Jessie J, was struck down over Christmas by a debilitating disease that afflicts nearly a million people a year in the United States.
The 32-year-old British pop star, real name Jessica Ellen Cornish, revealed that she was briefly hospitalized suffering from Ménière’s disease.
The affliction causes vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss and a feeling of pressure deep inside the ear. And, it can strike randomly.
Your balance is controlled by fluid and tiny hairs in your inner ear, which sends signals to your brain.
In some cases, tiny calcium particles, known as canaliths, become lodged in the inner ear and send false signals to the brain, usually as you rise from bed or stand up.
The condition is known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV, and can be treated and cured with certain exercises that dislodge the particles.
Ménière’s disease has related symptoms, but is more serious.
The effects can be quite unnerving depending on the symptoms. Jessie struggled with her singing and hearing and was unable to walk in a straight line.
She related her condition on her Instagram account
“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 Meniere’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,” she wrote.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a diagnosis of Meniere’s disease requires:
- Two episodes of vertigo, lasting 20 minutes, but not longer than 12 hours
- Hearing loss verified by a hearing test
- Tinnitus or a feeling of fullness in your ear
- Exclusion of other known causes of these problems
Blood tests and imaging scans such as an MRI may be used to rule out disorders that can cause problems similar to those of Meniere’s disease, such as a brain tumor or multiple sclerosis.
While there is no cure, there are treatments that can cause the symptoms to fade over time.
The ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ singer was told to rest up by doctors and was prescribed medication to help ease the symptoms,
She said she wanted to update her fans to let them know she is feeling “a lot better”.
“I am now watching ‘Queens Gambit’ with my finger in my ear. I’ve done the first episode four times because I have zero focus and my ear sounds like someone crawled in and turned a hair dryer on.
“It could be way worse, it is what it is. I’m super-grateful for my health. It just threw me off,” she wrote.
But I’m glad I went early and they worked out what it was real quick and I got put on the right medicine so I feel a lot better today.”
An estimated 600,000 to 750,000 cases of Ménière’s disease have been reported in the United States, according to The Hearing Health Foundation.
Somewhere between 45,000 to 60,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. Worldwide, Ménière’s disease afflicts 12 in 1000 people, the organization states.
The average age of onset is between 20 and 50 years old. Men and women are affected equally. The majority of people with Meniere’s disease are 40 years old or above.
The outlook for individuals with Ménière’s disease is positive, despite the fact that a cure does not yet exist. About 90 to 95 percent of patients can control their Ménière’s disease with medical management.
Jessie actually started performing at age 11 in stage shows in London’s West End.
She burst on the music scene in 2011 with the release of her debut single “Do It Like a Dude.”
Check out Jessie’s video for “Price Tag.”