For 18 long years of my life I suffered horribly from Meniere's Disease in both my ears. The attacks came randomly and unpredictably, creating a constant state of terror. When they came they were agonizing vertigo, nausea, endless vomiting, sometimes lasting over 8 hours. Their effect on my life was pervasive. They made me afraid of travel, loud environments, bright sunlight, stress and all sorts of foods, drinks and spices. Worst of all they turned me into someone afraid of life - I wasn't the father, husband or friend I wanted to be.
Then one day, desperately searching the Internet for the thousandth time, I came across a study by a Japanese doctor named Mitsuo Shichinohe. His research was about to change my life. Basically, Dr. Schichinohe hypothesized that people with Meniere's were also carrying a common virus called Herpes Simplex. Not an unreasonable assumption since the majority of people carry this virus. But he guessed that there is an interaction between the virus and the problem in the inner ear associated with Meniere's. He treated 301 Meniere's sufferers with an anti-viral drug called Acyclovir and found that 86% of them found improvement in their Meniere's symptoms (1)!
Pursuing this line, I searched further on the Internet and found another study by an American doctor named Richard Gacek. Dr. Gacek examined cadavers of people who had suffered from Meniere's Disease. In studies of their inner ear tissues he found the Herpes Simplex virus in all cases. He reported that in clinical studies of patients with Meniere's, their vertigo symptoms were relieved in over 85% of the cases by treatment with anti-viral drugs (2).
I started taking an anti-viral drug six years ago. After a few days I had a thunderous, terrible Meniere's episode - one of the worst of my life. But it also felt unlike any other I'd ever had over the preceding 18 years. And when it was over I felt a clarity in my head I hadn't felt before. That was six years ago as I write this and I never had another Meniere's attack again.
I've taken a low dose of the anti-viral drug every day since. It has had no side effects that I am aware of. I get regular check-ups and all my vital signs are normal. It took me almost two years to stop being afraid. The terror of waiting for the next attack has finally subsided. I truly believe they are over thanks to this miracle. I can't find anyone in the medical community who is interested in what I have related here. They all find these findings unscientific and anecdotal.
So I've put it all here in my blog. Hopefully it will reach some of the millions of people who suffer from this horrible disease.
(1) Effectiveness of Acyclovir on Meniere's Syndrome III Observation of Clinical Symptoms in 301 Cases. Mitsuo Schichinohe, MD, PhD
(2) Meniere's Disease is a Viral Neuropathy. Richard R. Gacek MD