Your ears are the parts of your body located on each side of the head. This organ is made up of three parts: the inner ear, middle ear, and outer ear. The ears play a vital role in your overall health. They allow sound to be interpreted and processed correctly and also help regulate your sense of equilibrium. Without ears, sound waves could not enter the body to be deciphered by the brain. Your ears help you walk and make you more aware of your surroundings. It is important to note that both ears need to function properly to ensure optimal hearing. Men tend to have larger sized ears than women. Hearing loss is typically experienced by individuals who are 65 or younger. If you are dealing with hearing problems, it’s important to visit an audiologist as soon as possible.
Causes of Hearing Problems
There are many types of problems that can cause hearing loss. One common ear problem is an ear infection, also known as acute otitis media. Ear infections usually affect young children and infants. However, adults may develop ear infections, too. The infection in the ears develops when bacteria or a virus festers in the middle ear. The bacteria or virus is usually brought on by a cold, allergy, or flu. Certain individuals are more susceptible to ear problems during different seasons of the year. Many people develop ear infections during the winter due to the increased number of cold and flu cases going around at that time. When children or babies develop an ear infection, they will feel the following symptoms: a high fever of 100 F degrees (or higher); ear pain; fussiness; difficulty sleeping; fluid drainage from the ear; a loss of appetite; balance problems; and hearing problems. Adults who have an ear infection may experience pain in the ears, difficulty hearing, and fluid discharge from the outer ear.
Other diseases like autoimmune inner ear disease and Otosclerosis can cause an individual’s hearing to be compromised. Autoimmune inner ear disease occurs when your own body attacks you from within and causes ear damage. Otosclerosis is the condition where the bones in the middle ear are structured abnormally, and this affects the way an individual hears sounds. Taking certain medications can also cause hearing issues. For instance, too much aspirin, specific types of antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, and loop diuretics contribute to hearing loss. Hearing a very loud and sudden sound, like an explosion, may also cause hearing loss. A traumatic head injury can affect a person’s middle ear and cause hearing problems. Sometimes, hearing loss can be caused by a buildup of earwax.
The Role of the Audiologist
If you are having problems with your ears and experiencing hearing problems, seeing a qualified health professional, called an audiologist, is highly recommended. Visiting an audiologist for an annual ear checkup is important to maintain the health of your ears. Audiologists are trained to diagnose and treat hearing and balance problems. They will determine what the issue is by running a series of special auditory tests. Depending on the severity of ear damage that is discovered, the appropriate course of treatment will be taken.
Treatment Options for Ear and Hearing Problems
An audiologist may suggest various types of treatment options after a clear diagnosis is determined. These treatment solutions are the utilization of hearing aids, taking medications, getting surgery or cochlear implantations, aural rehabilitation, and balance therapy. Developing good lifestyle habits can help improve ear health and functioning.
Hearing aids are recommended for those who cannot treat their hearing loss medically. Types of hearing aids are BTE hearing aids, ITE hearing aids, and RIC RITE hearing aids. Medications can treat inflammation in the ear and help alleviate symptoms of sudden hearing loss.
In addition, living a healthy lifestyle and incorporating natural remedies into your life can enhance your hearing capabilities and ear health as well. There are brain games that encourage the enhancement of your auditory comprehension skills. Physical exercises, like yoga, can help because the stretching and poses involved are known to loosen up tight neck muscles and improve nerve function around the ears. Certain supplements can improve overall ear health. Taking vitamins loaded with antioxidants is also good for the ears. It’s always a good idea to consult with our audiologist before doing any of these things.
Learn More During a Consultation
Schedule an appointment with our audiologist at Advanced Ear, Nose & Throat Associates to learn more about your hearing and how to improve it. Don’t be hindered by ear and hearing problems. We want to help you live the life you deserve. Set up a time to visit our office in Atlanta, GA. We would be more than happy to run tests, evaluate your case, and come up with a customized treatment plan for you. Contact us today to book your appointment and get started!