Balancing in humans is aided by the ear, and any abnormal condition can have a chronic and lasting effect. The ear, which is divided into three segments (the external, the middle and the inner), can be affected by CED’s which results in fluid buildup in the ear or inflammation, both that can affect balance. Permanent blockage of the ear occurs when the ear becomes affected by some common ear disease that remains untreated.
In this article, we are going to explore six of those common ear disorders, seeing how to diagnose them and their treatment procedures. This will help you have an improved hearing condition and overall, better health.
Otitis media is one of the common ear disorder known; it is an infection or an inflammation which affect the middle ear majorly. It occurs as a result of virus infection, bacterial infection and respiratory infection which spread to the middle ear. Otitis media is known to affect more during childhood, age three upward.
It can be diagnosed through physical examination or through the use of an otoscope to check.
Treatment options include
- Use of anti-biotic taken orally is one option that works for some kids.
- The surgical process which involves inserting of tubes into the ear to remove the fluid might be used.
- Use of ear drops is another option that works well for some children.
Tinnitus also referred to as ringing in the ear or hearing of noise without any external source visibly causing it. There are two types, the subjective and objective. This infection is age-related or sometimes occur as a result of injury to the ear. This infection results in Ringing in the ear, buzzing of the ear, roaring sound, etc.
Tinnitus can be diagnosed through:
- Hearing or audiological examination ( sitting in a soundproof room and wearing an earpiece before conduction the test)
- Imaging tests which may include MRI scan, CT scan, etc.
Treatment options include treating underlying ear problems like removing wax, change of medications, etc. Noise suppression, Use of medications.
External Ear Infection (Swimmer’s Ear)
This is an infection to the external part of the ear canal which moves from the eardrum to the outside of the ear. It is caused mostly by water residue in the ear especially after swimming which now paves the way for the growth of bacteria. Use of cotton swab, fingers for cleaning ear can also cause swimmer’s ear.
Diagnosis can be done via examination of the ear canal by a doctor using an otoscope, Visualization of the eardrum to check for damages.
Treatment option includes cleaning of the outer ear canal to allow easy flow of eardrop to the affected part; cleaning will be done using a suction device by a doctor. Medication usage is another option that’s to be considered. It includes the use of acidic solution, steroid, antibiotics, and antifungal medications.
Ear Wax (Cerumen)
Ear wax is an infection that consists of shed skin cell, hair, secretion of ceruminous and sebaceous gland outside the ear canal. It is a waxy substance that is secreted in the ear.
Diagnosis includes checking of the ear via imaging test, the doctor can check with torchlight for wax deposition check. The Otoscope can also be used for checking.
Treatment option includes the use of softeners to help remove the wax in the ear, softener like mineral oil, hydrogen peroxide, etc. as that is the major cause of ear wax. Ear irrigation is another option that can be used, currete and cotton swabs usage.
Auto-Immune Inner Ear Disease (AIED)
This is a disease that occurs when the body immune system mistakenly affects or attack the inner ear. It can result in dizziness and hearing loss. It is a rare disease though as it rarely happens.
The diagnosis of AIED can be done by first examining the symptoms felt, after which you will undergo several hearing tests. No definite test is available to detect AIED, but the previous history of hearing infection will serve as a signal.
Treatment of AIED can be done using:
- Use of steroid
- Use of medications
- Use of hearing aid
This is an abnormal but a non-cancerous skin growth which is known to develop in the middle of the ear directly behind the eardrum. It often develops as a cyst, and it can grow big and destroy the bones in the ear.
Diagnosis can be done by checking using an otoscope to check if there are cysts developing in the ear. CT scan can also be used to check for cholesteatoma infection.
Treatment procedure that has been proved efficient is the use of surgery to remove the cyst formed in the ear. This will prevent it from affecting the ear further.