Your ear has three main parts: outer, middle and inner. You use all of them in hearing. Sound waves come in through your outer ear. They reach your middle ear, where they make your eardrum vibrate. The vibrations are transmitted through three tiny bones, called ossicles, in your middle ear. The vibrations travel to your inner ear, a snail-shaped organ. The inner ear makes the nerve impulses that are sent to the brain. Your brain recognizes them as sounds. The inner ear also controls balance.

A variety of conditions may affect your hearing or balance:

  • Ear infections are the most common illness in infants and young children.
  • Tinnitus, a roaring in your ears, can be the result of loud noises, medicines or a variety of other causes.
  • Meniere's disease may be the result of fluid problems in your inner ear; its symptoms include tinnitus and dizziness.
  • Ear barotrauma is an injury to your ear because of changes in barometric (air) or water pressure.

Some ear disorders can result in hearing disorders and deafness.

Symptoms of Ear Disorders

The following features are indicative of Ear Disorders:
  • temporary hearing loss
  • tinnitus
  • dizziness
It is possible that Ear Disorders shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Ear Disorders

The following are the most common causes of Ear Disorders:
  • loud noise
  • fluid problems in the inner ear
  • injury to the ear because of changes in barometric (air) or water pressure

Risk Factors for Ear Disorders

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Ear Disorders:
  • degeneration of delicate inner ear structures
  • exposure to loud noise
  • heredity factor
  • explosive noises
  • meningitis

Prevention of Ear Disorders

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Ear Disorders. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • protect your ears in the workplace
  • consider regular hearing tests if you work in a noisy environment
  • avoid listening to rock concerts for long periods of time

Occurrence of Ear Disorders

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Ear Disorders cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Ear Disorders can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Ear Disorders can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Ear Disorders

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Ear Disorders:
  • Otoacoustic emission testing: To check the hearing capacity is good enough
  • Rotatory chair test:
  • Electrocochleography: To record the electrical potential generated in response to sound stimulation
  • Blood tests: To test the other disorders
  • Pneumatic otoscope: To look in the ear and judge whether there is fluid behind the eardrum
  • Tympanometry: To measure the movement of the eardrum
  • Acoustic reflectometry: To measure how much sound emitted from a device is reflected back from the eardrum
  • Tympanocentesis: To drain fluid from the middle ear

Doctor for Diagnosis of Ear Disorders

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Ear Disorders:
  • Audiologist
  • Infectious Disease Specialist

Complications of Ear Disorders if untreated

Yes, Ear Disorders causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Ear Disorders is left untreated:
  • hearing impairment
  • deafness
  • infection of the mastoid bone behind the ear
  • ruptured eardrum
  • brain abscess
  • meningitis
  • can be fatal

Procedures for Treatment of Ear Disorders

The following procedures are used to treat Ear Disorders:
  • Surgery: To treat the underlying medical condition
  • White noise machines: Help cover the internal noise at night
  • Hearing aids: Help suppress the sound so that it's less bothersome
  • Tinnitus retraining: To mask the specific frequencies of the tinnitus you experience

Self-care for Ear Disorders

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Ear Disorders:
  • Avoid possible irritants: Reduce exposure to things that may make tinnitus worse
  • Cover up the noise: Help mask the noise from tinnitus
  • Manage stress: May provide some relief
  • Reduce alcohol consumption: Helps preventing symptoms from worsening

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Ear Disorders

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Ear Disorders:
  • Acupuncture: Helps reducing tinnitus symptoms
  • Hypnotic therapy: Helps reducing tinnitus symptoms
  • Use ginkgo biloba supplements: Helps reducing tinnitus symptoms
  • Use zinc supplements: Helps reducing tinnitus symptoms
  • Use B vitamins supplements: Helps reducing tinnitus symptoms
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy: Helps reducing tinnitus symptoms by doing neuromodulation

Patient Support for Treatment of Ear Disorders

The following actions may help Ear Disorders patients:
  • Counseling: Help you learn coping techniques to make tinnitus symptoms less bothersome
  • Support groups: Sharing experience with others who have tinnitus may be helpful
  • Education: Learning as much as you can about tinnitus and ways to alleviate symptoms can help

Time for Treatment of Ear Disorders

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Ear Disorders to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Ear Disorders.
Acoustic Neuroma
Ear Infections
Hearing Disorders and Deafness
Meniere's Disease

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