Living with Ménière's disease 

Living with Ménière's disease can be difficult and frustrating. Your balance and hearing may be significantly impaired during an attack, meaning that certain activities can be dangerous.

The unpredictable nature of the condition means you may need to change your daily activities so you don't place yourself, or others, in danger. Situations you may need to avoid include:

  • swimming
  • climbing ladders or scaffolding
  • operating heavy machinery
  • driving (see below)

You may also need to make sure that someone is with you most of the time, in case you need help during an attack.

These restrictions may leave you feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed. Speak to your GP if you're finding it difficult to come to terms with the effect that Ménière's disease is having on your life. They can offer advice and support.

Support groups and charities

There are also several support groups and charities that provide useful information and advice about living with Ménière's disease. They can put you in touch with other people who have the condition, so you can share experiences and provide support to one another.

The UK Ménière's Society offers a range of resources and information for people with Ménière's disease and for those who care for them.

As the symptoms of Ménière's disease can affect your work and family life, you may need advice on financial and relationship issues. The Citizens Advice Bureau and GOV.UK may be useful.

If you're caring for someone with Ménière's disease, you can find relevant information, advice and help by visiting our care and support pages.


If you experience sudden episodes of vertigo and dizziness, you must inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) about your condition before driving.

You'll need to fill in a form about your condition and the DVLA will ask for permission to obtain reports on your condition from your doctor or specialist.

Your case will be assessed on an individual basis, but it's likely that you won't be allowed to continue driving if you experience sudden attacks of vertigo and dizziness without any warning signs.

Driving won't be permitted again until you have control of your symptoms, in which case you'll need to reapply for a licence. Your GP or ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist will have to confirm your symptoms have improved and are under control.

If you drive a heavy goods vehicle or a passenger-carrying vehicle and you're diagnosed with Ménière's disease, you usually have to be symptom-free for a year before you can reapply for a licence.

Visit GOV.UK for more information about driving with a disability or health condition.

Page last reviewed: 16/01/2015

Next review due: 16/01/2017