Correlations of Clinical and Audio-Vestibulometric Findings with Coexisting Anxiety and Depression in Ménière's Disease Patients

Audiol Neurootol. 2023;28(2):75-83. doi: 10.1159/000528421. Epub 2023 Jan 19.

Abstract

Introduction: Ménière's disease (MD) is an inner ear disorder, characterized by vertiginous attacks, fluctuating sensorineural hearing loss, tinnitus, and a feeling of ear fullness. Endolymphatic hydrops has been proven as the underlying pathology. Frequently, psychopathologies accompany the disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation of anxiety and depression with demographic, clinical, and audio-vestibular findings in MD patients.

Methods: The study included 40 consecutive unilateral MD patients. Demographic data (age, sex, education, employment, and marital status), clinical variables of drop attacks, the duration, frequency and severity of vertigo attacks, and tinnitus disturbance levels were recorded. Hearing threshold levels were graded between 1 and 4. Vestibulometric variables were taken as the presence of saccades and vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) gain deficits in the video head impulse tests (vHIT) and canal paresis in bithermal caloric tests. Becks's depression and anxiety scales were used for psychometric evaluations and graded by 4 and 5 from normal to severe and normal to very severe, respectively.

Results: The median age of the patients was 48.94 years, and the numbers of both sexes were almost equal (male/female = 19/21). All patients reported at least one vertigo attacks within the last year. The duration of attacks was most commonly (62.5%) 1-3 h, ranging from <1 h to 17 h. Most attacks were graded as mild (67.5%), and the frequency was 2-3 episodes per year in 22 (55%) patients. The number of attacks within the last year was 1-12. Three patients reported having drop attacks. Hearing loss in the affected ear was moderate/moderately severe in 20 (50%) patients. Thirty-seven (92.5%) patients had complaints of tinnitus. In vHIT, saccades and VOR gain deficits were found in 33 (82.5%) and 11 (27.5%) patients, respectively. Canal paresis was present in 18 (45%) patients. The depression and anxiety rates were 35% and 90%, respectively. Depression scores were correlated with education, marital status, and the presence of saccades. Anxiety was correlated only with tinnitus severity and VOR gain deficits. Depression and anxiety were also correlated.

Conclusion: Vertigo appears to be more intrusive than the other MD symptoms, and a higher correlation with anxiety than depression was demonstrated in this cohort. However, depression was seen less among married and educated patients, suggesting the role of coping capability, and had more pronounced clinical/vestibulometric correlates. Overall, these results indicated that it is mainly the severity of organic/physiological pathology which determines the degree of depression and anxiety in MD rather than vice versa.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Epidemiology; Hearing loss; Ménière’s disease; Tinnitus; Video head impulse tests; Videonistagmography.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / complications
  • Depression / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meniere Disease* / complications
  • Meniere Disease* / diagnosis
  • Middle Aged
  • Syncope
  • Tinnitus*
  • Vertigo