MENIÈRE’S DISEASE INTRODUCTION
Menière’s disease is believed to be an inherited disorder and is probably transmitted by dominant inheritance on an autosomal (non-sex) chromosome. If this is so, the expression of the gene is extremely variable, so that the disease appears unpredictably, skipping among generations of the same family with many cases appearing to be sporadic. The pathology of Menière’s disease consists of so-called endolymphatic hydrops-an increase in the pressure and volume of the endolymph compartment of the inner ear (see Chapter 2). Fluctuations in the pressure of the endolymph are believed to coincide with bouts of dizziness. As the condition progresses there is a tendency for the inner ear to become increasingly damaged, and the end result is often severe deafness in the affected ear.