontinence. I have all the joint pain in my legs, arms, hips and so on. i cant hold my arms above my head for more than ohh 1 minute. I have severe fatigue frequently. I was diagnosed with arthritis,fibro,MS,respiratory issues, leaky heart valve,major heat sensitivity.. I get very nauseated an sick in it, as well as major visual disturbances and very itchy skin when out in the heat. So my neuro after being so positive I was MS, now feels IM SLE as well as my primary doc and I am on my way to a new Rheumy , both my neuro and pcp agree that I meet atleast 4 of the diagnostic criteria for lupus, I So relate to being worked up for one disease, diagnosed than being told OOPS.. oh well..!