Common Ear Problems: Hearing Loss, Infections, Tinnitus, and more
Common Ear Problems includes ear pain is a common complaint. For example, acute otitis media affects around 75% of children before the age of five years. It may cause the child to tug or pull at their ears, be irritable and cry, have disturbed sleep.
Most earaches in young children are caused by an acute ear infection, but not all ear pain originates in the ear. It can occur owing to toothache (teething or dental abscesses) or on swallowing in patients with a sore throat, tonsillitis or quinsy (peritonsillar abscess). Rarely, earache can be a sign of a more serious condition in adults, including cancers of the head and neck, such as tonsillar or tongue-based cancers. If ear pain occurs alongside hearing loss in children, the cause could be ‘glue ear’ (a significant wax build-up and perforated eardrums). Ear pain can also occur owing to the presence of a foreign body in the ear.
Hearing loss. There are three main types of hearing loss; conductive, sensorineural, and mixed (both conductive and sensorineural). Conductive hearing loss when there is a problem conducting soundwaves; resulting from issues with an eardrum, ear canal and/or the three bones connected to the eardrum. Often there is a buildup of material in the ear, such as fluid or ear wax, which must be eliminated. Sensorineural hearing loss is related to problems with the inner ear. This type of loss involves damage to the nerves from exposure to loud noise (noise-induced hearing loss), or it may be related to aging. This type of hearing loss is most often associated with hearing aids.
Other common ear problems include: ear infections in infants and young children; tinnitus, tinnitus is when you experience ringing or other noises in one or both of your ears. The noise you hear when you have tinnitus isn’t caused by an external sound, and other people usually can’t hear it. And Meniere’s disease, Meniere’s disease is an inner-ear condition that can cause vertigo, a specific type of dizziness in which you feel as though you’re spinning. It also can cause ringing in your ear (tinnitus), hearing loss that comes and goes, and a feeling of fullness or pressure in your ear.