Ian Jensen

Meniere's sufferer's terrifying journey

ANNE Stewart's life with Meniere's disease began in 1983 when she was 42. Her world 'suddenly spun out of control'.

For three hours she had a terrible spinning sensation in her head and was vomiting, which made the vertigo worse. She was convinced she was having a stroke.

“This was the beginning of many terrifying attacks which not only had a bad effect on me physically but also brought on anxiety and potential agoraphobia,” Anne said.

“The attacks would hit without warning and I found it very difficult to go outside our home on my own.

“Driving was out of the question and so was travelling by public transport.

“I was dependent on family and friends and being a very busy and independent person, I found this another stress.”

Anne said her journey was particularly lonely because few people had even heard of the condition which caused her attacks.

Meniere's disease is a disorder of the inner ear.

The lack of information and difficulty in diagnosis led Anne to establish the Meniere's Support Group of NSW.

She said while the vertigo was by far the worst aspect, the tinnitus, which sounded like thousands of cicadas or truck noises in the affected ear, was also very distressing.

Anne, who moved to the Coffs Coast a year ago, now takes medication which keeps her vertigo under control and the tinnitus at a bearable level.

She has organised a free Meniere's Disease Forum at the Coffs Harbour Education Campus at 1.30pm on March 7, sponsored by Quota International of Coffs Harbour.

Guest speaker will be Professor WPR Gibson, the head of the ear, nose and throat unit with Sydney University's Department of Surgery and a world expert on Meniere's disease.

For catering purposes and more information contact Anne 66902528.



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