The ear is one of the body’s most advanced and sensitive organs. When it is damaged or affected by something, it must be taken to warn that there could be something wrong with your auditory system according to ent specialist.
What is an Ear?
The ear, also called the vestibulocochlear organ, is part of the human sensory system that maintains balance and hearing needed to perceive sounds around us. It is divided into three parts:
- The external ear is formed by the pinna and extends to the external auditory canal. The external ear receives sounds and directs them to the middle ear.
- The middle ear: It is formed of the mastoid antrum, tympanic membrane, tympanic cavity, Eustachian tube, auditory ossicles, and air cells.
- The inner ear: located inside the temporal bone, it is divided into the bony labyrinth and the membranous labyrinth. Its primary function is to transport the electric impulses received to the brain in the form of sound.
However, in optimal cases when the information is not sent to the brain, the patient may begin to experience discomfort, indicating that there is some disorder in their ears.
Shared below is a brief of the primary ear diseases that impact average hearing ability then you find ent specialist.
The Most Common Ear Disorders
- Otitis media: It is an inflammation of the inner ear caused by bacteria or viruses. In Otitis, media fluid in the ear accumulates behind the eardrum. It is not severe if treated correctly and, once properly treated, does not occur repeatedly.
- Otosclerosis: in layman’s language, the abnormal growth of the small bones in the middle ear is called Otosclerosis. It is pretty alarming that Otosclerosis is one of the most common reasons that cause gradual hearing loss in adults. The good news is that through proper consultation and ENT procedures, hearing loss due to this ear disease can be recovered with surgery.
- Tinnitus: Constant ringing or buzzing or, say, the head’s noise sensations are called Tinnitus. Its cure is quite challenging because there is currently no scientific treatment or cure for this condition.
- Meniere’s disease: It is a chronic ear condition that affects the inner ear – balance and hearing efficiency. Symptoms of Meniere’s are vertigo, Tinnitus, hearing loss, and the patient feels pressure or kinda “fullness” in their ear. Medication is usually prescribed to alleviate the symptoms. Another option to treat this ear disease is the placement of the Meniett device in the outer ear, which generates micro pressure and impulses that balances the pressure of the fluid present in the inner ear.
- Presbycusis: Hearing loss that is caused primarily because of aging is called Presbycusis. In this condition, a gradual loss of hearing occurs in adults. Presbycusis is called bilateral and symmetrical hair loss, which means it co-occurs in both ears at the same rate.
- Barotrauma: The physical damage to the ear is caused by barometric (air) or water pressure changes are called Barotrauma in the medical term.
- Acoustic trauma: The damage which is caused to the ear by a sudden, loud noise, for example, explosions, loud machinery, or music concerts, is termed Acoustic trauma. The impact and effects of the injury must be assessed and thoroughly monitored over a certain period – medium or long term depending upon the damage caused to the ear by Acoustic trauma.
- Hearing loss, impairment, or anacusis (deafness): If you face difficulty in hearing due to partial, unilateral, bilateral, or as a result of total hearing loss, then you might need hearing impairments. Such hearing loss is caused either due to hereditary issues or is the consequence of severe illness, long-term exposure to noise, traumatism, or unsupervised high dose medication to treat the auditory nerve. Hearing aids and cochlear implants are commonly and primarily used to treat hearing loss.
Less Common Ear Diseases/Disorders
- Exostosis: The abnormal bone growth that appears within the ear canal is called Exostosis. It is also called “Surfer’s ear,” as it is also caused by cold wind or exposure of the ear to water. There is nothing to worry about Exostosis, but you must consult an ENT specialist. If the bone abnormally grows in size, surgery might become necessary in that case.
- Usher syndrome or Retinitis pigmentosa: It is a rare genetic condition that affects both sight and hearing.
- Acoustic neuroma: It is also called the benign tumor that grows on the inner ear’s vestibular nerve, close to the brain. Acoustic neuroma is treated either by surgical removal or is treated with radiation.
- Vestibular neuritis: It is a condition that stems due to the inflammation of the vestibular nerve located in the inner ear, thus causes vertigo and nausea.
- Perichondritis: an infection of the skin and tissue covering the cartilage of the external part of the ear. It can cause redness, pain, and fever. Read more
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