The ear is one of our five sense organs. It allows us to hear sounds and plays a role in maintaining body balance. In diseases involving the ear, these functions of the ear are impaired. Ear pain, ear discharge, ear congestion, tinnitus and dizziness are the most common symptoms in ear-related pathologies. Tinnitus and vertigo are the most common ear complaints.
Tinnitus is called tinnutus in medicine. These patients state that they have a buzzing, humming or siren sound in their ears. Tinnitus is one of the conditions that disrupt people’s comfort in life. The main causes of tinnitus are:
- Allergic rhinitis
- Ear infections
- Fluid in the middle ear
- Tumor of the nerve that provides balance and hearing (Acoustic Neurinoma)
- Damage to the auditory nerve for different reasons
- Low or high blood pressure
- Disorders in the eardrum
- Some medications
- Thyroid diseases
- Diseases of the muscles and bones in the middle ear
- Exposure to very loud sounds
In case of tinnitus, the ENT physician makes examinations for the cause and learns the detailed history of the patient. Treatment is for the cause. Sometimes, however, the cause of the disease may not be found despite all the investigations.
- Since the ear is an organ that provides balance, dizziness may occur in its disorders. The main types of vertigo depending on the ear:
- Benign positional vertigo
- Vestibular neuritis
- Vestibular migraine
- Perilymphatic fistula
- Meniere’s disease
Meniere’s disease is an inner ear infection characterized by severe dizziness, tinnitus, hearing loss and ear fullness due to the accumulation of fluid called endolymph in the inner ear. Dizziness comes in seizures in Meniere’s disease. In these patients, salt and caffeine are discontinued in addition to drug therapy. Smoking, alcohol and certain foods are prohibited. Surgery is applied in stubborn cases.
What causes ear pain?
The biggest causes of earache are outer ear and middle ear infections. These types of ear infections are more common in children. Those who swim in dirty water may develop an external ear infection. Again, eczema in the external auditory canal can cause pain. Ear pain may occur during take-off and landing of aircraft, called barotrauma, and when diving into the water suddenly. Heavy earwax can cause pain. Pain may occur as a result of damage to the eardrum. They cause ear pain for reasons other than the ear. The most common of these are jaw joint disorders and dental abscess. Since ear pain is unbearable, it takes the person to the doctor immediately. Physicians apply treatment for the cause of this ailment.
What are the symptoms of middle ear inflammation?
There is the eustachian tube between our throat and our ears. This tube protects the ear from the secretions in the throat, provides drainage of the middle ear fluids and ensures that the air pressure in the middle ear is balanced with the outside pressure. The dysfunction of the eustachian tube leads to ear inflammation and pressure increase. The eustachian tube in children is shorter and wider than adults. Therefore, middle ear infections are more common in children. Middle ear inflammation is called otitis media. It is most common in children between 6 months and 18 months. After the age of 6, there is a significant decrease in middle ear infections. Otitis media is common in winter and spring, when viral diseases are common, in nursery and nursery children, bottle-fed and pacifier users. Anomalies such as upper respiratory tract infections, adenoid, cleft palate-lip may cause middle ear infection. As a result of middle ear infection, fluid may accumulate in the middle ear and pressure may increase. Treatments such as antibiotics, painkillers, heat application to the ear, nasal drops and allergy medications are applied in the treatment of middle ear infections. If fever and pain last longer than 48 hours, the ENT doctor may scratch the eardrum. If fluid builds up in the ear for a long time, it can cause hearing loss. These patients are followed up for a while. If the fluid in the middle ear is not removed by itself, a tube may be placed in the ear.