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Cysts Removal Procedure
Treatment of Tonsils (Tonsillitis)
Hearing Aid Fitting
Treatment of Throat and Voice Problems
Earlobe Repair Procedure
Treatment of Sleep Disturbance
Nose Reshaping Procedure
Hearing Testing Techniques
Nasal And Sinus Allergy Care
Cochlear Implant Procedure
Ear Micro Surgery
Treatment Of Hearing Deficiency
Facial Cosmetic Surgery
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Our ears are small in size, but ‘big’ in the work they do. Not only do they help us hear, but also help us maintain our body’s balance. They thus help us stand, walk, drive…you just name it.
Ears are also much bigger in size than they actually are. The part of the ear that we see on our head is only the external ear, there is a middle ear and an inner ear too, silently carrying out complex functions related to hearing and balance. The middle ear that lies behind your ear drum is the seat of balance. And this part is hit hard at the time of an ear infection.
Ear infections cause the Eustachian tubes – small tubes that connect the middle ear to the back of your throat – to become swollen and blocked due to excess mucus. As a result of this, fluid builds up and inflammation takes root in the middle ear, thereby causing pain.
Ear infections can be acute or chronic. Acute infections clear up in a few days, but chronic ones reoccur frequently. If not managed, chronic ear infections can cause permanent damage to the middle and inner ear.
Causes of Eustachian tube blockage are as follows:
- Sinus infection
- Extreme production of mucus
- Infected adenoid, which is a tissue near your tonsils that traps harmful bacteria and viruses
There are a few risk factors associated with ear infections. It can be said that young children are more susceptible to these infections. This is because their Eustachian tubes are short and narrow. It has also been seen that infants who are bottle-fed have a higher incidence of ear infections than breastfed babies.
Other risk factors are:
- Changes in altitude
- Changes in climate
- Exposure to tobacco smoke
- Use of pacifiers
Symptoms of ear infections:
- Pain or discomfort inside the ear
- A prolonged feeling of pressure inside the ear
- Pus-like ear drainage
- Hearing loss
What is also important to know is that the symptoms of an ear infection come and go.
Symptoms can also occur in one or both ears. Chronic ear infection symptoms can be less noticeable than those of acute ear infections.
Hence, fever and ear ache should spur you to see a doctor. You should be extremely careful with babies younger than six months who have fever or ear infection symptoms.
Your doctor will diagnose an ear infection by checking if there is a draining of fluid from the middle ear, perforation in the eardrum or a collapsed eardrum.
Sometimes, ear infections can lead to the following serious complications:
- Hearing loss
- Speech or language delay in children
- An infection in a skull bone called mastoiditis
- Ruptured ear drum
Traditionally, people resort to hearing aids in order to take care of their auditory problems. The perception of hearing reduces as age progresses and people find it absolutely necessary to come up with ways by which they can improve their hearing. However, cochlear implants have become extremely popular because of the method that it uses in comparison to the traditional methods of hearing aids.
What is a cochlear implant?
A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants bypass the damaged hair cells of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain.
Who can they help?
The cochlear implant technology can help people who:
- have moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears
- receive little or no benefit from hearing aids
- score 50% or less on sentence recognition tests done by hearing professionals in the ear to be implanted
- score 60% or less on sentence recognition tests done by hearing professionals in the non-implanted ear or in both ears with hearing aids.
Many people have cochlear devices in both ears (bilateral). Listening with two ears can improve your ability to identify the direction of sound and separate the sounds you want to hear from those you don’t.
What are the benefits of a cochlear implant?
Many adults with cochlear implants report that they:
- Hear better with a cochlear implant than with a hearing aid
- A previous study has shown that people with a cochlear implant achieve an average of 80% sentence understanding, compared with 10% sentence understanding for hearing aids1.
- Can focus better when in noisy environments.
- Find it easier to have conversations with people across meeting tables, in restaurants and other crowded places.
- Reconnect with missed sounds that they could not hear before their cochlear implant.
- Feel safer in the world as they can hear alarms, people calling out and approaching vehicles.
- Talk and hear on the phone.
- Enjoy music.
How is a cochlear implant different from a hearing aid?
A cochlear implant is very different from a hearing aid and is appropriate for individuals for whom hearing aids fail to provide benefit. A hearing aid makes sounds louder. Sound still travels through all the portions of the ear (outer ear, middle ear, inner ear) to the hearing nerve. A cochlear implant bypasses these structures and directly stimulates the hearing nerve with electrical energy. Because hearing aids amplify sounds and rely on the hearing system to convey the message, people with severe to profound hearing loss may be able to hear, but not understand speech well. The main objective of a cochlear implant is to improve speech understanding in quiet. Clarity with a cochlear implant is usually better than a hearing aid because the implant does not make sounds louder but delivers them to the hearing nerve.
There are a number of symptoms, which people should be looking out for before concluding that they have a hearing disorder:
- Inability to hear properly
- Excessive ear pain and stress on the brain
- Failure to communicate properly
- Discomfort in the mouth or nose
- Other feelings of anxiety or stress that may actually be a consequence of the hearing loss problem
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!