Mastoiditis is an infection of the mastoid bone, which is the prominent bone located just behind the ear. This condition occurs as a result of a middle ear infection that has spread to the mastoid bone. Symptoms of mastoiditis may include ear pain, fever, hearing loss, headache, redness of the ear and pus draining from the ear.
Chronic mastoiditis refers to a recurrent or lingering infection of the mastoid bone. When antibiotics are unsuccessful in treating the condition, a mastoidectomy may become necessary to remove the infected portion of the bone. The mastoidectomy procedure is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision behind the ear and open the mastoid bone to remove the infected air cells. A small incision may also be made within the eardrum to drain excess fluid.
Ménière's disease involves abnormalities in the inner ear that lead to hearing and balance problems. This condition usually occurs in only one ear and is most common among adults in their 40s and 50s. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, over 600,000 people in the US have Ménière's disease.
Although the specific cause of Ménière's disease is not known, it is believed to be a result of an abnormal volume or composition of fluid in the inner ear. This may occur after a rupture of the membranous labyrinth, a portion of the inner ear. Ménière's disease causes recurring vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), hearing loss and a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear. These symptoms can vary greatly in severity, duration and frequency depending on each individual.
Ménière's disease can be diagnosed by assessing your symptoms and ruling out other conditions. Your doctor may perform a series of tests such as a hearing test, balance assessment, MRI and complete physical examination. Patients must usually experience most or all of the symptoms in order to be diagnosed with Ménière's disease.
While there is no cure for Ménière's disease, there are several treatment options available to help control the symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe medication for episodes of vertigo, as well as long-term medication and dietary changes to help reduce fluid retention. Other healthy lifestyle changes, such as avoiding caffeine, stress and alcohol, can also help improve symptoms. Surgery can be performed for patients with severe vertigo attacks. Surgery can involve removing part or all of the inner ear, decreasing fluid production or cutting the nerve that connects balance sensors and the inner ear.
It is important to take certain precautions with Ménière's disease in order to control episodes of vertigo and prevent injury and embarrassment. Short periods of rest are often required after an attack. Talk to your doctor for tips on how to handle Ménière's disease.
Hearing loss is the sudden or gradual decrease in how well you can hear sounds. Most commonly caused by age, hearing loss is a common condition that affects up to 25% of people between the ages of 65 and 75, and up to 75% of people over the age of 75. Hearing loss can be mild or severe and can be reversible, temporary or permanent.
Hearing loss is most frequently caused by noise and age. Noise-induced hearing loss is gradual but can affect people of all ages. It is caused by loud noises, such as music, lawn mowers, etc, that you hear over a long period of time. Age-related hearing loss, known as presbycusis, refers to changes in your ear which cause gradual hearing loss. Hearing loss can also be caused by wax buildup and an object in the ear, which are usually temporary, or an injury or ruptured eardrum, which may be more serious.
Common symptoms of hearing loss include muffled hearing, not understanding what people are saying and the feeling that your ear is plugged. Other symptoms can include ringing, hissing or buzzing in the ear. It is important to talk to your doctor if you suffer from any of these symptoms. If hearing loss is indicated, a detailed audiologic test may be performed to properly diagnose the condition.
Many people who suffer from hearing loss are not even aware of their condition and may often be brought to their attention by friends and family who have noticed. Hearing loss can have a major affect on your daily life and make it harder for you to interact with others. It can also affect your personal safety. Fortunately, there are many effective treatment options available for hearing loss.
Hearing loss treatment depends on the cause of the problem. The most common treatment method is the use of hearing aids, which attach a microphone to gather sound and an amplifier to make it louder for you. The new sounds are different and take a while to get used to. Simply removing ear wax blockage helps to reduce hearing loss caused by wax buildup. Cochlear implants are used for more severe hearing loss to repair parts of the ear that have been damaged rather than just amplifying sounds like a hearing aid. Paying attention to people's gestures and facial expressions when they speak can also help to improve hearing.