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Hearing Loss Tips

Eardrum Rupture - Everything You Should Know About It!

Eardrum Rupture - Everything You Should Know About It!

Tympanic Membrane, commonly known as eardrum, divides external parts of the ear (consisting of Pinna or Auricle and External Auditory Cavity) and the middle ear (Tympanic cavity).  The function of the Tympanic Membrane is to transmit the sound of air via ossicles of the middle ear to the oval window in the cochlea. It converts and amplifies vibration in air to the vibration in fluid.

An eardrum rupture is a small hole or tear in the thin tissue which divides the external ear canal and middle ear. A person with a ruptured eardrum may feel a clap of thunder or earache. This may also lead to hearing loss. An eardrum rupture is also known as a perforated eardrum or punctured eardrum.

Causes of Rupture Eardrum:

There are many causes of ruptured eardrums, and some of the most common causes are listed below:

Ear Infection:

Infections are one of the most common causes of ruptured eardrums. During an ear infection, the fluid accumulates in the ear, which builds pressure causing a tear of Tympanic Membrane.

Change in Pressure:

Activities that cause pressure changes in the ear may lead to a rupture in the eardrum. It is called  Barotrauma. This mainly happens when the pressure of the external ear is drastically different from the inner ear.

Activities which may cause Barotrauma are:

  1. Flying in an airplane

  2. Scuba diving

  3. Shock waves

  4. Driving at high altitudes

  5. Forceful  and direct impact to the ear

Ear Injury:

Ear injuries may also perforate the eardrums. Any ear injury or head injury on the side of the ear may break the Tympanic Membrane and lead to ruptured eardrums. Injuries that may harm eardrums are:

  1. Getting hit in the ear

  2. Injuries in which a person falls on his/her ears

  3. Ear injuries during sports

  4. Car accidents

Acoustic Trauma:

Damage to the ear due to noise or loud sounds can also rupture the eardrum. However,  the evidence of this is yet to be found.

Other causes include skull fractures, foreign objects, and severe head trauma.

Symptoms of Rupture Eardrum:

  1. Earache

  2. Pus or blood released from the ear

  3. Tinnitus

  4. Vertigo

  5. Nausea

  6. Hearing loss

  7. Vomiting or dizziness

Diagnosis for Eardrum Rupture:

Diagnosis entails:

  1. Fluid Sample Test: If an eardrum rupture is caused by infection, doctors perform fluid tests. In this type of test, doctors take a sample of fluid that leaks from the ear and send it to the laboratory.

  2. Otoscope Exam: In this type of examination, doctors use specialised instruments with light to see the ear canal.

  3. Audiology Exam: In this type of examination, doctors test the hearing range and capacity of the person.

  4. Tympanometry: In this type of test, doctors insert a tympanometer into the eardrum to check the ear responses on pressure change.

Treatment of  Rupture Eardrum:

There are many treatment options available for rupture eardrum. Doctors advise these treatments depending upon the severity and condition to provide relief from pain, eliminate infection, and prevent hearing loss in future. Some of the treatments are listed below:

Antibiotics:

If the condition is not critical, doctors usually prescribe medicines to the patient. These medicines help to clear up the infection and protect a person from developing a perforated eardrum. Doctors may also prescribe some ear drops along with medication.

Patching:

In this type of treatment, doctors place a medicated patch on the eardrum. This patch encourages tears to heal and grow back together.

Surgery:

Ruptured eardrum can be easily cured with these two methods of treatment. However, in rare cases, doctors recommend surgery to patch the tear. This type of surgery is known as Tympanoplasty. In this method, the surgeon takes a part of tissue and grafts it over the tear of the eardrum.

Conclusion:

Above are some of the common methods of treating ruptured eardrums. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before reaching any conclusion. Also, taking some preventive measures like keeping ears dry, clean, infection free, etc. can help a person protect his/her ears from being punctured or ruptured. Do not insert anything inside the ear canal in an attempt to clean ear wax.

Audiologists - Why To Visit One?

Audiologists - Why To Visit One?

Sound travels through different parts of the hearing system to produce the ultimate sense of sound in the brain. People can hear when a sound wave stimulates the neurological component of the inner ear and takes the sound signals to the brain.

When there is a problem with the ear, human beings cannot hear, or hear garbled sounds. Hearing loss may have different reasons. There may be a tumor in the ear, a problem with the eardrum, the inner ear or the neurological structure. Different conditions can plague the hearing system and cause hearing loss. Some of these conditions can be serious and require medical intervention.

Let us discuss 3 such conditions where the intervention of an audiologist is a must.

Tinnitus and Vertigo

 Tinnitus is a medical term for a sense of ringing in the ears. It’s annoying, to say the least. But more importantly, it could be a sign of hearing loss. This is why people need to see an audiologist if they have a sense of Tinnitus for a prolonged time. An audiologist can first diagnose the condition, and can then treat this problem with the help of specialized hearing aids.

 Vertigo and dizziness are the other two problems that result from a hearing system problem. It may create balance disorders. It is said that vertigo originates in the inner ear. Vertigo can also be treated with the help of physical therapy and medicine.

 Sudden Hearing Loss

 The human ear cannot hear sounds greater than 85 dB in intensity and 20,000 Hertz in tone. If the sound tone is less than 20 Hertz, then too the human ear is not able to hear anything. Between these two polarities, the human ear is able to catch all types of sounds. If human beings are exposed to sound waves of more than 85 dB in intensity, the ears may get damaged. In that case one may suffer from hearing loss. If a person has recently experienced huge changes in air pressure, exposed to blaring music or noise at close quarters, or had an accident causing loss of hearing, one needs to see an audiologist. The ears need to be assessed for trauma, if any, and treated quickly. However, hearing loss may have other reasons too such as reactions to medicines, head injury or some kind of illness that affects the hearing system. An audiologist would be able to make the right determination.

 Recurrent Ear Infections

This is common in children, but that does not mean that adults are immune to it. If there is chronic ear pain, difficulty in hearing along with drainage and fever or a feeling of pressure, an ear infection is most likely. Any doctor can detect an ear infection, however, if it is a recurrent one needs to see an audiologist. He has the wherewithal to evaluate the middle ear with different tests. A person may need treatment that only an audiologist can do.

There can be many situations in which a visit to an Audiologist is warranted; the above 3 are just a tip of the iceberg.

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Ear Barotrauma - All You Should Know About It!

Ear Barotrauma - All You Should Know About It!

When you travel in an airplane or just come out of the swimming pool, your ears may sometimes block up and even be painful. This is what is known ear barotrauma and is caused by pressure differences inside and outside the ear drum. Severe cases may cause damage to the ear and impede your hearing.

Symptoms of ear barotrauma: Ear barotrauma usually occurs when the Eustachian tube is blocked due to differences in air pressure. The Eustachian tube is a long narrow tube that runs from the middle of your ear to the pharynx or the back of the throat and is thus very important in relevance to the ear, nose and throat. Thus ear barotrauma can also translate to pain in the ear and throat as well.

Some of the symptoms are:

  1. Discomfort in the ear, or aggravated pain in extreme cases
  2. Dizziness
  3. The ears being blocked or full, in severe cases may feel like being underwater
  4. Temporary hearing loss
  5. Nose bleeding in severe cases
  6. Health care providers may see an inward caving or outward bulging in the ear drum. In severe cases, the eardrum may look bruised as well.
  7. Some severe cases may even exhibit signs typical of an ear infection along with some of the other symptoms mentioned above.

Precautions and self treatment: There are certain steps you can take to either prevent barotrauma or reduce the symptoms, these are:
yawning or gulping. This is very helpful when air pressure differences are caused in cases of travelling by aircraft.

  1. Inhale slowly and then exhale while your mouth is closed and you are holding your nostrils closed by fingers. This will help increase the pressure within the tube to try and open it forcefully.
  2. Sucking on candy is another way to prevent barotraumas as you are constantly swallowing and keeping your Eustachian tube from being blocked in the first place.
  3. Keep a few chewing gums handy and has similar effects on your ears as it forces the Eustachian tube to remain open despite pressure differences.
  4. After diving or swimming, come out of the water slowly.  Scuba divers and deep swimmers need to come up slowly to ensure that the Eustachian tube is given enough time to acclimatize and slowly come back to normal.

Usually, ear barotrauma goes away automatically after sometime and no medications are required. However, if symptoms still persist, it is best to go to a relevant doctor or a health care provider for pain relief and long term solutions.

Audiomertry - Know Types Of Test Under It!

Audiomertry - Know Types Of Test Under It!

 

Audiometry is a test that evaluates a person's ability to hear sounds of different pitch and frequency. This is a necessary evaluation if there is a loss of hearing capacity. There may be different reasons for the loss of hearing. If there is a tumor in the ear, the physician may advise an audiometry to get an idea about hearing loss or whether there has been any hearing loss before and after the surgery. Physicians recommend audiometry to determine whether hearing aids are needed or not.

The Human Hearing

Sounds vary in terms of intensity (loudness) and tone (speed of vibration of sound wave). The intensity of sound is measured in Decibel (dB) and the tone of sound is measured in Hertz. The human ear cannot hear sounds that are greater than 85 dB in intensity and less than 20 or greater than 20,000 Hertz in tone. The sounds of greater than 10,000 are categorized as highly pitched. There are some animals which can hear sounds of even up to 50,000 Hertz. The tone of human speech varies between 500 Hertz to 3,000 Hertz.

A sound wave travels through the eardrum and the middle ear into the inner ear. The ear can hear sounds only when the sound waves stimulate the neurological structure of the inner ear and lead the sound signals along the nerve pathways leading to the brain.

How Audiometry Test Works

The sense of hearing is a result of a chain of events that culminates in the middle ear receiving the sound and passing it to the brain. The three parts of the ear- outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear need to work in succession to produce a sense of hearing. Loss of hearing can result if there is a failure in any of these stages. Audiometry tests are conducted to determine the type of hearing defect.

Types Of Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss. It occurs when there is damage to the nerve. Cochlear bone conduction related hearing loss Conductive hearing loss arising out of damage to eardrums or ossicle bones.

Audiometry

It measures the least audible sound for a person. People are given earphones to wear and made to hear an array of sounds one ear at a time.

Types Of Tests Performed in Audiometry:

During an audiometric evaluation, a variety of tests may be performed:

Word Recognition Test

Audiometry may include a word recognition test as well. It tries to assess one’s ability to understand speech. If speech discrimination is poor, hearing aid is usually prescribed. Tympanometry Test Audiometry may also include a tympanometry test. This is done to detect problems like excessive build-up of wax/fluid, perforation in eardrum, damage to ossicle bones, tumors in the middle ear, etc.

Acoustic Reflex Test

This test is done to evaluate the neurological part of the hearing. It tests cranial nerves and brainstorms.

Audiometry test is an easy test. In case someone is experiencing any hearing problem, then discussing with Audiologist about this test is a good idea.

Know How Can Audiologist Can Help You!

Know How Can Audiologist Can Help You!

A balancing problem often causes dizziness. When you are standing still, you will have a feeling like everything around you is moving and spinning and that is due to dizziness. Labyrinth is one of the organs present inside the ear, which is a part of the balance system. This organ will interact with the other body organs as well like eyes, bones, joints, etc. Along with these organs, the nervous system and brain can also contribute towards your trouble in balancing.

Symptoms:
There are different symptoms that a person with balancing trouble may face Some of them are as follows:

  • Unable to walk straight as everything around seems to be spinning
  • Unable to stand up
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • A tendency to fall down while walking
  • Lightheadedness
  • Blurry vision
  • Disorientation

There are some people who also have problems such as nausea, vomiting, blood pressure, change in heartbeat, diarrhea, anxiety, etc. These symptoms usually last for a short time, but in rare conditions, they last really long.

Causes of balancing trouble:
Bacterial or viral infection, blood circulation disorders, and head injury can be some of the reasons for affecting the internal part of the ear. Along with that, aging and some kind of medications can also cause balance trouble. Basically, the four areas mentioned below may lead to a trouble in balancing:

  • Any problem in the brain and its connecting nerves
  • Labyrinth disturbances
  • Any kind of problem with the body apart from the brain and head
  • Problems related to blood flow

How is the balancing problem diagnosed?
Based on the symptoms and many other factors, the affected individual will be diagnosed. It is not at all easy to detect balancing problems. The following tests are conducted to determine the problem:

  • Blood tests
  • Exams for hearing
  • Scans for brain
  • Scans of head

Here is how an audiologist can help you
When you are having hearing and balancing issues, it is always good to consult a certified audiologist. Vertigo or balancing problems can be due to many conditions inside the ear; therefore, an audiologic evaluation should be conducted. The basic cause and the possible treatment for it can be suggested with the help of this evaluation only.

Based on the audiologic evaluation results and the medical findings, the audiologist will be able to find a way to treat dizziness. You will be provided more information about Vertigo in order to understand it in a much better way. So, when the cause is clear and you understand the ailment better, it gets easier for the doctor to treat you and you will be relieved from the scary feeling of getting unbalanced and falling.

Mixed Hearing Loss - How To Treat It?

Mixed Hearing Loss - How To Treat It?

The sense of hearing is a complex one. The ears are divided into three parts: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. While the outer ear sends the sound to the middle of the ear, the middle ear sends the same to the inner ear through the conductor. The inner ear in turn sends the auditory signal to the brain where the signal is processed and gives rise to a sense of hearing.

Problems in hearings can arise if there is a problem in any of these parts. However, more often than not it is the middle or inner ear that is affected. However, there may also be situations when there are problems in both the middle and the inner ear. In that case, it is known as a mixed hearing loss.

What is Mixed Hearing? 

Loss If there is damage to the middle ear, it may precipitate a conductive hearing loss. Now, in addition to that, if there is a sensorineural problem, then it gives rise to mixed hearing. So, in the case of a mixed hearing loss, all the parts of the ear and even the brain may be involved. There may be damage to the outer ear, middle ear, inner ear, as well as the auditory nerve.

Causes of Hearing Loss

Since mixed hearing loss may result from damage to any part of the ear, it is necessary that the causes be grouped into different categories.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural loss may result from drugs, different illnesses, head trauma, malformation of the inner ear etc. Genetic predisposition may also precipitate such problems.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Such type of hearing loss may result from excessive deposition of earwax, ear infections, perforation in eardrums, malformation of the middle or outer ear, as well as problems with the fluid in the middle ear.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Reduced hearing in either or both ears is considered to be delineating symptoms of mixed hearing loss.

Treatment

Since mixed hearing loss can result from sensorineural failure as well as damage to outer or middle ear, treatment needs to be divided into different groups too. ● To treat Conductive Hearing Loss, doctors can use surgical or medical options.

● For sensorineural hearing loss, doctors usually prescribe hearing aids. This indicates that treatment for mixed hearing loss may include treatment for conductive hearing loss as well as that for sensorineural hearing loss. So, it is usually a combination of both medical and surgical options. Physicians may prescribe both medicines and hearing aids or resort to surgical interventions and also prescribe hearing aids. Sometimes, physicians use special hearing aids or implants to treat mixed hearing loss.

Conclusion

In case a person is sensing reduced hearing in one or both ears, he/she needs to seek medical advice. It may be a symptom of mixed hearing loss. Getting in touch with an experienced physician is the first step towards that.

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Insect Inside Ear - How Can You Deal With It?

Insect Inside Ear - How Can You Deal With It?

It is that time of the year when insects are all around. Suddenly one feels a buzzing sound or an itchy feel in the ear. To your horror, one feels a live insect is in your ear, which can be extremely annoying and is like a nightmare. Insects often get stuck when they enter our ears as they cannot fly or crawl out. They try to find their way out and their movements inside our ears can be very uncomfortable, painful and can be itchy as well. Moreover, they can easily produce infection.

In this scenario, do not try to remove an insect with a cotton swab, tweezers or hair clip as it will make the situation worse and can lodge the insect deeper into the ear canal, which can possibly damage the eardrum, leading to permanent hearing loss. If an individual is not certain about the potential harm that can be caused by the insect in the ear, one should seek medical care immediately. Insects in ear is a common reason for visiting a doctor's clinic, especially for children.

If one suspects an insect in ear, one may experience painswelling, blood or crackling. One may even feel biting, stinging, hearing loss or dizziness. It is best to stay calm in this situation as being active may lodge the bug further in ear or cause it to move further back or cause serious damage to the sensitive eardrum

One way to try to remove a bug in ear is by tilting the ear toward the ground and attempt to wiggle the ear. Grasp the earlobe and give it a wiggle. If the bug is alive and not too far into the ear canal, it may fall out on its own. If one stays calm and keep objects including fingers away from ears, it is likely that the bug will find its way back out of ear.

One can also try to flush the ear with warm water with a dropper or a bulb syringe. This can be done by holding the head upright and stretching the ear canal by pulling the outer ear and then putting a steady stream of warm water into ear. Tilt head to the side to drain out the ear. Do not try this if one suspects that eardrum has been ruptured to prevent additional damage.

To avoid stinging or eardrum rupture from scratching or biting, one may use a drop or two of mineral, baby, or olive oil inside your ear canal to kill the insect. Finally, visit an ENT specialist doctor as they can remove the insect by special suction devices. Post insect removal, one must look out for signs of infection as swelling, dizziness, hearing loss, fever, and pain. Finally, follow up with ENT specialist or Otolaryngologist for the final opinion.

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Hearing - Can Ayurveda Improve It?

Hearing - Can Ayurveda Improve It?

Proper and sound hearing is essential for a healthy living. If you are suffering from lack or loss of hearing, chances are that you are missing out on life itself. Therefore it is imperative that you undergo treatments in case you are suffering from any kind of hearing ailment. There are various reasons that contribute to loss of hearing. Some of the common causes are-

1. Age
2. Increasing noise
3. Genetically inherited

Over the years various surgical and non-surgical methods have surfaced that repair hear loss and damage. Among the other branches of medicines, Ayurveda is the eldest and ancient method. It uses natural herbs in order to correct and treat hearing loss. This has proved to be extremely beneficial and potent and it cures hearing ailments by various natural methods. Some of them are:

1. Lukewarm mustard oil or sesame oil
If you are suffering from earache or loss in hearing, try putting a few drops of warm mustard oil and sesame oil in your ear and hold it with index fingers. At the same time store the air in your mouth and let your cheeks contract and bulge for a minute or so. This ayurvedic tip considerably improves hearing and reduces ear pain.

2. Radish juice and sesame oil
If you are suffering from sores and hearing problems, a mixture of the two can be beneficial. In this method, a small quantity of radish juice should be boiled with a small quantity of sesame oil until the juice absorbs the oil. This mixture should be administered twice a day in order to experience the results.

3. Applewood oil
A variety of ingredients are required in order to create the resultant oil. Initially, cow's urine should be boiled and the applewood powder must be added to it. This mixture should then be filtered and further added with sesame and goat's milk. This concoction then should be boiled and the resultant oil should be stored and applied with cotton daily. This improves hearing a great deal.

4. Mixture of neem and turmeric
In this method turmeric and neem leaves are boiled together. The steam should be taken as well as the water must be applied on the ears and surrounding areas. This has proved to be an extremely effective remedy in treating puss in the ears and consequent hearing loss.

5. Mixture of radish juice, turmeric, sesame oil and ajwain seeds
All these ingredients must be taken in selective quantities and boiled to get the resultant oil. This oil must be stored and used to treat hearing loss and other ear diseases. 

5439 people found this helpful

Hearing - Can Ayurveda Improve It?

Hearing - Can Ayurveda Improve It?

Proper and sound hearing is essential for healthy living. If you are suffering from lack or loss of hearing, chances are that you are missing out on life itself. Therefore it is imperative that you undergo treatments in case you are suffering from any kind of hearing ailment. There are various reasons that contribute to the loss of hearing.

Some of the common causes are-

1. Age
2. Increasing noise
3. Genetically inherited

Over the years various surgical and non-surgical methods have surfaced that repair hear loss and damage. Among the other branches of medicines, Ayurveda is the eldest and ancient method. It uses natural herbs in order to correct and treat hearing loss. This has proved to be extremely beneficial and potent and it cures hearing ailments by various natural methods. Some of them are:

1. Lukewarm mustard oil or sesame oil
If you are suffering from earache or loss in hearing, try putting a few drops of warm mustard oil and sesame oil in your ear and hold it with index fingers. At the same time store the air in your mouth and let your cheeks contract and bulge for a minute or so. This ayurvedic tip considerably improves hearing and reduces ear pain.

2. Radish juice and sesame oil
If you are suffering from sores and hearing problems, a mixture of the two can be beneficial. In this method, a small quantity of radish juice should be boiled with a small quantity of sesame oil until the juice absorbs the oil. This mixture should be administered twice a day in order to experience the results.

3. Applewood oil
A variety of ingredients are required in order to create the resultant oil. Initially, cow's urine should be boiled and the applewood powder must be added to it. This mixture should then be filtered and further added with sesame and goat's milk. This concoction then should be boiled and the resultant oil should be stored and applied with cotton daily. This improves hearing a great deal.

4. Mixture of neem and turmeric
In this method, turmeric and neem leaves are boiled together. The steam should be taken as well as the water must be applied to the ears and surrounding areas. This has proved to be an extremely effective remedy in treating puss in the ears and consequent hearing loss.

5. Mixture of raddish juice, turmeric, sesame oil and ajwain seeds
All these ingredients must be taken in selective quantities and boiled to get the resultant oil. This oil must be stored and used to treat hearing loss and other ear diseases. 

In-Depth Knowledge About Hearing Loss!

In-Depth Knowledge About Hearing Loss!

Hearing loss is a common sensory problem that generally develops with increasing age or due to prolonged or persistent exposure to loud noises. It is one of the most typical problems that occur throughout the world. If you are suffering from partial hearing loss, you may find ways of keeping in touch with your family and friends. If you're not suffering from such the following may help you keep your hearing intact for years to come.

Types of Hearing Loss-

There are two main types of hearing loss: 

1. Conductive Hearing Loss where the problem lies in the middle ear, eardrum or ossicles.

A conductive hearing loss affects the passage of sound between the eardrum and the inner ear. Sound passes down the ear canal to the eardrum and through the middle ear, where the sound is transmitted across the middle ear by the three bones called the ossicles to the inner ear.

Causes of Conductive Hearing Loss-

1. Malformation of the outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear structures
2. Fluid in the middle ear from colds
3. Ear infection (otitis media - an infection of the middle ear in which an accumulation of fluid may interfere with     the movement of the eardrum and ossicles
4. Allergies
5. Poor Eustachian tube function
6. Perforated eardrum
7. Benign tumors
8. Impacted earwax
9. Infection in the ear canal
10. Foreign body in the ear
11. Otosclerosis

2. Sensorineural Hearing Loss where there is damage in the inner ear, cochlea or hearing nerve.

Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea), or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. Most of the time, SNHL cannot be medically or surgically corrected. This is the most common type of permanent hearing loss.

Causes of Sensorineural Hearing Loss:

1. Exposure to loud noise
2. Head trauma
3. Virus or disease
4. Autoimmune inner ear disease
5. Hearing loss that runs in the family
6. Aging (presbycusis)
7. Malformation of the inner ear
8. Meniere's Disease
9. Otosclerosis 
10. Tumors

Coping with Hearing Loss

Antibiotics and eardrops are often prescribed to treat hearing loss and its symptoms. In many cases, people suffering from severe hearing loss use hearing aids. Hearing aids are tiny instruments that people use in their ears to make sounds louder. People who suffer from hearing loss cope with their problems through increased concentration and focus. The usual way involves reading the moving lips of the person while they talk. Prevention is better than cure and is the best solution to avoid long term hearing loss. Avoiding continuous loud noises, to the possible extent helps prevent hearing loss to a great extent.
 

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