There are many diseases that can affect people’s hearing or balance, the most common of which are infections that affect young children and hearing loss in older adults.
Audiology is the branch of medicine that deals with these ear disorders and audiologists are the professionals who deal with their prevention, detection and treatment.
Before defining the most common types of ear disease, it is important to have a general concept of what the ear is, one of the most advanced and sensitive organs in the body.
The ear is, in effect, a set of organs that fulfills the function of providing balance and hearing, in order to perceive sounds. It is made up of three parts: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear.
The outer ear, made up of the pinna and the external auditory canal that receives sound to direct it to the middle ear.
The middle ear, formed by the cavity and the tympanic membrane, the opticosteoclast, the sinuses and mastoid cells and the pharyngeal tube.
The inner ear, located within the temporal bone. It is divided between the bony labyrinth and the membranous labyrinth and fulfills the main function of transporting the electrical impulses that reach the brain in the form of sound.
When the information sent to the brain does not arrive in the best conditions, through the aforementioned components of the ear, it is possible that we are in the presence of hearing diseases such as:
Deafness, colossi or anacrusis: partial or total loss of hearing capacity. It can be an inherited disorder or due to disease, trauma, long-term exposure to noise, or to medications that affect the auditory nerve.
Tinnitus or tinnitus: It is the perception of certain constant noises, such as hissing, buzzing or clicking. There is no treatment to combat the disease, although there are means to reduce its effects.
Otitis media: This is inflammation of the middle ear, caused by bacteria or a virus that leads to an accumulation of fluid behind the eardrum. It is not a serious disease, if it receives proper treatment.
Meniere: The patient suffers from vertigo, hearing loss, pressure, a feeling of fullness and noises in the ears. It is a chronic disease of the vestibular system of the inner ear. You are treated with medicine or a device (Mininet) that is placed in the ear to balance the pressure of the fluid in the inner ear.
Otosclerosis: Abnormal growth of the ear bone. It is one of the most common causes of progressive deafness in adults. A surgical operation allows the patient to regain hearing.
Presbycusis: progressive hearing loss that appears in people as they age. Generally, it manifests as a bilateral and symmetrical disorder in both ears.
Acoustic trauma: These are due to sudden and powerful sounds, such as explosions, concerts, and proximity to noisy machinery. Audiologists must review its impact and evolution in the medium and long term.
Barotrauma: It is due to ear injuries caused by changes in air or water pressure (barometric pressure).
In addition to the aforementioned ear diseases, there are other less frequent diseases, such as exostosis, retinitis pigmentosa, acoustic tumor, vestibular neuritis and perichondritis.