Jessie J almost suffered permanent hearing loss over Christmas - here’s what happened

Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 10:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 10:20 am

Pop star and talent show judge Jessie J has revealed that she suffers from Ménière's disease after a Christmas Eve hospital visit.

The Do It Like A Dude singer told fans on Instagram that she was feeling much better after receiving treatment, and having lots of people reach out with advice and support.

Speaking in an Instagram Live video, the singer described feeling like she was “completely deaf” in one ear before receiving treatment at a hospital in Los Angeles.

She said, “I woke up and felt like I was completely deaf in my right ear, couldn’t walk in a straight line.

“Basically I got told I had Ménière's syndrome. I know that a lot of people suffer from it and I’ve actually had a lot of people reach out to me and give me great advice, so I’ve just been laying low in silence.

“Now’s the first time I’ve been able to sing and bear it.”

According to the Ménière's Society, somewhere between one in 10,000 and one in 20,000 people suffer from the disease, but what is it, and are there treatments available?

What is Ménière's disease?

Ménière's disease is a long term progressive disorder of the inner ear, which affects balance and hearing. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent hearing loss and deafness.

The disease typically only affects one ear, although it can spread to both over time, and generally starts between young and middle-aged adulthood.

There is no treatment for the disease itself, although a number of medications can be used to treat the symptoms and side effects of the disease.

What are the symptoms of Ménière's Disease?

The symptoms of the disease include:

Feeling dizziness or a spinning sensationFeeling unsteady on your feetFeeling or being sickHearing ringing, roaring or buzzing inside your earA sudden loss of hearing

Generally the symptoms will be experienced all at once or close together in an attack.

This can go on for anything from a few minutes to several hours, although two to three hours is typical. Attacks will often happen in clusters, sometimes several times in a week, whereas other times a person may go for extended periods without an attack, even for years.

If you’re having an attack of Ménière's, the NHS advises the following:

  • Take your medication
  • Sit or lie down
  • Close your eyes
  • Keep your head still
  • Try not to move, and do so slowly if you have to

If you think you have Ménière's disease you should speak to your GP.

What are the treatments for Ménière's disease?

The disease itself has no cure, but the main side effects of vertigo, nausea and vomiting can be reduced with some medicines.

According to the NHS, the two main medicines which GPs recommend for Ménière's are prochlorperazine and antihistamines. Further treatments can help with associated issues like tinnitus, hearing loss and loss of balance.

As the disease can often be unsettling and distressing, particularly for those who’ve just been diagnosed, GPs may also offer counselling and relaxation therapy to help you adjust to the diagnosis.

What causes Ménière's disease?

Although the exact cause of the disease is unknown, it is thought that a number of issues can increase your risk and the disease is caused by a combination of factors.

These include:

  • Poor fluid drainage in your ear
  • An immune system disorder
  • Allergies
  • A viral infection, such as meningitis
  • A family history of Ménière's disease
  • A head injury
  • Migraines

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister publication, The Scotsman.