What is Menière’s disease?

Menière’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear characterized by a triad of symptoms:

  • Vertigo
  • Tinnitus
  • Hearing loss

Some patients also experience a fullness of the ear.

The exact cause of Menière’s disease is unknown, but it is generally assumed that an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear ("endolymphatic hydrops") is the cause. More precisely, it has been proposed that hydrops of the inner ear, i.e. an accumulation of fluid in the endolymphatic space of the inner ear is the underlying mechanism.

In glaucoma it has conclusively been shown that an accumulation of intra-ocular fluid causes an increased pressure in the eye, typically eliciting an irreversible damage to the optic nerve. If left untreated, it causes progressive loss of vision, and ultimately blindness in the affected eye. This is the reason why Menière’s disease, typically associated with endolymphatic hydrops, is often referred to as “glaucoma of the ear”. 

In the eye, the pressure is lowered by primarily the administration of a prostaglandin FP receptor agonist which triggers a controlled leakage of aqueous humor from the eye thus sparing pressure sensitive structures like the optic nerve.

Synphora aims to apply a similar therapeutic approach to Menière’s disease, i.e. to lower the pressure of the endolymphatic space.

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