Tinnitus is a primary symptom of Meniere’s disease, which is a disorder of the inner ear. The characteristics of tinnitus include ringing, humming, and buzzing sounds in the ear. Meniere’s disease is a long-term, progressive ear problem that affects your balance and hearing ability. The common symptoms of Meniere’s disease include vertigo, fluctuating tinnitus, increasing deafness, and feelings of pressure in the inner ear. Although the exact cause of Meniere’s disease is unknown, some factors can increase your risk of developing the disorder, including increased pressure of the fluid in the endolymphatic sac and allergies.
The majority of people with Meniere’s disease who have the symptoms of tinnitus will seek to ease the symptoms through earwax removal, medication changes, or treating underlying health conditions. For some people, noise suppression with white noise machines, hearing aids, and masking devices help to dampen the effects of tinnitus.
There is no cure for tinnitus, but medications are available to help reduce the severity of the symptoms. Tricyclic antidepressants show some success. However, these drugs are intended for severe tinnitus and often have side effects such as dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, and heart problems. Xanax can help to reduce tinnitus symptoms too, but the side effects of drowsiness and nausea can be bothersome. Worse still, Xanax has a high potential of becoming habit-forming. No drug is superior in the care of tinnitus and Meniere’s disease. Although symptoms are manageable with noise suppression, earwax removal, and the treatment of underlying conditions, there is no long-term fix for the problem.
The new drug to relieve the symptoms of tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss in those with Meniere’s disease is on the fast track in the new drug application process. The drug is called SPI-1005 and is a product of the Sound Pharmaceuticals company. Favorable results are coming in from two studies showing that oral delivery of the new drug improves tinnitus and restores sensorineural hearing loss in people with Meniere’s disease. Because SPI-1005 is a drug that treats severe conditions where the medical need is unmet, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is giving it fast track designation.
Meniere’s disease affects 12 out of every 1,000 people. The current opinion believes it to be a product of an inflammation of the inner ear. Currently, there are no FDA-approved drugs available for Meniere’s disease and the available treatment is showing disappointing results.
For the new drug to receive final FDA approval, it must pass meetings with the FDA, reviews, the filing of a New Drug Application (NDA), and an End-of-Phase 2 meeting with the FDA to discuss Phase 3 study design. Nevertheless, the research team is happy about the fast-track status.
If you are experiencing hearing or balance problems or the ringing and buzzing of tinnitus, please schedule a hearing evaluation. A hearing healthcare professional can accurately diagnose and treat your underlying problem. Please don’t put it off and get some relief today.