10 months ago I woke up one Saturday morning with a very loud roaring sound in my left ear. It was so loud, concentrating on anything else was difficult. It was very scary to say the least. After a sleepless night, I went to see an ENT who gave me a high powered antibiotic and a large serving of prednisone - starting with 60mg/day. The Dr. could tell I was pretty freaked out by this but didnt have a lot to say. The diagnosis was sudden hearing loss as I had lost over a 1/3 of my hearing from the low end in my ear. Not satisfied by this vague diagnosis, I started to research and found a Neuro-otologist. The predisone quickly mitigated my symptoms. After a few days the sound was down to minimal. Even the high pitched tinnitus that I had suffered from for years was down. I went to the new doc and was diagnosed with Cochlear Hydrops but it was clear I was on my way to Meniers. We went over my history thoroughly and apparently the occasional heading spinning episodes and the high pitched tinnitus were indicators on the trail. At the time I was feeling fine due to the prednisone. In his view, Cochlear Hydrops can be an auto immune problem made worse by allergies, which I also have, and definately sodium. In general, however, it can be a mysterious problem with no clear answer as why it happans or how to stop it. His only prescription was to take my allergy meds religiously, flonase+claritin, and eat a low salt diet (less than 1500 mg) with at least 64 oz. of water each day and take 1/4 pill of Maxzide (sodium eliminating diuretic). Fast forward to 2 days after my last steroid dose - roaring sound is back and at least 1/3 of my hearing is gone again. Over 9 months I went through cycles of roaring tinnitus and hearing loss eventually getting to the point where the roaring would not go away it would just recede. I tested my body in many ways trying to isolate what works and what caused problems. The number one culprit - sodium. One time I had a bad attack 3 hrs after eating a bite of cheese (over 400mg/oz). I decided it was time to get radical. Over a few month I drove my sodium intake down. I tried 1000mg/day at first. Not good enough. I now eat no more than 400 mg. per day and no more than 150 mg per meal. I still take the Maxzide. I am a label reading machine. I went through the supermarket and eliminated 99% from my food supply. NO fast food ever. Restaurants are tough - salad bar only or maybe a steak with no seasoning and steamed veggies or baked potato. Dont trust the cook. As a rule, I live in the produce aisle. It is difficult to maintain this level but one slip up and its in my ear. If I have a bad attack I begin a methyl prednisone dose pack (6,5,4,3,2,1) to shut down the autoimmune reaction. Living on this radical diet has resulted in ever decreasing symptoms to the point where I have been sound free for 2 weeks straight and the original high pitch tinnitus is now going down. I have lost 24 lbs. (i was not overwieght to begin with). I drink at least 64 oz. water and also avoid concentrated sugar, ie. fruit juice as too much sugar is related somehow. Absolutely no caffeine - tough to avoid chocolate. I have recently begun Immunotherapy to deal with my allergies. If you want to beat this problem you must be come a student of food and your bodies' reactions. The american diet is filled with sodium. The transition away from it is difficult. I eat Kind bars when I need to. I was eating an average of over 5000 mg. per day (which is the American average) and the human body only needs about 200. The good news is your sense of taste changes over time. I am thoroughly enjoying what I eat now as I taste differently. I would like a piece of pizza once in awhile but I am not willing to trade my hearing and possible Menieres disease for the 1200 mg. of sodium per slice. I havent eaten a slice of bread in 6 months (280mg/slice). Tobasco is my friend (30mg. per tsp) and so is Mrs. Dash and Benson's gourmet spices. When I can, I hit the farmers market and places like Whole Foods and I raid the no salt foods and spices. There is a growing supply of food with no salt avail. and many books on no salt cooking strategies. The bonus - it has been proven via many studies that a low sodium (under 1000mg/day) diet will add and average of 8-10 years to life span.