Meniere's disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance to a varying degree. It is characterized by episodes of vertigo, low-pitched tinnitus, and hearing loss. The hearing loss is fluctuating rather than permanent, meaning that it comes and goes, alternating between ears for some time, then becomes permanent with no return to normal function. It is named after the French physician Prosper Meniere, who, in an article published in 1861, first reported that vertigo was caused by inner ear disorders. The condition affects people differently; it can range in intensity from being a mild annoyance to a lifelong disability.
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