Welcome to Our Glossary Page
Last Modified Sunday, January 01, 2017

Copyright © 1997-2017 Meniere's Disease Information Center.  All rights are reserved.
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Note:  Material that was Copyright © 2002 Thom Wright and previously
posted on this page with permission was removed March 30, 2007. 
Many thanks to Thom for having permitted us to use it.

ABR -- Auditory brainstem response.

ACM -- Arnold Chiari Malformation.

Acoustic neuroma (AN) --Benign tumor, usually (but not always) very small, on the vestibulocochlear (8th cranial) nerve; usually treatable by surgical removal, but some permanent loss of hearing and other adverse consequences may result.  Acoustic neuromas are also known as vestibular schwannomas, acoustic neurinomas, and acoustic neurilemomas.  An acoustic neuroma can produce symptoms similar to the symptoms of Meniere's Disease.

AIED -- Autoimmune inner ear disease.

AN -- Acoustic neuroma.

Arnold Chiari Malformation (ACM) -- Medical condition that can exhibit symptoms similar to the symptoms of Meniere's Disease.

Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) -- Clinical diagnostic test used in the differential diagnosis of the symptoms of Meniere's Disease.

Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease (AIED) -- Inner ear condition that can cause symptoms similar to the symptoms of Meniere's Disease.  There is a fine line between AIED and suspected autoimmune-mediated Meniere's Disease.

BPPV -- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

Betahistine hydrochloride, betahistine dihydrochloride -- Generic equivalent of the brand name drug Serc.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) -- Inner ear condition caused by dislocation of "crystals"; easily and very successfully treatable with positional "Epley" maneuvers.

Brain fog -- Some, but not all, patients report, anecdotally, forgetfulness, memory loss, confusion, and disorientation.  Many patients with chronic (long-term) medical problems experience some form of this condition.  "Brain fog" is a term used by Meniere's Disease patients.  Patients with other medical problems use other terms for the same condition.  This condition is not recognized in the medical literature as a symptom of Meniere's Disease.  Patients may or may not have another disease or condition in addition to Meniere's Disease.

CAT scan -- Computerized axial tomagraphy scan.

Computerized tomagraphy (CT) or computerized axial tomagraphy (CAT) -- Computerized x-ray scanning that virtually simulates on film the function of tomagraphy (slicing frozen tissue very thinly for examination under a microscope).

CT -- Computerized tomagraphy.

DDX, DDx -- Differential diagnosis.

DMZ -- Dexamethasone.

Dx -- Diagnosis.

Dexamethasone (DMZ) -- Corticosteroid sometimes used to treat Meniere's Disease by reducing inflammation and suppressing the immune system.  A common brand name is Decadron.

Drop attack -- This term can have two meanings.

  • Some patients get such acute attacks of rotational vertigo that they suddenly drop to the ground as if they have been struck by a sledgehammer. Patients are totally helpless as the world seems to spin around them, and they vomit severely from the resulting nausea. The attacks can last minutes or hours. After the attacks finally subside, patients may sleep for hours and sometimes for days. Some patients get such drop attacks frequently, others experience them every year or two, and others not at all. Most Meniere's patients call these acute attacks "drop attacks."  Some patients can sense a drop attack approaching through a sudden increase in tinnitus and/or fullness, and/or a sudden hearing loss, but other patients get no warning.  Some patients who have experienced drop attacks without warning fear driving because they worry about the consequences should they experience a drop attack while driving.

  • Some would not use the term "drop attack" to describe an acute attack as described above (although most patients seem to do so).  Some would say a "drop attack" is properly used only to describe "Tumarkin's crises" or "otolithic crises of Tumarkin"; they would use these terms to describe a sudden drop to the ground without Meniere's symptoms, followed by an immediate recovery by merely standing up again.  As applied to patients with Meniere's Disease, we believe this is the minority view, and that most Meniere's patients use the term "drop attack," rightly or wrongly, to describe an acute attack as described above.  However, as with all things Meniere's, there is room for disagreement.

Dx, dx’d -- Diagnosis, diagnosed.

ECoG, ECOG -- Electrochochleogram/electrocochleography.

EH -- Endolymphatic hydrops.

Electrocochleogram/electrocochleography (ECoG, ECOG) -- Clinical diagnostic test used in the differential diagnosis of the symptoms of Meniere's Disease.  ECoG is pronounced EEE-cog or eee-coe-GEE.

Endolymphatic hydrops (EH) -- Accumulation of excessive inner ear fluid called endolymph due to over-production or under-resorption.

Enbrel -- Immuno-suppressant drug sometimes used for chronic (long-term) treatment of some cases of Meniere's Disease when an autoimmune etiology (cause) is suspected.

Electronystagmography/electronystagmogram (ENG) -- Clinical diagnostic test used in the differential diagnosis of the symptoms of Meniere's Disease.

ENT -- Informal term for an ear, nose, and throat doctor (otolaryngologist or otorhinolaryngologist).

Gentamicin (gent) -- Antibiotic drug with ototoxic properties.  "Ototoxic" means toxic to the inner ear.  Gentamicin is used in the treatment of Meniere's Disease for its ototoxic properties (not for its antibiotic properties). Gentamicin destroys the little hairs that are the ends of the vestibulocochlear (8th cranial) nerve, located in the inner ear structure called the vestibule.

Grommets -- See pressure equalization tubes.

Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) -- Generic name for a diuretic drug used in the treatment of Meniere's Disease.  Also used in the treatment of high blood pressure and other conditions.  Brand names include Diazide and Maxzide.

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) -- Virus suspected as a possible factor in the cause of Meniere's Disease.  No research establishes HSV as a cause or the cause of Meniere's Disease, but more research seems to be in order.

Hx -- History (medical).

IEH -- Idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops.

Idiopathic -- Cause unknown.

Idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops (IEH) -- Endolymphatic hydrops (see above) resulting from an unknown cause.  Many researchers equate this condition with Meniere's Disease, but other researchers believe that there are other etiologies for some or all Meniere's Disease.

Intratympanic (IT) -- Tthrough the tympanic membrane (ear drum).  Also called transtympanic (TT).

IT -- Intratympanic.

Maladie de Meniere -- French for Meniere's Disease.  "Maladie" means "disease."

MD -- Meniere's Disease.

Meniere's Disease (MD) -- See our Home/Start Page.  (German:  Morbus Meniere.  French:  Maladie de Meniere.)  How does one pronounce "Meniere's Disease"?  Any way one chooses.  Some folks believe that there is only one way to pronounce any term, but the rest of us won't want to judge our physicians by their pronunciation of this disease.  Fans of American English and Merriam-Webster dictionaries will be interested in this online pronunciation.  Fans of the American Heritage American English Dictionary will be interested in this online pronunciation.

MM -- Morbus Meniere, German for Meniere's Disease.  "Morbus" means "disease"; "Morbus Meniere" means "Disease of Meniere").  For unknown reasons, this abbreviation is used on the Internet by many Meniere's patients.  However, "MM" is not generally used within the  medical community.  The term "MM" doesn't appear even one time in PubMed.  (Click here to see for yourself.)  If you use the term "MM" when talking to your doctors, they will likely not know what you mean and they will think that you are ill-informed (a polite way of saying "dumb").  If one must use an acronym, "MD" is the acronym used by medical professionals, despite the fact that it can also stand for other terms.

MS -- Multiple sclerosis.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) -- Multiple sclerosis may exhibit symptoms similar to the symptoms of Meniere's Disease.

Methotrexate (MTX) -- Immuno-suppressant drug sometimes used for chronic (long-term) treatment of rheumatoid (autoimmune-mediated) arthritis and, lately, for some cases of Meniere's Disease when an autoimmune etiology (cause) is suspected).

MTX -- Methotrexate.

Neurotologist (also known as otoneurologist) -- Doctor who specializes in disorders of the ear and of the vestibulocochlear (8th cranial) nerve.  In the U.S., there are "boards" that certify physician specialists.  The umbrella organization for all 24 boards that certify physician specialities is the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).  One of those boards is the American Board of Otolaryngology (ABOTO).  That board certifies otolaryngologists (also known as otorhinolaryngologists).  It also certifies the subspecialty of Neurotology.  A booklet at the ABOTO website, in .pdf format, provides information on the qualifications for a board-certified neurotologist as well as the board's definition of a board-certified neurotologist.  Click here.

Otolithic crisis of Tumarkin -- See drop attack.

Otolaryngologist, otorhinolaryngologist -- See ENT.

Otologist -- Doctor specializing in treatment of the ear.

Otoneurologist --  See neurotologist.

PE tubes -- Pressure equalization tubes.

PLF -- Perilymph fistula.

Pressure equalization (PE) tubes -- Also known as "ventilation tubes," tympanostomy tubes, myringotomy tubes, and (principally Australia) as "grommets."  Tubes inserted into the tympanic membrane (ear drum) to equalize air pressure between the outer ear and the middle ear, usually when the Eustachian tube (a bodily structure that normally accomplishes air pressure equalization) becomes blocked due to infection or otherwise.

Perilymph fistula (PLF) -- Condition in which an opening occurs in the round or oval windows that separate the middle ear from the inner ear) (the "perilymph" part is somewhat of a misnomer).  Perilymph fistula may produce symptoms similar to the symptoms of Meniere's Disease.

Px -- Prognosis.

Rx -- Prescription.

Secondary endolymphatic hydrops SEH -- A form of endolymphatic hydrops (EH) (see above) resulting secondarily from some primary event, such as head trauma.  SEH is not Meniere's Disease, because the cause is known.

SEH -- Secondary endolymphatic hydrops.

Serc -- A brand name of the generic drug betahistine hydrochloride.

Sensorineural hearing loss (SNL) -- Hearing loss due to nerve damage.  This is the type of hearing loss produced by Meniere's Disease.

SNL -- Sensorineural hearing loss.

Sx -- Symptoms.

T -- Tinnitus.

Tinnitus (T)  -- A sound heard when there is no actual external sound to hear.  Often called "ringing in the ears."  However, the sound can be thumping, whining, or many other sounds, not just ringing.  There are two valid ways to pronounce "tinnitus":  TIN-it-tus or tin-EYE-tus.  Click here

Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) -- Usually highly effective treatment of tinnitus.  The tinnitus isn't reduced, but the patient learns to ignore the sound (a process called habituation) to the point where a patient is unaware of the sound.

Transtympanic (TT) -- See intratympanic.

Tumarkin's crisis -- See drop attack.

TRT -- Tinnitus retraining therapy.

TT -- See intratympanic.

Tx -- Treatment (medical); medical treatment plan.

Vestibular nerve section (VNS), vestibular neurectomy (VN) --  A surgical procedure in which the vestibular branch of the vestibulocochlear (8th cranial) nerve is severed near its junction with the brain.

Vestibular neurectomy -- See vestibular nerve section.

Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) -- Mostly physical balance rehabilitation therapy to help the body adjust to the loss of vestibular function, including lose due to Meniere's Disease.

VN -- Vestibular neurectomy.

VNS -- Vestibular nerve section.

VRT -- Vestibular rehabilitation therapy.

Copyright © 1997-2017 Meniere's Disease Information Center.  All rights are reserved.
All copying, including (but not limited to) websites, bulletin boards, forums, and blogs, is prohibited.
Click here for more copyright information.