Tag Archives: Middle ear

Hear, hear

The ears are one of our five sense organs but most of us take very little care of them. And a lot of us are gradually losing our hearing owing to neglect, misuse and wilful damage. The inability to hear properly and the consequent misinterpretation of what is heard can lead to misunderstandings with friends and social isolation. It can also be dangerous, as motor horns, bells, sirens and even warnings shouted may be missed.

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Some babies are born deaf as an isolated defect or part of a complex plethora of congenital defects and syndromes. Sometimes the mother contracts measles, mumps or chicken pox during the first few months of pregnancy and deafness occurs in the baby as a result.

Hearing should be checked soon after birth. Some babies can hear, but develop post-lingual (after speech develops) hearing loss. Minor hearing loss can begin by age 20, with difficulty in hearing whispers and soft speech. By the time one reaches 65, 30 per cent have significant hearing loss while 50 per cent are quite deaf by the time they cross 75. Age related gradual degenerative deafness is called presbycusis.

The ear consists of the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Sound waves enter through the outer ear and cause vibrations at the eardrum. Three small bones of the middle ear amplify these vibrations as they pass to the inner ear, which contains a fluid-filled snail shaped structure called cochlea. Sound waves make the tiny hairs attached to the nerve cells in the cochlea move in different directions. This transforms the sound waves into electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain.

Continuous exposure to loud sound can damage the fine hair on the nerve cells, leading to progressive loss of hearing. This can be occupational in people who work with loud machinery. It is becoming common in teenagers who use “in ear” earphones to listen to loud music prolonged periods. Even soft piano music should not be listened to for more than two hours at a stretch.

Difficulty in hearing can also occur because of the external ear canal being blocked with wax. This can also lead to severe ear ache. It can be tackled with wax dissolving eardrops. A physician can clean it out. Ear buds tend to push hard wax further inwards, blocking the canal further. Pins and other sharp objects should never be inserted into the ear as they can damage the eardrum.

The middle ear is prone to viral and bacterial infections. Fluid and pus can collect, causing temporary hearing loss. Viral infections are unavoidable but immunisation is available against H. Influenzae and pneumococcus, the two common bacteria that cause ear infections in childhood. These injections are not part of the free national immunisation schedule; they are classified as “optional” vaccines and have to be paid for.

If left untreated, middle ear infections can result in hearing loss. The infection can spread outwards damaging the eardrum or inwards causing brain fever and meningitis. It can also damage the nerves conducting sounds to the brain.

Childhood infections such as measles, mumps and chicken pox could cause deafness as a complication. This too is preventable with immunisation. Vaccinations for all these diseases should be completed by the age of two.

Hearing loss can develop because of a defect either in the conduction pathways or in the nerve cells. It can also be a side effect of medication such as chloroquine, quinine and aspirin as well as antibiotics like gentamicin and kanamycin.

A sudden blow to the head, or a poke with a sharp object can also rupture the eardrum. Sudden loud noises can have the same effect. In war zones, there are “epidemics” of deafness where large numbers of the population cannot hear. Children are particularly vulnerable.

Once hearing loss has set in it should be evaluated professionally to assess the severity, whether one or both ears are affected and if it is reversible and curable.

Small holes in the eardrum can heal spontaneously or with medication. Larger holes require surgical repair, with skin grafts. In permanent hearing loss, a hearing aid should be considered, particularly in older individuals. Hearing aids vary in price, size and usability. The individual has to be fitted with the aid that suits him best. Cochlear implant surgery is also an effective but expensive solution.

Tips to preserve hearing:

• If occupational exposure to loud noise is inevitable, use ear mufflers.

• Turn TV and music volumes down.

• Do not place foreign objects in the ear.

• Children should be immunised against measles, mumps, German measles, chicken pox, H. influenza and pneumococcus.

• Women should complete their immunisation schedule before marriage.

Source: The Telegraph ( kolkata, India)

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Ears Popping when Flying

Introduction:
The ear consists of three chambers:

English: The middle ear : 1)Eardrum 2)Ossicles...

English: The middle ear : 1)Eardrum 2)Ossicles 3)Eustachian tube 4)Tensor tympani Français : Oreille moyenne : 1)Tympan 2)Chaine ossiculaire 3)Trompe d’Eustache 4)Muscle du marteau (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 – skull
2 – ear canal
3 – pinna
4 – tympanum
5 – fenestra ovalis
6 – malleus
7 – incus
8 – stapes
9 – labyrinth
10 – cochlea
11 – auditory nerve
12 – eustachian tube

CLICK TO SEE

•The outer ear canal which leads up to the ear drum.
•The middle ear chamber behind the drum which is filled with air.
•The very specialised inner ear.

The air in the middle ear is constantly being absorbed by the membranes that line the cavity, so the internal pressure can easily drop, putting tension on the tissues there. Fortunately, air is frequently resupplied to the middle ear during the process of swallowing.

Usually when you swallow, a small bubble of air passes from your throat or back of your nose, through a narrow tube known as the Eustachian tube which is usually closed, into your middle ear. As it does this, it makes a tiny click or popping sound.

This action keeps the air pressure on both sides of the eardrum about equal. If the air pressure isn’t equal, for example if the Eustachian tube isn’t working efficiently or if pressures suddenly change, the ear feels blocked or uncomfortable.

The pocket of air in the middle ear is particularly vulnerable to the changes in air pressure as you go up in a plane.

Click to see picture

The higher the plane, the lower the air pressure around you, although inside the cabin you’re protected, to some extent, from these pressure changes. Pressure in the middle ear remains higher until the Eustachian tube opens up to allow the pressure to equalise. Until this happens the relatively lower pressure outside the middle ear pulls the ear drum and tissues of the middle ear outwards, making them feel very uncomfortable.

The eardrum is stretched and can’t vibrate properly, so sounds become muffled. When the Eustachian tube opens, air travels out from the middle ear, making a popping noise as pressure equalises.

During the descent in a plane, the opposite happens as pressure builds up outside the ear, pushing the eardrum inwards.

Abnormal pressure can develop in the middle ear, pulling in or stretching the ear drum, when the Eustachian tube is blocked for other reasons – as the result of a bad cold, for example, or a nasal allergy – or because it’s narrow as a result of childhood ear infections.

Treatment and recovery:
Flyers often experience what is referred to as ear barotrauma or airplane ear. This condition is caused by the change in pressure between the inside and outside of the eardrum that causes the eustachian tubes inside the ear to swell. The popping noise in your ear is the sound of the eustachian tube opening. There are some simple tips that can be used to pop your ears in an effort to ease the pain and discomfort associated with airplane ear.
The following can help to relieve the problem:

•Swallowing activates the muscle that opens the Eustachian tube, and you swallow more often when chewing gum or sucking sweets so try this just before and during descent.
•Yawning is an even stronger activator of the muscles.
•Avoid sleeping during descent, because you may not be swallowing often enough to keep up with the pressure changes.

The most forceful way to unblock your ears is to pinch your nostrils, take in a mouthful of air and use your cheek and throat muscles to force the air into the back of your nose, as if you were trying to blow your thumb and fingers off your nostrils. You may have to repeat this several times before your ears pop.

Decongestants shrink internal membranes and make your ears pop more easily. Ask your pharmacist for advice. However, you should avoid making a habit of using nasal sprays, because after a few days they may cause more congestion than they relieve.

Few more Tips to releave :

Eat Candy or Chew Gum
One of the easiest ways to pop your ears is to chew a piece of gum or suck on a piece of hard candy. This forces your ears to pop on purpose by allowing the muscles around your eustachian tube to open. The movement of the jaw equalizes the pressure between the inside and outside of the eardrum upon the opening of the eustachian tube.

Ear Plugs
Purchase earplugs that are specifically designed for flying. The earplugs restrict the flow of air into your inner ear, allowing it more time to keep up with the rapid change in pressure. Earplugs can be purchased at your local pharmacy or drug store.

Breathing
There is a special way you can breathe to release the pressure in your ears while flying. Inhale, and then gently exhale while holding the nostrils closed and the mouth shut. Repeat several times, especially during descent, to equalize the pressure between your ears and the airplane cabin.

Use A Decongestant
Purchase an oral or nasal spray decongestant. A decongestant can be used before, during, or after the flight to relieve any built-up nasal congestion, and to open the eustachian tube. For best results, use a spray decongestant 30 minutes prior to landing. If is best to take an oral decongestant 30 minutes to an hour prior to your plane taking off.

Tips For Babies
The best way to control the change in pressure between the inside and outside of a baby’s eardrum is to have the child suck on a bottle or pacifier during take off and landing. It is also important to make sure that a baby does not sleep during descent.

To learn few more Tips You may click to see :How to Keep My Ears From Popping While Flying

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/earspopping.shtml
http://www.eustachian-tube.net/EUSTACHIAN-TUBE.html
http://www.ehow.com/list_6821346_tips-pop-ears-flying.html

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ear-anatomy.png

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Ear Infection

Alternative Names: Otitis media – acute; Infection – inner ear; Middle ear infection – acute
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Definition:
Ear infections are one of the most common reasons parents take their children to the doctor. While there are different types of ear infections, the most common is called otitis media, which means an inflammation and infection of the middle ear. The middle ear is located just behind the eardrum.

There are two types of ear infection…Acute & Cronic.

The term “acute” refers to a short and painful episode. An ear infection that lasts a long time or comes and goes is called chronic otitis media.

You may click to learn more about ear infection:

Symptoms
An acute ear infection causes pain (earache). In infants, the clearest sign is often irritability and inconsolable crying. Many infants and children develop a fever or have trouble sleeping. Parents often think that tugging on the ear is a symptom of an ear infection, but studies have shown that the same number of children going to the doctor tug on the ear whether or not the ear is infected.

CLICK & SEE:->

Common Ear Infection

Acute Ear Infection

Cronic Ear Infection

Ear Infection of Bone

Other possible symptoms include:
*Fullness in the ear
*Feeling of general illness
*Vomiting
*Diarrhea
*Hearing loss in the affected ear
*The child may have symptoms of a cold, or the ear infection may start shortly after having a cold.

All acute ear infections include fluid behind the eardrum. You can use an electronic ear monitor, such as EarCheck, to detect this fluid at home. The device is available at pharmacies.

Possible Causes:
Ear infections are common in infants and children in part because their eustachian tubes become clogged easily. For each ear, a eustachian tube runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat. Its purpose is to drain fluid and bacteria that normally occurs in the middle ear. If the eustachian tube becomes blocked, fluid can build up and become infected.
Anything that causes the eustachian tubes and upper airways to become inflamed or irritated, or cause more fluids to be produced, can lead to a blocked eustachian tube. These include:

*Colds and sinus infections
*Allergies
*Tobacco smoke or other irritants
*Infected or overgrown adenoids
*Excess mucus and saliva produced during teething

Ear infections are also more likely if a child spends a lot of time drinking from a sippy cup or bottle while lying on his or her back. Contrary to popular opinion, getting water in the ears will not cause an acute ear infection, unless the eardrum has a hole from a previous episode.

Ear infections occur most frequently in the winter. An ear infection is not itself contagious, but a cold may spread among children and cause some of them to get ear infections.

Risk factors:

*Not being breast-fed
*Recent ear infection
*Recent illness of any type (lowers resistance of the body to infection)
*Day care (especially with more than 6 children)
*Pacifier use
*Genetic factors (susceptibility to infection may run in families)
*Changes in altitude or climate
*Cold climate
*Sudden change of weather

Diagnosis:

Signs and tests
The doctor will ask questions about whether your child (or you) have had ear infections in the past and will want you to describe the current symptoms, including whether your child has had any symptoms of a cold or allergies recently. Your doctor will examine your child’s throat, sinuses, head, neck, and lungs.

Using an instrument called an otoscope, the doctor will look inside your child’s ears. If infected, there may be areas of dullness or redness or there may be air bubbles or fluid behind the eardrum. The fluid may be bloody or purulent (filled with pus). The physician will also check for any sign of perforation (hole or holes) in the eardrum.

A hearing test may be recommended if your child has had persistent (chronic and recurrent) ear infections

Modern  Treatment
The goals for treating ear infections include relieving pain, curing the infection, preventing complications, and preventing recurrent ear infections. Most ear infections will safely clear up on their own without antibiotics. Often, treating the pain and allowing the body time to heal itself is all that is needed:

*Apply a warm cloth or warm water bottle.
*Use over-the-counter pain relief drops for ears.
*Take over-the counter medications for pain or fever, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. DO NOT give aspirin to children.
*Use prescription ear drops to relieve pain.

ANTIBIOTICS
Some ear infections require antibiotics to clear the infection and to prevent them from becoming worse. This is more likely if the child is under age 2, has a fever, is acting sick (beyond just the ear), or is not improving over 24 to 48 hours.

However, for several years there was a tendency to over-prescribe antibiotics, leading to the increasing numbers of bacteria that are resistant to these drugs. Joint guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians are aimed at using antibiotics for ear infections when they are most needed. If the antibiotics do not seem to be working within 48 to 72 hours, contact your doctor to consider switching to a stronger antibiotic. Usually there is no benefit to more than two, or at the most three, rounds of appropriate antibiotics.

SURGERY
If there is fluid in the middle ear and the condition persists, even with antibiotic treatment, a healthcare provider may recommend myringotomy (surgical opening of the eardrum) to relieve pressure and allow drainage of the fluid. This may or may not involve the insertion of tympanostomy tubes (often referred to as ear tubes). In this procedure, a tiny tube is inserted into the eardrum, keeping open a small hole that allows air to get in so fluids can drain more easily down the eustachian tube. Tympanostomy tube insertion is done under general anesthesia. Usually the tubes fall out by themselves. Those that don’t may be removed in your doctor’s office.

If the adenoids are enlarged, surgical removal may be considered, especially if you have chronic, recurrent ear infections. Removing tonsils does not seem to help with ear infections.

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT:
Click to see:
Alternative Treatment for Ear Infections :
Alternative to Tubes for Ear Infection Treatment:
Natural Cures For an Ear Infection – More Than Home Remedies:

Prognosis:
Ear infections are curable with treatment but may recur. They are not life threatening but may be quite painful.

Prevention:
What can kids do to prevent ear infections? You can avoid places where people are smoking, for one. Cigarette smoke can keep your eustachian tubes from working properly.
You can reduce your child’s risk of ear infections with the following practices:

*Wash hands and toys frequently. Also, day care with 6 or fewer children can lessen your child’s chances of getting a cold or similar infection. This leads to fewer ear infections.
*Avoid pacifiers, especially at daycare.
*Breastfeed — this makes a child much less prone to ear infections. But, if bottle feeding, hold your infant in an upright, seated position.
*Don’t expose your child to secondhand smoke.
*The pneumococcal vaccine prevents infections from the organism that most commonly causes acute ear infections and many respiratory infections.
*Some evidence suggests that xylitol, a natural sweetener, may reduce ear infections.
*Avoid overusing antibiotics.

Click to see:
Taking Care of Your Ears;
What’s Earwax?;
What’s Hearing Loss?

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://kidshealth.org/kid/ill_injure/sick/ear_infection.html
http://healthtools.aarp.org/adamcontent/ear-infection-acute?CMP=KNC-360i-GOOGLE-HEA&HBX_OU=50&HBX_PK=ear_infection_acute
http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/ear-infection-acute/overview.html

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Hearing Loss

 

 

Introduction:
The gradual hearing loss that occurs as you age (presbycusis) is a common condition. An estimated one-quarter of Americans between the ages of 65 and 75 and around three-quarters of those older than 75 have some degree of hearing loss.

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Over time, the wear and tear on your ears from noise contributes to hearing loss by damaging your inner ear. Doctors believe that heredity and chronic exposure to loud noises are the main factors that contribute to hearing loss. Other factors, such as earwax blockage, can prevent your ears from conducting sounds as well as they should.

You can’t reverse hearing loss. However, you don’t have to live in a world of quieter, less distinct sounds. You and your doctor or hearing specialist can deal with hearing loss by taking steps to improve what you hear.

Signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms of hearing loss may include:

*Muffled quality of speech and other sounds
*Difficulty understanding words, especially against background noise or in a crowd of people
*Asking others to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly
*Needing to turn up the volume of the television or radio
*Withdrawal from conversations
*Avoidance of some social settings
How you hear:….click & see
Hearing occurs when sound waves reach the structures inside your ear, where the sound wave vibrations are converted into nerve signals that your brain recognizes as sound.

Your ear consists of three major areas: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Sound waves pass through the outer ear and cause vibrations at the eardrum. The eardrum and three small bones of the middle ear  the hammer, anvil and stirrup   amplify the vibrations as they travel to the inner ear. There, the vibrations pass through fluid in the cochlea, a snail-shaped structure in the inner ear. Attached to nerve cells in the cochlea are thousands of tiny hairs that help translate sound vibrations into electrical signals that are transmitted to your brain. The vibrations of different sounds affect these tiny hairs in different ways, causing the nerve cells to send different signals to your brain. That’s how you distinguish one sound from another.

What causes hearing loss……....click & see
For some people, the cause of hearing loss is the result of a gradual buildup of earwax, which blocks the ear canal and prevents conduction of sound waves. Earwax blockage is a cause of hearing loss among people of all ages.

Most hearing loss results from damage to the cochlea. Tiny hairs in the cochlea may break or become bent, and nerve cells may degenerate. When the nerve cells or the hairs are damaged or missing, electrical signals aren’t transmitted as efficiently, and hearing loss occurs. Higher pitched tones may become muffled to you. It may become difficult for you to pick out words against background noise.

Ear infection and abnormal bone growths or tumors of the outer or middle ear can cause hearing loss. A ruptured eardrum also may result in loss of hearing.

Risk factors:
Factors that may damage or lead to loss of the hairs and nerve cells in your inner ear include:

Aging. The normal wear and tear from sounds over the years can damage the cells of your inner ear.

Loud noises. Occupational noise, such as from farming, construction or factory work, and recreational noise, such as from shooting firearms, snowmobiling, motorcycling, or listening to loud music, can contribute to the damage inside your ear.

Heredity. Your genetic makeup may make you more susceptible to ear damage.

Some medications. Drugs such as the antibiotic gentamicin and certain chemotherapy drugs can damage the inner ear. Temporary effects on your hearing — ringing in the ear (tinnitus) or hearing loss — can occur if you take very high doses of aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antimalarial drugs or loop diuretics.

Some illnesses. Diseases or illnesses that result in high fever, such as meningitis, may damage the cochlea.

Comparing loudness of common sounds
What kind of decibel levels are you exposed to during a typical workday? To give you an idea, compare noises around you to these specific sounds and their corresponding decibel levels:

  • drugs can damage the inner ear. Temporary effects on your hearing — ringing in the ear (tinnitus) or hearing loss — can occur if you take very high doses of aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antimalarial drugs or loop diuretics.
  • Some illnesses. Diseases or illnesses that result in high fever, such as meningitis, may damage the cochlea.

Comparing loudness of common sounds
What kind of decibel levels are you exposed to during a typical workday? To give you an idea, compare noises around you to these specific sounds and their corresponding decibel levels:


Sound levels of common noises
30 Whisper
60 Normal conversation
80 Heavy traffic, garbage disposal
85 to 90 Motorcycle, snowmobile, lawn mower
90 Belt sander, tractor
95 to 105 Hand drill, bulldozer, impact wrench
110 Chain saw, jack hammer
120 Ambulance siren
140 (pain threshold) Jet engine at takeoff
165 Shotgun blast
180 Rocket launch

Maximum sound exposure durations
Below are the maximum noise levels on the job to which you should be exposed without hearing protection — and for how long.

Maximum job-noise exposure allowed by law
90 8 hours
95 4 hours
100 2 hours
105 1 hour
115 15 minutes

When to seek medical advice:
Talk to your doctor if you have difficulty hearing. Your hearing may have deteriorated if you find that it’s harder to understand everything that’s said in conversation, especially when there’s background noise, if sounds seem muffled, or if you find yourself having to turn the volume higher when you listen to music, the radio or television.

Screening and diagnosis:
At first, your doctor may perform a general screening test to get an overall idea of how well you can hear. Your doctor may ask you to cover one ear at a time to see how well you hear words spoken at various volumes and how you respond to other sounds.

To determine your ability to hear and the extent of your hearing loss, your doctor may refer you to a hearing specialist (audiologist) for hearing tests.

During more thorough testing conducted by an audiologist, you wear earphones and hear sounds directed to one ear at a time. The audiologist presents a range of sounds of various tones and asks you to indicate each time you hear the sound. Each tone is repeated at faint levels to find out when you can barely hear. The audiologist will also present various words to determine your hearing ability.

Treatment:
Hearing loss treatment depends on the cause and severity of your hearing loss.

If your hearing loss is due to damage to your inner ear, a hearing aid can be helpful by making sounds stronger and easier for you to hear. If you can’t hear well because of earwax blockage, your doctor can remove the wax and improve your hearing. If you have severe hearing loss, a cochlear implant may be an option for you.

Removing wax blockage……...click & see
Earwax blockage is a common reversible cause of hearing loss. Your doctor may remove earwax by:

*Loosening the wax. Your doctor uses an eyedropper to place a few drops of baby oil, mineral oil or glycerin in your ear to loosen the wax, then squirts warm water into your ear using a bulb syringe. As you tilt your ear, the water drains out. Your doctor may need to repeat the process several times before the wax eventually falls out.

*Scooping out the wax. Your doctor may loosen the wax, and then scoop it out with a small instrument called a curette.

*Suctioning out the wax. Your doctor uses a suction deviceto remove the softened wax.

Hearing Aids:

An audiologist can discuss with you the potential benefits of using a hearing aid, recommend a device and fit you with it.

Hearing aids can’t help everyone with hearing loss, but they can improve hearing for many people. The components of a hearing aid include:

*A microphone to gather in the sounds around you
*An amplifier to make sounds louder
*An earpiece to transmit sounds to your ear
*A battery to power the device
The louder sounds help stimulate nerve cells in the cochlea so that you can hear better. Getting used to a hearing aid takes time. The sound you hear is different because it’s amplified. You may need to try more than one device to find one that works well for you. Most states have laws requiring a trial period before you buy a hearing aid, making it easier for you to decide if the hearing aid helps.

Hearing aids come in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles. Some hearing aids rest behind your ear with a small tube delivering the amplified sound to the ear canal. Other styles fit in your outer ear or within your ear canal.

Cochlear implants
If your hearing loss is more severe, often due to damage to your inner ear, an electronic device called a cochlear implant may be an option. Unlike a hearing aid that amplifies sound and directs it into your ear canal, a cochlear implant compensates for damaged or nonworking parts of your inner ear. If you’re considering a cochlear implant, your audiologist, along with a medical doctor who specializes in disorders of the ears, nose and throat (ENT), will likely discuss the risks and benefits with you

The components of a hearing aid are held in a small plastic container called the casing. All hearing aids use these common parts to help conduct sound from your environment into your ear. But different styles and different technologies make for many different types of hearing aids from which to choose.

Hearing aid styles vary by size. Though smaller styles may be less noticeable, they’re generally more expensive and have a shorter battery life. An audiologist can show you the various styles of hearing aids to help you decide which is best for you.

A microphone (1) picks up sounds. The sounds travel through a thin cable to a speech processor (2). You can wear the processor on a belt, in a pocket, or behind the ear. The processor converts the signal into an electrical code and sends the code back up the cable to the transmitter (3) fastened to your head. The transmitter sends the code through your skin to a receiver-stimulator (4 and 5) implanted in bone directly beneath the transmitter. The stimulator sends the code down a tiny bundle of wires threaded directly into your cochlea, the snail-shaped primary hearing organ. Nerve fibers are activated by electrode bands on this bundle of wires. Your auditory nerve carries the signal to your brain, which interprets the signal as a form of hearing.

Newer cochlear implants use an externally worn computerized speech processor that you can conceal behind your ear. The speech processor sends signals to a surgically implanted electronic chip that stimulates the hearing nerve of deaf people.

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causes of hearing loss

Hearing loss prevention consists of steps you can take to help you prevent noise-induced hearing loss and avoid worsening of age-related hearing loss:

  • Protect your ears in the workplace. Specially designed earmuffs that resemble earphones can protect your ears by bringing most loud sounds down to an acceptable level. Foam, pre-formed, or custom-molded earplugs made of plastic or rubber also can effectively protect your ears from damaging noise.
  • Have your hearing tested. Consider regular hearing tests if you work in a noisy environment. Regular testing of your ears can provide early detection of hearing loss. Knowing you’ve lost some hearing means you’re in a position to take steps to prevent further hearing loss.
  • Avoid recreational risks. Activities such as riding a snowmobile, hunting, and listening to extremely loud music for long periods of time can damage your ears. Wearing hearing protectors or taking breaks from the noise during loud recreational activities can protect your ears. Turning down the volume when listening to music can help you avoid damage to your hearing.

Coping skills

Try these tips to communicate more easily despite your hearing loss:

  • Position yourself to hear. Face the person with whom you’re having a conversation.
  • Turn off background noise. For example, noise from a television may interfere with conversation.
  • Ask others to speak clearly. Most people will be helpful if they know you’re having trouble hearing them.
  • Choose quiet settings. In public, such as in a restaurant or at a social gathering, choose a place to talk that’s away from noisy areas.
  • Consider using an assistive listening device. Hearing devices, such as TV-listening systems or telephone-amplifying devices, can help you hear better while decreasing other noises around you.

Click for Information from NIH about Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss Association Of America

Information abour Hearing Loss & Hearing Aids

What is Hearing Loss

Hearing impairment

Chinese herbs for improving hearing loss due to natural aging, ear …

How to Improve Hearing With Ear Candles

Conductive hearing loss can be treated with alternative therapies that are specific to the particular condition.

Hearing Loss: Alternative treatment

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hearing-loss/DS00172

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Acute Otitis Media in Children

The most common cause of earache in children is acute otitis media, which is caused by infection in the middle children are at risk because eustachian tubes, which connect the middle ear to the throat, are small and become obstructed easily. Acute otitis media is often part of a respiratory tract infection, such as the common cold. The infection causes inflammation that may block one of the eustachian tubes, causing a buildup in the middle ear that may get infected with bacteria.
1.Normal
2.Abnormal……..(1)
The part of the ear that we can see is called the outer ear. It is connected to an external canal, which is then separated from the structures of the middle ear by a thin drum like membrane called the eardrum (tympanic membrane). The middle ear is filled with air and is connected to the back of the nose by a tube like canal called the eustachian tube. The other parts beyond the middle ear are the inner ear (cochlea, semicircular canal) and the auditory nerves (carries messages to the brain).

CLICK & SEE

Otitis Media refers to an infection of the middle ear that normally follows the flu or a cold. OM can affect people at any age, but it is more common in children under the age 7.

About 1 in 5 children under age 4 has one episode of acute otitis media each year. the condition is more common in children whose parents smoke. It is also common in children of eskimo or native american descent and may run in families, suggesting a genetic factor. The condition is less common in children over the age of 8.

What are the sympotms?
Symptoms usually develop rapidly over several hours. a very young child may have difficulty locating the pain, and the only symptoms may be fever and vomiting. In older children, the symptoms may be more specific and include:

*20-40% of the cases of bacterial infections may have little or no symptoms.
*In infants, there is irritability, poor feeding, or loss of appetite may be the only symptoms for the first few months.
*In cases without bacterial infection, there may be a mild decrease in hearing or a feeling of heaviness in the ear.
*In most cases of acute OM there is:
flu, cold, sinus, throat, allergies, and earaches.
*The bone behind the ear (Mastoid bone) may hurt if it is pressed.
*Decreased hearing
*Fever may or may not be present
*If the eardrum is punctured, fluid may leak out (otorrhea)
*Hearing loss and spread of the infection to other site (brain, facial nerves and mastoid bone) can occur
* Earache.
*Tugging or rubbing the painful ear.
*Temporary impaired hearing in the affected ear.
Left untreated, the eardrum may rupture, relieving the pain but causing a discharge of blood and pus. Recurrent infections in the middle ear may cause chronic secretory otitis media.

Probable Causes:
Conditions such as a Common Cold (caused by a virus), sinuses, throat infections, allergies to tree pollen, mold spores, and mites can irritate the eustachian (E) tube and weaken its normal defenses.

Once the defenses of the eustachian tube is compromised, it is prone to invasion by bacteria, which then climb up to the air filled middle ear chamber and cause an infection. This results in fluid build up, earaches, and other symptoms.

Bacteria responsible for OM are:

Pneumococci (30-35%)
Haemophilus Influenza (20-25%)
Moraxella catarrhalis (10-15%)
Group A streptococci and Staphylococcus species (1-3%)
Up to 30% of cases of OM occur without any Bacterial infections

*Structural abnormalities of the ear or an E-tube present at birth

*Previous history of OM

*Family history of OM, especially in a sibling

*Second hand tobacco smoke

*Day care

*Allergies

*Sinus infections

*Throat infections

*Formula feeding

 

Method of Diagnosis::
Medical history and a physical examination is the first step
There may be facial pain (over the sinuses), nasal (nose) congestion, sore, red throat if allergies exist, or a sinus infection may be present.
There may be enlarged Lymph glands (pea size nodes) in the neck
The mastoid bone may hurt if doctor presses on it.
The doctor will use a special light (otoscope) to look into the ear canal, where he will see the ear drum bulging out (fluid behind it), moving poorly, or have a tear and the middle ear where fluid is leaking into the external canal.

The fluid that may have leaked out can be collected by a sterile cotton swab, and sent to the laboratory so they can identify the cause and type of the bacteria (takes 24-48 hours).

Hearing can be tested by a specialist called an audiologist.
Risk Involvement:
*Males more than females
*Ear trauma or previous ear surgery
Modern Treatment:
* Usually treated on an outpatient basis except for infants under 2 years of age with high fever.
*If not too sick, use Auralgan drops (eases the pain) and Tylenol (pain and fever) by mouth, and observe closely for the first 2-3 days.
*If symptoms persist for more than 48-72 hours, or the patient is sick, consider antibiotics.
*Antibiotics such as Amoxicillin are given by mouth for up to 10 days (or until the bacteria is identified).
*If there are 3 or more OM’s in 6 months, or 4 or more in one year, then antibiotics may be needed for up to 6 months.
*In cases where there is persistent fluid (Effusion) in the middle ear without bacteria (consider Allergy), antibiotics do not help, and Antihistamines (Claritin) or decongestants such as Entex can be tried.
*In allergic OM, where medications do not help, one may consider consulting with an allergy and Immunology doctor.
*In cases where middle ear effusion is present for more than 4 months in both ears, or more than 6 months in one ear, or, if hearing is affected (greater than 25 decibels), surgery may need to be done.
*Recurrent bacterial OM (more than 2-3) while on antibiotics may also benefit from surgery.
*An ENT (ears, nose, throat) doctor will perform all necessary surgeries.
*Surgeries include drainage of the middle ear fluid via a tiny tube (tympanostomy tube).
*The tube may be placed for days, weeks, months, or in some cases, permanently.
*A good diet that is full of vegetables, fruits, fish, and low in animal products (beef, pork, etc.) and fats may help to prevent future infections.
*Try breast-feeding your baby
*Stop smoking, especially around your children and animals.
What might be done?
You should consult you child’s doctor if liquid is discharged from the ear or if the earache last more than a few hours. he or she will examine your child’s ears and may blow air into the affected ear using a special instrument to check that the eardrum is moving normally. Acute otitis media can clear up without treatment; however, the doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics if he or she suspects that a bacterial infection is present. to relieve discomfort, acetaminophen may be recommended. After a few days, your doctor will reexamine you child.

Symptoms usually clear up in a few days with appropriate treatment. a ruptured eardrum should heal within a few weeks. In some children, hearing is affected for more than 3 months until the fluid in the ear disappears.

Research: Otitis Media

Acute Otitis Media in Children — Current Concepts

Acute Otitis Media treatment & Prevention

Healing Otitis Media Through Homeopathy

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Reources:

http://www.ecureme.com/emyhealth/data/Serous_Otitis_Media.asp
http://www.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=339