Numerous observers have suggested a relationship between allergy and Meniere's disease, but objective proof has heretofore been limited. Using standard criteria, we studied a group of 7 patients with previously diagnosed Meniere's disease in whom significant allergy to 1 or more inhalants had also been diagnosed. Patients underwent a baseline electrocochleographic study followed by intranasal challenge with a carefully quantified amount of the allergen to which they were most sensitive. This was followed by a second electrocochleogram. Four of the 7 patients demonstrated at least a 15% increase in the summating potential/action potential ratio in 1 ear, associated with the production of subjective inner ear symptoms. We present this protocol as a potentially useful tool to further study whether inhalant allergy may be a causative factor in patients with Meniere's disease.
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