Pyykkö, I., Pyykkö, N., & Manchaiah, V.
Journal of Vestibular Research, In Press.
Publication year: 2020

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the severity of vestibular drop attacks (VDA) in Ménière’s disease (MD). In addition, association between VDA severity and various complaints of MD were examined. The study used a cross-sectional survey design and included 602 people with MD belonging to Finnish Ménière Federation (FMF). The mean age and mean duration of MD of participants was 56.7 years and 12.4 years, respectively. 79.2% of participants were females. The data was gathered using an electronic questionnaire. The VDA was classified into four classes based on its severity for further analysis. VDA occurred in 305 (50.7%) of the 602 patients. Of these, 133 (22%), 80 (13%), and 92 (15%) patients experienced mild (i.e., VDA associated to tripping over), moderate (i.e., VDA associated with threatening fall unless they had been able to grab support), and severe (i.e., patients fell to the ground as in classical Tumarkin attack) degrees of VDA, respectively. There was no association between occurrence of VDA and duration of MD. In 70% of participants, VDA occurred less than once a week. Duration of VDA was few seconds in 90% of participants. 87% had single attacks whereas 13% had VDA in clusters. VDA was associated with visual auras, reduced quality of life, poor postural control and fatigue. Approximately half of the people with MD experience VDA in variable degree of severity. If VDA causes to falls or near falls, the attacks should be adequately treated.