As helpful as our ears can be, some people can experience all sorts of issues with their ears. From common issues like ear wax build up, which is where the wax gets compacted in the ear, and needs to be removed (if this happens to you search for ear wax removal near me and go to a specialist like this ) for more unusual ear problems.

Ménière’s disease is something that is less well known and is not very common. It is a condition that affects the inner ear, the most famous sufferer of the condition of course was the astronaut Alan Shepard, whose career was blighted by the illness.

On the 5th of May, Alan Shepard stepped aboard the Freedom 7 craft to make history. He became the first American in space and spent 15 minutes and 22 seconds completing a suborbital flight before the craft landed in the sea around 300 miles from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Hailed as an American hero, Shepard had ambition and wanted to see more of space.

Image Credit

Unfortunately, the next few years saw him experience debilitating conditions, such as dizzy spells and pain, and it was eventually discovered that he was suffering from Ménière’s disease. Unfortunately, astronauts are not allowed to fly without a clean bill of health, and an illness like this could have seriously hampered him and put him and others at risk.

Image Credit

Therefore, Shepard worked with Deke Slayton, another grounded astronaut as an astronaut trainer, and had to watch others head into space. However, when doctor William House offered him a risky operation with only an estimated 20% chance of success Shepard jumped at the chance. Against the odds, it was successful, and Shepard went on to command Apollo 14 and walk on the moon.