By Dr. Pradeep R K A, Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT)
The three main parts of your ear are the outer, inner and middle ear. All of them play a crucial role in your hearing. The outer ear is where sound waves come in from. The middle ear is where the sound waves cause your eardrum to vibrate. Ossicles (three tiny bones in your middle ear) transmit these vibrations. The Ossicles are in your middle ear. These vibrations then go to the inner ear which makes the nerve pulses transmitted to your brain and these nerve pulses are recognized as sounds. Few of the common ear disorders are:
1. Ear Infections:
This is very common in youth. It is a bacterial or viral infection which usually affects the middle ear. These tend to be very painful and there is also a lot of buildup of fluid in the middle ear.
Tinnitus is when you think there is noise or ringing but there is actually nothing. This is a very annoying and can be a serious condition at times. It can be a sign if underlying floor of middle ear erosion exposing the jugular bulb.
3. Meniere’s Disease:
This is a very severe condition in which you have symptoms of vertigo as well as progressive permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. This usually occurs in individuals between 20 and 50 years of age.
4. Ear Barotrauma:
Ear barotrauma is the pain you feel due to changes in pressure. While acute ear barotrauma is normal, chronic cases need treatment. This is because the Eustachian tube which regulates ear pressure gets blocked when you experience ear barotrauma.
5. Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is when your ability to hear the voices gets reduced. The most common reasons behind hearing loss are loud noises and ageing. In many cases, hearing loss is incurable and only treated with hearing aids, but there are some expert doctors who can help you in restoring your hearing ability.
Vertigo can be understood as a sensation of spinning dizziness in the ears. Many people believe that it is a fear of heights but it can be referred to any temporary or ongoing spell of dizziness caused due to problems in the inner ear or brain.