I have been dealing with Cochlear Hydrops for 3+ years. Episodes have increased in occurence and severity over time. However, since I have been through so many rounds with CH, I have been able to relax about it more than when it first began. Back then I would get very anxious about whether or not it would go away. Eventually it always does. My big fear is it developing into the typical Menieres with the rotational vertigo and the hell life it can be.
My base dietary strategy is low sodium - as close to 500 mg. per day however lately I have relaxed a bit. Note: This is a good life strategy even if it does help that much. I Still find most of my diet in the produce department. Mrs. Dash, homemade curry, etc. In addition, lots of fluid - 64 oz./day, sleep (very important as I believe sleep deprivation to be a major culprit/contributor), exercise (relieves stress which is a big contributor) - at least go for a long walk a few times/week, no caffeine, limit the concentrated sugar, ie. fruit juice etc.
I have discovered via experimentation with various medicines and a lot of self observation what can help my case. My CH is apparently driven a great deal by my bad allergies. I was re-tested earlier this year and found a number of pollens create a big reaction. In a case like mine, identifying the right antihistamine is very important. I have tried them all and have concluded that Allegra works the best for me. Antihistamine is part 1. I have experimented as much as I can with Prednisone. High doses (40-60mg./day) will definately shut down an attack. However, as you work your way down to 10-20mg. I would often find that CH would begin to return. Lower doses, ie. 10mg for a longer period doesnt work as well as a spike in the begining of a course. Over several occurences, and several courses of Prednisone, I discovered that I need to take at least 20mg. immediately upon the first indication of an attack. I would work my way down over 5 days and this would often work. Lately, my CH has demanded higher doses. Prednisone, though it works in most cases, is not your friend in the long run and has bad side effects, like insomnia, loss of bone density, adrenal function, dependency, etc. Be carefull and research heavily before taking. Predinisone is still part 2. If used prudently, it serves an important function in mitigating attacks and returning your hearing back to near normal quickly. Part 3 is valium. Used in small amounts, ie. 5 mg, and only occasionally so you dont get hooked, it helps you sleep while on predisone and it relaxes the #9 cranial nerve which plays an important role.
Note: Many people think that CH and Menieres is ultimately caused by a virus, possible herpes in which case an agitated nerve is the root of the problem. The relevant nerve is #9 cranial. In an event, valium helps you sleep and you will notice that the CH is very calm in the AM and will ramp up during the day after taking it. Part 4 is my latest discovery - Serc or Betahistine. I was very reluctant to try it. I cleared my system of any effects of any meds except for allegra and waited for my next attack. I took as prescribed, 16mg, 3x/day. On 3 successive attacks, it was stopped within 2 days. Apparently it dialates the capillaries carrying the endolymphatic fluid causing the CH and allows them to clear and absorb the excess.
I have come up with a regime that has been working for a couple of months now in consult with my regular Dr. Note: he is not entrenched like a lot of ENT and is interested in my case. I find ENT's typically consider CH to be an annoying chronic illness that you are supposed to deal with.
In any event, my Dr. has agreed with my plan: Group A - Daily multivitamin, Daily B complex, Lemon Bioflavoid, 10mg Vinpocetine. Note - these are recommended by House Ear Clinic - there are others they recommend but you can only swallow so many pills a day. Group B -
Allegra, 2.5mg. prednisone (phase out several days after an attack), Betahistine - 16mg, 3x/day if an attack happens, otherwise 8mg., 3x/day maintainence. Note: Betahistine or Serc is avail. in Europe. I use goldpharma from Spain. It is treatment number one for CH and Menieres in Europe. 95 of CH patients in Europe are prescribed Betahistine. Finally, valium occasionally for sleep. Sleep is an important part of the treatment. You must get enough quality sleep. I use a white noise machine or sleep near the fish tank to make sure. I currently feel pretty good after a rough spring. I hope this helps. I will try to update in a few months on my progress.
Last edited by Administrator; 08-26-2011 at 12:05 AM.