Common Ear Ailments
An ear condition known as Otosclerosis is an abnormal growth located near the tiny bone known as the stapes which is located within the ear. This growth can prevent the stapes from moving freely and preventing your ear from functioning at an optimal level. Over time this can result in conductive hearing loss and can be rectified either through a surgical process known as stapedectomy or the use of hearing aids.
Another ear health ailment is Meniere’s disease, which results from excess fluid within the inner part of your ear. This excessive amount of fluid can disrupt your balance and cause dizziness, a ringing sensation within the ears, or nausea. Unfortunately, there are no currently known medical remedies for Meniere’s disease and this condition can only be rectified through holistic lifestyle changes, such as changes in the diet, exercise, or stress reduction. Medical options can involve the use of certain medications and in some cases, surgery.
Ear infections are also a condition that people may face when it comes to ear health. This can result from a virus or bacteria that can lead to inflammation within the otitis media, commonly known as the middle ear. Ear infections can occur during colds, allergies, the flu, or respiratory problems. Ear infections often spread to the middle ear and can result in itchy redness of the ears resulting in discharge, pain, dizziness, a sense of pressure, fever, and even hearing loss. This particular condition can mostly be treated with successful results through the use of antibiotics.
Another type of ear infection, known as Swimmer’s ear or otitis externa, can occur due to the inflammation of the ear canal, specifically located between the outer ear and the ear drum. This type of ear infection generally results from water being trapped in the ear canal (hence the name swimmer’s ear). Other causes can include incorrect cleaning of the ears, chemical irritation within the ear canal or dermatitis.
Ears constantly produce earwax, and excessive earwax accumulation can lead to blocked ears. Tiny glands within the ears produce earwax and the purpose of the earwax is to protect the ear from external irritants such as dust or insects, and waterproofing your ears from damage from moisture. Ears have their own cleaning mechanisms and do not need to be cleaning externally for the most part. With age, your ear glands tend to lessen the secretion of natural oils, resulting in dry and harder earwax that can sometimes get stuck and obstruct your ear canal. In such cases, it can become important to have your ears professionally cleaned by an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist.
Differences in pressure can result from a blocked tube within your nose that can lead to imbalance of air flow in the outer eardrum. This can result from changes in altitudes, such as flying on an airplane, going scuba diving, or driving in high altitude mountainous locations. Pressure differences can lead to pain in the ears, dizziness, a sense of stuffiness in the ears, discomfort, and loss of hearing.