Your ears not only help you hear, but enable you to balance as well. If you’re experiencing an issue with your ears, it can affect one or both of these functions. Below we review some common issues with the ears and how to treat them.
There are three types of hearing loss: sensorineural, caused by damage to the sensory cells within the inner ear, conductive, caused by a blockage in the outer or middle ear that prevents soundwaves from passing through, and mixed, which is a combination of the two.
In some cases, conductive hearing loss can be addressed by identifying and treating the underlying condition. For example, impacted earwax can be removed, a middle ear infection can be treated with antibiotics or a malformed ear can be corrected with surgery.
However, in the case of sensorineural hearing loss, there is no cure, as this type of damage is irreversible. Hearing aids are the gold standard treatment for this type of hearing loss. They work by amplifying sounds to a level the ear can detect, even in complex listening environments like private events at the Omaha Convention Center.
Tinnitus is a ringing, roaring, whistling, hissing, humming or buzzing sound with no external source. The American Tinnitus Association reports, “Nearly 15% of the general public — over 50 million Americans — experience some form of tinnitus. Roughly 20 million people struggle with burdensome chronic tinnitus, while 2 million have extreme and debilitating cases.”
While there is no cure for tinnitus, unless the underlying cause can be identified and treated effectively, there are many ways to manage it, including hearing aids, tinnitus maskers, white noise machines, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT).
Middle Ear Infections
Middle ear infections, known medically as otitis media, are caused by fluid becoming trapped behind the eardrum. This is usually because the Eustachian tubes are inflamed – they connect the middle ear to the back of the throat and normally allow fluid to drain.
While many doctors will take a wait-and-see approach to middle ear infections, antibiotics are sometimes necessary.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Ear Specialists of Omaha & Bellevue today.