Ear Diseases & Treatments

Ear Diseases
Hearing Damage
It refers to conditions in which individuals are fully or partially unable to detect or perceive at least some frequencies of sound which can typically be heard by members of their species.

Otitis media
It is inflammation of the middle ear, or middle ear infection. Otitis media occurs in the area between the ear drum (the end of the outer ear) and the inner ear, including a duct known as the eustachian tube. It is one of the two categories of ear inflammation that can underlie what is commonly called an earache, the other being otitis externa. Diseases other than ear infections can also cause ear pain, including cancers of any structure that shares nerve supply with the ear and shingles which can lead to herpes zoster oticus.

Treatment Hearing Damage
If the hearing loss occurs at a young age, interference with the acquisition of spoken language and social skills may occur. Hearing aids, which amplify the incoming sound, may alleviate some of the problems caused by hearing impairment, but are often insufficient. Cochlear implants artificially stimulate the VIIIth Nerve by providing an electric impulse substitution for the firing of hair cells. Cochlear implants are not only expensive, but require sophisticated programming in conjunction with patient training for effectiveness. There has been considerable controversy within the culturally Deaf community over cochlear implants.

Otitis media
To treat the pain caused by otitis media oral as well as topical analgesics are effective. Oral agents may include ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or narcotics. Topical agents shown to be effective include antipyrine and benzocaine ear drops. In chronic cases or with effusions present for months, surgery is sometimes performed by an otolaryngologist or by an otologist, to insert a tympanostomy tube (also called a "grommet") into the eardrum to allow air to pass through into the middle ear, and thus release any pressure buildup and help clear excess fluid within.

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