There is no questioning how important your ears are. When all three major components, the outer, middle, and inner, are all working together it allows us to hear and perceive the world around us. Our ears go through a lot, too, from getting clogged up with pool water to having q-tips repeatedly shoved in them to clean them out.
Just like with any other body part, our ears can also require medical attention. If something feels like it’s wrong, you might talk yourself out of getting a check-up because you think it’s only a small problem. However, since our ears are so important to our day-to-day life, you need to be willing to take yourself to an ear doctor. Roughly 3 out of every 1,000 children are born with hearing loss in one or both their ears in the United States, so our ear health is not something we should take for granted. How do you know if a problem is serious enough to see an audiologist? Below we have listed a few red flags that you should watch out for in order to know if an ear doctor visit is in your near future.
If your balance has been off recently, it very well could be because of ear problems. There are multiple potential causes for dizziness and vertigo that are ear-related. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is caused when inner ear crystals become loose and end up within another part of the ear. BPPV actually accounts for 20% of dizziness, and 50% of dizziness in older people. The most common cause of BPPV is head injuries. If you have recently knocked your head, visit the ear doctor to see if you’re suffering from BPPV. They can help treat the condition by returning the ear crystals to their proper location.
Labyrinthitis is another common condition that can cause vertigo and dizziness. This condition is actually an infection of the inner ear, causing it to become inflamed. Another common symptom of labyrinthitis is hearing loss. An ear specialist will most likely prescribe a medication to treat this infection. This condition is a very important one to catch, as it can cause permanent hearing loss if left untreated for too long.
Have you noticed your hearing become spotty? Or has your hearing been gone for more than a week? This is a really strong sign that you should see an ear doctor. While temporary hearing loss isn’t necessarily a red flag, it is always better to be a bit cautious when it comes to your ears. If a problem is persisting, then it could very well be a sign of more permanent damage, and then you will be talking to your ear doctor about the best hearing aids instead of treatment.
Tinnitus, or a persistent ringing in your ears, is another hearing problem that may need an ear specialist’s attention. Tinnitus can be a sign of oncoming hearing loss or an ear infection. An ear doctor will be able to diagnose what the cause is and treat it before it is too late.
Other Ear Troubles
Of course, there are very obvious signs that there is something wrong with your ears. If your ears are bleeding, in a lot of unrelenting pain, or any other liquids are coming out of them, you should immediately seek medical attention from an ear doctor.
Visit Our Ear Doctor for an Exam
If you have never visited the ear doctor before, you may be nervous and not know what to expect. Ear specialists are experts in their field and will make sure your appointment goes smoothly with minimal discomfort.
After first examining the outside of your ear, they will go in with their otoscope to examine the inner ear. If you do have an ear infection, this part may be uncomfortable. However, it is an extremely important step in diagnosing what may be wrong. It is also very important to sit still during this exam, as any sudden movement could cause the otoscope to hurt the inside of your ear, leading to even more problems.
We always hope that we never experience any major medical problems, but even so, we need to get them diagnosed ASAP. If you are experiencing any ear problems, you should consider seeking a doctor right away. While medical technology is advancing, it is still easier to protect your ears now than to pay the price later on.
Call Ear Specialists of Omaha & Bellevue at (402) 933-3277 for more information or to schedule an appointment.