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Overview

Ear problems during air travel.

We have a tube which connects our ear with the nose, it is called the Eustachian tube. This tube is responsible for equalizing the pressure wthin the ear with the outside atmosphere. During air travel, especially during take off and landing, pressure changes occurs. If the Eustachian tube is not working properly you may experience heaviness, a blocked sensation or even pain. It is a good idea to chew gum or to keep chewing or swallowing during take off and landing as it keeps Eustachian tube functioning.


Cochlear Implant

The cochlear implant is an electronic device which is implanted surgically in the ear of the patient with moderate to profound hearing losses. A cochlear implant is a useful device for people who are born deaf or with hearing impairment, and for people who have lost there hearing due to accident, disease or side effect of medication.A cochlear implant involves sending of sound signal directly to the nerve of hearing which is then to be transmitted to the brain. After a successful implantation patient requires auditory verbal therapy.


Cholesteatoma in the ear

Cholesteatoma is a dangerous type of discharging ear which involves a disease which destroys the ear structure. If it is not surgically treated timely it can result in serious complications like hearing loss, vertigo, facial paralysis and brain abscess.


Ear wax

Ear wax is a normal secretion of the outer ear which protects the ear from bacterial and fungal infection. Ears have the tendency to naturally clean themselves. There is no need to use earbuds to clean wax. Earbuds may actually push the wax further deeper in the ear causing blocked feeling, hearing loss or pain.


Motion Sickness

The balance system of our body is dependent on three sensory inputs from the eyes, ears & joints and muscles. According to the information given by the three sensors, the brain determines how to maintain balance. During travelling by road or boat there is often a sensory mismatch in the information given to the brain. Due to this the person feels giddy or gets nausea.


Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a feeling of sound being produced inside the ear –it way be humming, buzzing or any other sound .Tinnitus patients require a proper evaluation to decide the hearing level and the characteristics of this sound . Tinnitus retraining therapy is one of the best techniques used for tinnitus patients.


Sensorineural hearing loss.

This type of hearing loss is due is a weakness in the nerve of hearing .It can be congenital or may develop anytime after birth. Exposure to loud noise, ototoxic drugs, aging etc way cause this type of hearing loss. The treatment of these patients can be done with hearing aids . In patients of profound hearing loss who do not respond well is hearing aids, cochlear implants may be required.


Meniere’s disease

Our inner ear has 2 functions- hearing and balance. Balance function is controlled by the vestibular system. This system consists of canals which are filled with fluid. In Meniere’s disease , the pressure of this fluid is increased which leads to hearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo, proper evaluation of these patients is required for correct dragnosis and staging of the disease, untreated, this can result in tinnitus permanent hearing loss, and imbalance.


Ear drum perforations

They can occur due to trauma or infection. The 1st precaution to be kept when the ear drum is perforated is to keep the can dry- don’t allow water in the ear. Infection will required antibiotics and if the drum does not heal, surgery will be indicated.


Bell’s palsy – why does it occur?

Bell’s palsy is due is paralysis of the facial nerve. It may be due is viral infection but often the cause is unknown. Treatment includes high doses of steroids and facial exercises along with eye care.


Sudden hearing loss

Sudden hearing loss may occur in patients of any age. It is a medical emergency. Treatment must be started at the earliest using intratympanic injection of steroids (this has no side effects) and oral medication.