Treating and Preventing Ear Disease[imwb_socialbuzz] By John On September 1, 2011 Under Tinnitus
Ear disease come as infections or hearing disorders, and they are not uncommon as you might have thought. Almost everyone has had an ear infection, and millions suffer from hearing impairment and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
There are two common types of ear infections—otitis externa and otitis media. The first one is outer ear infection, usually involving the ear canal. The other one is infection of the middle ear.
Outer ear infection is usually due to left moisture in the ears during bathing or swimming. It is sometimes called swimmer’s ear because swimmers are usually the ones afflicted by this infection. You can also get this disease if you scratched your ears.
Otitis media or middle ear infection is usually a complaint of children. It occurs when fluid congests the middle ear space. It may be a result of colds or sinus infection that has affected the Eustachian tubes. Inflamed Eustachian tubes causes decreased pressure in the middle ear, and this leads to fluid buildup.
Ear infections can be treated through eardrops and antibiotics. Decongestants are given to people with middle ear infections to relieve congestion. Anti-inflammatory drugs may also help. However, you have to visit your doctor before trying any treatment.
Preventing of ear infections involves keeping your ears dry, avoiding the use of cotton-tipped swabs to clean the ears, avoiding overzealous cleaning of the ears, treating colds and sinus infections right away, and blowing your nose softly. You should also know the signs of ear infections, like earache, ear discharge, feeling of fullness or pressure in the ears, muffled hearing, and foul smelling ears.
A hole on your eardrum causes ear pain and conductive hearing loss. It happens when your eardrum ruptures due to middle ear fluid pressure as a result of otitis media or due to an injury brought about by poking your ears.
You should go to your doctor if you experience earache and muffled hearing. An ear examination will be ordered to see the condition of your ears.
Perforated eardrums can be treated through analgesics to relieve the pain. In many cases, nothing needs to be done as the injury heals on its own. Healing takes a few weeks, and hearing will improve as recovery continues. A minor surgery can be conducted if the affected eardrum does not heal by itself.
To avoid perforation of your eardrums, you should avoid inserting anything into your ears, treat ear infections promptly, and avoid impacts to the ears. Extremely loud noise can also cause the eardrums to rupture, so stay away from loud speakers and other sources of loud noise.
When you suffer from episodes of vertigo, dizziness, tinnitus or ringing ears, hearing loss, and feeling of fullness in the ears, you probably have Meniere’s disease. This disease has unknown cause, but it is associated with excess of fluid in the inner ears. Abnormally high fluid pressure disrupts normal functioning of the inner ears. Thus, hearing and balance are affected.
There is no definite treatment for Menieres disease, but there are medications and therapies that can relieve vertigo, which is the most disabling of all symptoms. Tinnitus and hearing loss that accompany the attack are temporary and bearable. All the symptoms recede after the attack. Low tinnitus may linger, but hearing improves and vertigo subsides. Patients generally feel better during the remission, but the next episode can occur anytime.
Meniere’s disease can be managed through diet modification. Since it’s due to increase of fluid in the inner ears, managing fluid balance in the body is important. Hence, avoiding salt and caffeine is necessary.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
The number of adults losing their hearing is increasing, and experts warn that this is most likely due to frequent exposure to loud noises. Loud noise destroys the hair cells in the cochlea, and this destruction cannot be repaired. Permanent damage results in irreversible sensorineural hearing loss. The usual early sign of sensorineural hearing loss is loss of sensation of high frequency noises. What follows is trouble understanding speech, as the hearing deteriorates. Severe hearing loss may ensue if the old habit of listening to loud sounds is not stopped.
Noise-induced hearing loss can be managed through hearing aids, which should be adjusted to work according to the degree of hearing loss. Hearing aids should also be adjusted to amplify only the frequencies that are no longer heard properly.
NIHL can be prevented by, of course, staying away from noisy places. Wearing of earplugs is crucial for people who work at noisy environments. At home, you must turn your television, DVD player, and music player at moderate volumes.
Ringing in the Ears
This is a rather strange condition, which is not a disease exactly, but one that can cause other conditions, like insomnia and depression. Medically, it is known as tinnitus, and it is not classified as an ear disease. It is often described as ringing in the ears because many people with this problem complain they can hear ringing noise inside their ears.
The cause of ringing in the ears should be identified to determine the right treatment. However, tinnitus may often exist on its own without apparent culprit. In this case, treatment is targeted to managing the perception of noise. Treatments available are masking, counseling, and relaxation therapy. Medications are not prescribed unless you are suffering from anxiety or sleeplessness. Then again, long term use of medications is not recommended.
Tinnitus can be avoided by steering clear of loud noises, wearing earmuffs when necessary, and managing stress properly.