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What Are Some Common Diseases of the Ear?

Ali Raza Ashraf

People are aware of hearing loss as the leading ear disease, but there are many other conditions that can affect your ears. Some are chronic, while others cause temporary discomfort. Moreover, these diseases can have an adverse effect on your hearing, and they intensify any existing hearing condition.

One should know about the conditions that can harm their ears. Following are the most common diseases of the ear:

1- Swimmer’s Ear

Otitis externa or swimmer’s ear is an infection that is developed between the outer ear and the eardrum. The name of this condition was put because of the fact that swimmers would often get this infection while swimming in untreated pools. Dirty water can easily enter the ear canals and provide an opportunity for bacteria to multiply inside. This bacteria can gradually get so intense that the body sends immune cells to the site, which will cause painful inflammation, discoloration, and swelling. However, otitis externa can happen to anyone regardless if they are swimmers or not. Harsh and excessive cleaning can also cause this condition. You need to be gentle with ear cleaning and always use a cleaning solution and q-tips to extract the wax. Overzealous cleaning can damage your ear canal and cause infections.

2- Middle Ear Infection

Otitis externa mainly attacks the outer part of the ear, whereas most of the infections take place in the middle ear, which is in between the cochlear and the eardrum. Bacteria and viruses are microbes that cause mild to intense ear infections, resulting in hearing loss. Usually, these intruders originate in another part of the body and then travel towards the organs. Bacteria and viruses can migrate up the canals that join the respiratory system to the year, which leads to many symptoms. For example, if you get the flu or a cold, you are more likely to get an ear infection. They can retain a place in the middle of the ear and provoke inflammation. It can cause severe pain and swelling.

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3- Clogged Ear Canals

Naturally, our ears produce wax from tiny glands that line up in the ear canal. This gooey and sticky substance aims to trap any dust particles and microbes from the environment and prevent them from entering the eardrum. When the mechanism is working fine, it collects such particles and moves them to the opening of the ear, leaving them to dry and flake off.

However, at times, the body can produce excessive ear wax due to multiple reasons. This excessive wax can harden and block the eardrum, making it almost impossible to remove normally. In such situations, doctors need to use softening solutions to extract them from your ear.

Patients with clogged ear canals can experience muffled and muted sounds. Some may lose their hearing abilities temporarily. They can also develop secondary infections around the clogged area as the hardened wax becomes the host for invading bacteria from the external environment.

4- Meniere’s Disease

It is an ear disease caused by excessive build-up of fluid in the inner part of the ear. When the ear canals become saturated, they can no longer continue their regular roles and start malfunctioning. As a result, it can lead to many problems with hearing and balancing air pressure. You may also feel increased pressure inside your ears.

Till now, there is no such promising cure for Meniere’s disease. Only lifestyle modifications can help to reduce the intensity of its symptoms. Doctors ask patients with this ear disease to take their medications timely, practice stress reduction exercises, try natural remedies to cut down its symptoms, and do regular physical exercise. Surgery is given as an option only when the cases exceed to severity.

5- Otosclerosis

It is an ear condition that includes abnormal bone growth in the ear.

The ear is a complex system that depends on conjoined series of mechanisms to convert incoming sound waves to nerve impulses. This mechanism relies on a tiny none, known as the stapes bone. The stapes bone is free to move in its pouch and transfers the needs information along the chain. However, people with otosclerosis have the tendency to grow this bone so large that it can no longer move in its pocket. When this happens, it can not transfer any incoming sound wave to the inner ear.

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Doctors suggest two treatments for this condition. Either the patient can wear hearing aids, or they can undergo surgery to reduce the size of their stapes bone. Its surgery is called a stapedectomy, carried by ENT specialists.

If you want more information regarding ear pain or professional help to treat yours and boom your appointment with the best ENT specialist in Karachi through Marham. 

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