Meniere’s Disease: What jobs are problematic?
In principle, any competition that places a heavy burden on the sense of balance should not be performed with Meniere’s disease. These include, for example, work that requires climbing (e.g. roofing or working at height) as well as unsecured work on scaffolding (e.g. for construction workers or carpenters). Diving is also not suitable as a professional activity as there may be problems with pressure equalization. All work where people are transported, such as bus drivers and pilots, are also excluded.
In any case, competitions in which motor vehicles must be driven are usually eliminated along with Meniere’s disease. After all, the ability to drive can only be certified under very specific conditions.
Meniere’s disease: when is there an incapacity for work?
Whether Meniere’s disease has consequences for employment and whether there is a short or long-term incapacity to work depends primarily on what work the person is doing and how the disease manifests itself in it.
In particular, attacks of vertigo that are difficult to predict can be a problem in some occupations. On the other hand, any existing severe hearing loss or deafness impairs working capacity, especially if it occurs on both sides. In addition, there may be additional impairments from Meniere’s disease if it is accompanied by exhaustion, depression or anxiety.
Some people with mild Meniere’s disease feel only a little burdened with the disease, so they want to keep working and (depending on the job) can. If vertigo occurs only sporadically, and the existing hearing loss can be compensated for with hearing aids, there is not necessarily something to prevent you from working in a job that is compatible with the disease.
However, if people with Meniere’s disease suffer, for example, from more than three severe seizures a week, there is a burden that comes with being unable to work and having a reduced earning capacity.
Meniere’s Disease: Limited earning capacity or degree of disability
Depending on how frequent and severe Meniere’s seizures are, there may be a reduction in earning capacity (MdE). The expert must assess whether this is the case and determine the degree of disability (GdB). As a general rule, attachments are classified as follows:
- Meniere seizures once or twice a year: Degree of disability from 0 to 10
- more frequent Meniere seizures: degree of disability 20 to 40 (depending on severity of seizures)
- several severe Meniere attacks per month: disability degree 50
Important to know: Severe disability is defined as a disability degree of 50 or more.
If, in addition to the symptoms that occur during Meniere’s seizures, there are also persistent noises in the ears or loss of hearing, these are also taken into account and are not added to other disabilities as was the case before. Instead, it is necessary to determine the degree of disability based on the overall picture.
If people with Meniere’s disease suffer from more than three severe seizures a week, are unable to work and have a reduced earning capacity, meaning those affected can receive a temporary pension – initially for two years, which can be extended later for another two years.
Disability, inability to work, inability to work
Important information: In the event of an occupational or gainful disability, persons with disabilities are also unable to work. Conversely, incapacity for work does not automatically go hand in hand with an occupational disability. Rather, those who are unable to work are initially unable to carry out their previous job for some time due to health reasons.
Meniere’s disease: does the employer need to be informed?
It depends on the profession whether victims need to inform their employer of a diagnosis of Meniere’s disease. If this is a job where you may put yourself or others at risk due to Meniere’s seizures, or which requires a fully functional sense of balance, you should inform your employer of your illness.
For other jobs, it ultimately depends on its own discretion whether or not Meniere’s disease should be disclosed to the employer. However, even for safe workplaces, it is advisable to at least inform your colleagues. In the event of an unexpected rotational vertigo attack, they are then better able to classify the situation and (if possible) help.