August 24th, 2023,
3 min read
Hi Hans, can you tell us a bit more about Ménière's disease? What exactly is it?
The formal description of Ménière's disease is: Ménière's disease is characterized by a dysfunctional inner ear. Attacks are common in cases of Ménière's disease. Such an attack is accompanied by dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and hearing sounds that do not come from the environment: tinnitus. But Ménière doesn't affect everyone in the same way. In 2015, I had a minor stroke, from which I actually recovered very well. But from then on, I have had, as I have always described it, 'stuff' on my left ear. I already had a poor hearing on the right, this has been so since birth and now because of old age. But suddenly I experienced a 'sudden-deaf'. That's literally what it is: sudden deafness. After a hormone treatment, it seemed to be under control but after a few months, it came back with permanent severe tinnitus.
How are you now?
For the past five years, I have been terribly busy at work. I have had to deal with a lot of stress and work pressure. Especially in the last 3 years (partly due to corona). The tinnitus got worse, making me increasingly restless. The restlessness turned into stress and in October 2022 I had a violent Ménière attack. At first, they thought it was another stroke and that is how I was treated in hospital. In hospital, I had 3 more violent attacks and it became increasingly clear that it was not a stroke. These attacks were and still are accompanied by severe tinnitus. First, the tinnitus increases, then I get cold and hot (as if you have a fever), followed by dizziness and vomiting. The attacks sometimes last up to 5-6 hours. But whether it is a heavy or light attack (a light attack lasts about 45 minutes), afterwards, I am exhausted.
Did you already have experience with breathing exercises?
For the last six months, I have been looking for solutions. First, I ended up with a tinnitus coach. There, I learned to meditate and work on my breathing. Finding peace in my head was quite a quest. I found out that I liked meditating, but it also required a lot of energy. When I realized this was helpful for me, I started looking for more support for my breathing.
What was your motivation to start working with moonbird?
I came across moonbird through social media. I can, by now, often feel a Ménière attack coming. It starts with increasing tinnitus, and it then helps me to immediately get my breathing under control again. Wherever I am.
But moonbird gives me two things: it helps me fall asleep despite the tinnitus. It also helps me practice my breathing through the various programs and exercises.
How does breathing support you during your recovery?
I am now working half days again and almost every day after coming home, I use my moonbird to pay attention to my breathing. Ménière's and tinnitus often originate in stress; and by consciously training my breathing, especially with moonbird and meditation, I become calm and can very easily fall back on my breathing in case of emergency.
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