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Approximately 28 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, and the number is expected to reach 78 million by 2030. Noise: Continued exposure to loud music through headphones, concerts, machinery, lawn mowers or everyday city noises is the most common cause of a loss in hearing over time. Age and heredity: As we age, our hearing is affected by changes in the inner ear, which are usually permanent. Injury or disease: Injury to the ear, ear infections, a ruptured eardrum or earwax buildup are other conditions that can affect hearing.
Is caused when an abnormal growth surrounds the tiny bones of the inner ear, affecting the mobility of the Stapes bone to conduct sound energy towards the inner ear.
Is a benign growth caused by the build-up of skin cells and protein from the ear canal behind the eardrum. If, however, a bit of this skin penetrates the eardrum — which can occur for a number of reasons — the keratin that continues to be given off by the skin becomes trapped in the middle ear and builds-up over time, resulting in a cholesteatoma. Meniere’s Disease occurs when there is increased pressure on the fluids of the inner ear, which can cause symptoms such as Vertigo, Tinnitus and hearing loss.
Currently, there is no known cure but scientists are exploring the causes for increased inner ear pressure, which may include viral infections and environmental factors. The word Tinnitus is derived from Latin and means “to tinkle or to ring like a bell.” Tinnitus is the constant or intermittent sound of ringing, clicking, hissing, buzzing, or roaring heard inside the ear or head and is a common symptom of hearing disorders. Though there is no traditional cure, therapies such as Tinnitus Retraining Therapy and Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment can help neutralize the bothersome noises. NYOG’s Hearing & Balance Center is one of the few dedicated treatment centers for Tinnitus in the New York area.
Otosclerosis (also termed otospongiosis) is a condition caused by abnormal changes in the inner ear bone, resulting in stiffening or fixation of the stapes bone.
Perforations of the tympanic membrane (eardrum) typically occur from injury or repeated infections. Your ears, nose, and throat are all part of your upper respiratory system, explains Paul Jones, MD, director of pediatric otolaryngology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. When left untreated, an ear infection can lead to a more serious infection, permanent hearing loss, and problems with speech and language development — so speak to your doctor right away if you think you or child have an ear infection.
Ear wax is a natural protector against infections, explains Jones, and you should never try to remove it or you may end up pushing the wax further in … and needing to have it removed by an ear, nose, and throat specialist. However, in some cases, excessive ear wax can accumulate in the ear canal, possibly causing ear pain, a plugged sensation in the ear, itching, ear odor — even hearing loss. Nosebleeds happen due to a number of different causes — dry air, allergies, colds, migraine headaches, even cocaine use.
When you speak, air moving through your vocal cords (1) causes vibrations and results in sound. Lifestyle choices are often to blame for a dry throat, Jones says — too much caffeine or alcohol, not enough water, and smoking cigarettes (menthol, too, can dry out the throat).
From our SponsorsEveryday Solutions are created by Everyday Health on behalf of our sponsors. When you have plugged ears, a runny nose, and a sore throat, you might just assume that you have a cold.
PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization. It is the third most common health problem in people aged 65 to 85, affecting 40% to 80% of the elderly. The outer ear is lined with a layer of skin that casts off dead cells containing keratin, a protein.


If left untreated, this growth can destroy bones in the middle ear, and lead to permanent, sensorial hearing loss, facial paralysis, meningitis, hydrocephalus, or a brain abscess. People may feel a sensation or illusion of movement, or that their immediate environment is spinning, even though no such movement exists.
Only a dedicated specialist who has experience with these conditions can find unique treatments for people suffering from vertigo and imbalance. The combination of elevated pressure and abnormal mixing of inner ear fluids prevents the proper transmission of signals regulating balance between the inner ear and the brain. It can be caused by wax build-up, sinus or ear infections, misalignment of the jaw, facial nerve tumors, or trauma to the head and neck.
The eardrum is not only a natural barrier to objects entering the ear, but also serves to focus sound to the inner ear. We will examine your ears with an otoscope, and conduct a series of hearing tests to determine the severity of your hearing loss.
In some cases, hearing loss is a temporary and reversible condition; in others, it is a permanent and irreversible one. They share anatomy and have similar mucous membrane linings, which means they get similar infections; an infection, an allergy, or another problem affecting one of them (from ear pressure pain and strep throat to problems with your sinuses and constant phlegm in the throat) may also affect the others. Otitis media, an ear infection of the middle ear, occurs when the mucosa (the lining of the upper respiratory tract that secretes mucus) swells because of a cold, respiratory infection, or allergy, and the Eustachian tube (3) gets blocked.
The doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to kill the bacteria and recommend pain medications or prescription ear drops.
If you want a way to keep ear wax to a minimum, says Jones, you can try flushing your ears by putting a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in each ear once a week.
Their function is to equalize internal and external pressure — that’s why you experience ear-popping with elevation changes on airplanes.
The septum divides it vertically (one external nostril on each side), but the nose is also separated into front and back parts. Sometimes a nosebleed can be due to blood clotting disorders or being on blood-thinning medication.
Doctors test for strep when someone has a sore throat because of its dangerous complications, such as heart problems that can happen later if the strep is not treated.
When all the working parts don’t come together properly, your voice can sound strained, raspy, or hoarse.
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Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated. This discharge, a component of earwax, occurs normally and is removed when the ears are routinely cleaned. This is because the ear not only controls hearing, but also communicates with the brain to maintain balance. There is no cure, but treatments are available to help overcome hearing loss, such as hearing aids and surgery. We will discuss the best course of action for each individual case and find the least invasive treatment. Knowing the cause of hearing loss helps our staff to determine the kind of hearing loss and what part of the ear is affected in order to determine the best course of action for each patient. Understanding the anatomy of your ears, nose, and throat will help you know how to keep them in good health and free of infections.
The canal leads into the slightly angled eardrum (2), also called the tympanic membrane — this transmits sound to the middle ear, which is behind the eardrum inside the skull.
Adults get fewer ear infections than kids because their Eustachian tubes are bigger and more angled.


Ear wax will come out naturally on its own, and constantly removing it can disturb the wax-producing glands. The front, visible part of the nose is called the anterior, which is made from cartilage; the section that leads into the throat is called the posterior.
An increase in mucus production is usually due to an infection or an obstruction, which the body wants to flush out.
Strep throat is most common in children between the ages of 5 and 15, and symptoms of strep include sore throat, swollen tonsils, telltale white patches on the throat, fever, body aches, and even stomach pain.
Hoarseness happens for a number of reasons — your vocal cords can be swollen from a cold virus or laryngitis (which occurs when the vocal cords become inflamed or swollen, or simply because you’ve been yelling or overusing your voice). While some factors, including age, can’t be changed — as we age, our mucous glands dry up — others can be soothed.
Join the conversation!Free NewslettersPersonalized tips and information to get and stay healthier every day. As a result, disorders of the ear can impact one’s sense of equilibrium, with or without impacting hearing. The middle ear includes the Eustachian tube (3), which connects to the throat, and the ossicles (tiny bones) (4), through which sound travels.
If you do get infections, you may have a Eustachian tube that genetically doesn’t work correctly, Dr. Surrounding the nose are the sinuses, normally air-filled pockets that can cause pain if they become mucus-filled or infected.
If mucus is too thick, a medication like Mucinex can make the mucus thinner so that it’s more easily swallowed. And the laryngopharynx (3), or lower section of the throat, is in front of the esophagus (4); this is where the larynx, or voice box, and the vocal cords are housed (5). However, prolonged hoarseness can also indicate a serious problem, such as cancer, so see an ENT specialist if your symptoms don't go away. For example, a dry throat could be a sign that you’re getting a cold, Jones says, so cold medications may help.
But when it’s dysfunctional, such as when dust or allergies are irritating the lining, you may need to decongest it. There are four sinus cavities — frontal sinuses, maxillary sinuses, ethmoid sinuses, and sphenoid sinuses. Knowing what is causing your ear, nose, or throat symptoms can help you find the right treatment. Other types of ear infections include otitis externa (an outer ear infection, or swimmer’s ear) and otitis interna (an inner ear infection). Sinus tissue and your nasal passages are covered with cilia, microscopic hairs that capture dust and dirt so we don’t breathe in bacteria. Using saltwater solutions and irrigating the nose helps; talk to your doctor about appropriate techniques. A number of common problems can affect the throat: strep and other infections that cause sore throats, hoarseness, laryngitis, and tonsillitis are just a few.
Very rarely, says Jones, a malfunctioning Eustachian tube could be a sign of blockage by head or neck cancer. The septum has many blood vessels near its surface, which is why the nose bleeds rather easily. Viral infections generally resolve themselves, while bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics. As with a blocked Eustachian tube, tumors could mimic sinusitis symptoms, especially if symptoms are on one side.



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