The American Hearing Research Foundation (AHRF) announced today that it has partnered with the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) to sponsor a 5-‐minute video, “Spotlight on Hearing and Balance,” to educate the public on Meniere’s disease, a difficult to diagnosis, debilitating condition that causes episodes of hearing loss, vertigo and often leads to anxiety and/or depression when not appropriately addressed or when symptoms become acute. PBS will air the video across its nationwide network, with a major airing push concentrated over the next three months.
An estimated 615,000 people in the United States suffer with Meniere’s disease, which becomes more common with age. Most people with Meniere’s disease are over 40. Currently, there is no known cure, but evidence-‐based therapies and treatments can help people better manage the symptoms, which can include ringing and pressure in the ears, along with fluctuating hearing loss, extreme dizziness, and associated nausea, falls, anxiety and/or depression.
“Until someone suffers themselves from Meniere’s disease, or is close to a friend or loved one with the condition, it’s difficult to imagine the impact that it can have on everyday life,” says President of AHRF, Alan Micco, MD. “Most of us take our hearing and especially our balance for granted. But when a condition like Meniere’s disease strikes, entire lives change. At AHRF, we’re committed to investing in research to better understand Meniere’s disease and other hearing and balance disorders of the inner ear so we can identify treatments that will make a difference.”
“Spotlight on Hearing and Balance” illuminates the connection between hearing and balance and features people who live with Meniere’s disease. Nashville country singer, JesseLee Jones, and
Wisconsin -‐based physical therapist, Kim Mayer, share their stories, bringing the reality of living with Meniere’s disease into focus for PBS viewers.
“I run because I can. When I get tired, I remember those who cannot run. What they would give to have this simple gift I take for granted—and I run harder for them.” These are the words of
Katie Mertz, Esq., now an AHRF Board member, who founded run because to raise money for Meniere’s disease research in response to her mother’s struggle with the condition.