What are Some Common Diseases of the Ear?

a visual diagram of the inner and outer ear

Our ears are sensitive organs and throughout our lifetime they will be subject to some pretty minor and severe situations which can affect your hearing and play a part in how well you can hear what goes on in the world around you.

From day-to-day noises including listening to music and TV to being put under pressure at loud events and listening to extreme noises such as explosions, airplane takeoffs and music concerts. 

It goes without saying that at times, our hearing could be impacted by the situations they are exposed to as well as a result of certain medical conditions. Experiencing hearing loss at any age or severity can be a troubling time and make a huge difference in how you live in the world. 

Luckily, technology has advanced enough to allow a range of different hearing aid styles and medical procedures that can help you to regain any hearing loss you are experiencing and allow you to hear the world as you did before you developed issues with your hearing.

Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s disease is a build-up of excess fluid in the inner ear. This excess fluid causes an imbalance of the ear. Common side effects of a build-up of fluid in the inner ear are dizziness, nausea, changes in hearing abilities, a feeling of pressure inside the ear and a ringing in the ear. While there is no known cure, the condition can be managed by making lifestyle changes such as through your diet, exercise and reducing stress along with medication and in some instances, surgery.

Ear infections

Ear infections are largely caused by bacteria or a virus that enters the ear when you have an illness such as colds or flu or other infections such as chest infection. Once the infection is inside the ear, it spreads to the middle ear and results in redness of the ear along with the following symptoms; itchiness, discharge from the ear, a blocked ear affecting your hearing, pain, dizziness and fever. In many cases, antibiotics can be used effectively to treat an ear infection.

Swimmers ear

Swimmers ear is an inflammation of the ear canal that occurs between the eardrum and the outer ear. Swimmers’ ears are caused by water in the ear canal, damage from cleaning your ears, dermatitis or due to chemical irritation. At least 10% of the population will experience swimmers’ ears in their lifetime.

Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis is their inflammation of the part of the inner ear called the labyrinth. Inflammation causes symptoms like vertigo and can make those experiencing labyrinthitis feel dizzy, nauseous and experience mild to severe hearing loss too.

It is generally thought people experience labyrinthitis due to a viral infection or in some cases a bacterial infection.

Otosclerosis 

This condition is an abnormal bone growth around the stapes, a small bone inside the ear. The growth stops the stapes from being able to move freely which is essential for the hearing system to function properly. Failure to correct this growth leads to conductive hearing loss.

Otosclerosis can be treated with hearing aids and surgery. Many patients find the use of hearing aids helps them to regain their hearing should surgery not be an option.

Blast injury

A blast injury is an acoustic shock that affects your hearing and your brain. Blast injuries are common in people who spend time around excessive noise such as military personnel, veterans and those who work in the demolition industry.

A blast injury occurs when the hair cells in the organ of Corti in the inner ear become damaged. People experiencing sound-based trauma often feel additional pressure in the affected ear and ringing in the ears. Damage occurs when people are exposed to the sound waves for short periods of time.

How we can help

At Lents Medical Group, Louisiana Ear, Nose, Throat and Sinus we can talk you through all your hearing concerns along with any worries and concerns you have regarding your health. You can consult an ear nose and throat specialist if you are concerned about your hearing, experiencing levels of hearing loss or other symptoms that aren’t usual for you, as well as advice on getting new hearing aids.

Simply get in touch with us today to see how we can help you. Contact us today at:

Baton Rouge LA (Bluebonnet Blvd): (225) 888-8630, Baton Rouge LA (Dijon Drive): (225) 769-1090, Denham Springs LA: (225) 243-4211, Zachary LA: (225) 658-4334 and St. Francisville LA: (225) 769-1090