Objective: To evaluate long-term hearing results and quality of life in patients with Ménière's disease.
Study design: Detailed audiometric evaluation and disease-specific as well as global health quality evaluation of patients with Ménière's disease.
Setting: Ambulatory evaluation was conducted in a large multispecialty clinic.
Patients: Ménière's disease in only one ear, were at least 1 year posttreatment, were < 65 years of age, had no neurologic or psychologic disorders, and lived within driving distance of the ambulatory clinic.
Main outcome measures: Audiometry, the Hearing Handicap Inventory, Dizziness Handicap Inventory, Tinnitus Handicap Inventory, and SF-36 Health Survey.
Results: No statistically significant differences in long-term hearing results were detected from natural history in medically or surgically treated patients with Ménière's disease. A significant disease-specific symptom handicap was detected. The global health handicap was greater for emotional disability than for physical disability.
Conclusions: Medical and surgical treatment does not significantly influence hearing results in Ménière's disease. Patients with Ménière's disease have a greater emotional disability than a physical disability.