Four common ear problems and what can cause them
Our ears have three main parts: outer, middle and inner. The outer ear collects sounds and includes the ear canal, where earwax is produced. The middle ear takes sound waves and turns them into vibrations that are delivered to the inner ear. The inner ear has a small, curled tube called the cochlea that creates nerve signals that the brain understands as sound. All of these parts are necessary for hearing.
Here are four common ear problems, causes, symptoms and treatments:
- Ear infections.
Ear infections occur most often in infants and young children and are the most common reason parents bring their kids to the doctor. The infection usually affects the middle ear because the tubes inside the ear become clogged with fluid and mucus. Signs that your child may have an ear infection include: tugging at the ear, an increase in crying, hearing and sleeping problems and fluid draining from the ear. Ear infections usually go away on their own, but a doctor can prescribe antibiotics or pain relievers.
Tinnitus can be describes as a ringing in the ears. The causes could be from hearing loss, exposure to loud noises, ear and sinus infections, brain tumors and thyroid problems. Treatments may include hearing aids, sound-masking devices and certain medications.
- Meniere’s disease.
Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear causing dizziness, tinnitus and hearing loss. Scientists don’t yet know the cause and there is no cure. Treatments include medicines to control dizziness, limiting your salt intake and water pills.
- Ear barotrauma.
Ear barotrauma means injury to the body due to changes in air or water pressure. This often occurs when you’re flying in an airplane, traveling in the mountains or scuba diving. Symptoms include pain, hearing loss, dizziness and the feeling that your ears are stuffed. Chewing gum, decongestants and yawning can help relieve the pressure.
If you feel like you or your child may have one of these ear problems, visit a Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center near you today. Velocity Care’s team of professionals can assist you with all of your health care needs.
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