Your sense of balance is something you probably don't think about very often. That's because, for most of us, it just works. Balance keeps us stable. It allows us to stand up and walk around without falling over. But how do we do that? Let's learn about this complex system.
The cochlear implant is an electronic device that can provide a sense of sound to a person who is deaf or profoundly hard-of-hearing. This type of device is very different from a hearing aid, which serves only to amplify sound. A cochlear implant transforms sounds into electrical signals and transmits these signals directly to the auditory nerve of the inner ear, bypassing any damaged structures in the ear that are impeding normal hearing.
We all need to be aware of the danger of noise-induced hearing loss. That's hearing loss that's caused by loud noise. It tends to happen over time. When you finally notice it, your hearing is permanently damaged. Let's learn more about this type of hearing loss, and how you can prevent it.
This is a tear or a hole in your eardrum. The eardrum is a thin membrane at the back of your ear canal. Normally it seals the ear canal, keeping germs and debris from reaching the deeper parts of your ear. The eardrum helps you hear by transmitting sound waves to the structures behind it. A ruptured eardrum can cause problems.
If you hear an annoying buzzing or ringing sound in one or both ears, you have tinnitus. It can bother you a lot. Tinnitus is a problem with your auditory system. That's the system that lets you hear. The problem may be in the ear. It may be in the nerve that connects your ear to your brain. Or, it may be in the part of your brain that makes sense of sound signals. Usually, tinnitus is not a sign that you have a serious issue.
Labyrinthitis is the inflammation of part of the inner ear called the labyrinth. It usually affects only one ear. A nerve in the head called the eighth cranial nerve may also be inflamed. Labyrinthitis causes a sense of spinning and hearing loss. In most people these go away over time.
This minimally-invasive surgical procedure is performed to help treat recurrent ear infections or a build-up of fluid in the middle ear. Small metal or plastic tubes are inserted into the eardrum to drain fluid and to allow air into the middle ear, equalizing pressure between the middle and outer ear. This procedure is most commonly performed on young children.
Mastoidectomy and meatoplasty are types of ear surgery. Mastoidectomy removes part of the mastoid bone (the large bone behind the earlobe). It may be done if tiny air cells in the bone become infected or damaged. Meatoplasty makes the opening into the ear canal (meatus) larger. It may be done after mastoidectomy to make it easier to check and clean the ear.
Meatoplasty is a type of ear surgery. It is done on the meatus (opening into the ear canal). The surgery may be needed to widen the opening. Or it may be needed to help the meatus line up better with the ear canal. This helps keep the ear canal from getting blocked with wax and debris. It also helps reduce the risk of ear infections.
A cochlear implant is a device that helps reverse nerve-related hearing loss. It can treat hearing loss that will not respond to hearing aids. During cochlear implant surgery, the device is implanted into the inner ear (cochlea). A few weeks after surgery, the device is activated and hearing is restored.
Tympanoplasty can repair a damaged eardrum, stop infection, and improve hearing. During surgery, you may be given general anesthesia, or local anesthesia with sedation. Tympanoplasty takes about 1 to 3 hours. It may be done along with a mastoidectomy or an ossicular chain reconstruction. The eardrum is at the end of the ear canal.
Meniere's disease is a problem with the inner ear. Certain medications can help manage the symptoms of this disease. Some help reduce fluid pressure in the inner ear. Others help ease symptoms themselves. But no medication will cure Meniere's disease. And no one medication is right for everyone.
The middle ear is an air-filled chamber that lies behind the eardrum. Pressure in the middle ear changes to match air pressure outside of the eardrum. When inside and outside pressures are balanced, the eardrum is flexible and normal hearing is more likely. Problems happen when air pressure in the middle ear drops. This is often due to a block in the eustachian (u-STA-shun) tube, the narrow channel connecting the ear with the back of the throat.
"An audiometric test measures how well you hear. It's quick and painless. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and your employer may require this test each year. Follow through with it. You can't ""fail"" a hearing test. The test results just help your employer know whether more hearing protection is required."