There are many different types of ear conditions. For example, pain may be caused by infections of the tonsils, jaw, or sinuses. Chronic infection can cause hearing loss that can affect learning and disrupt lifestyle, and exposure to loud noise can also damage hearing. Dermatitis can also occur in the ears as a result of reactions to medicines, wearing jewelry, cosmetics, or ear plugs.
Common ear problems
- Otitis media: inflammation of the middle ear which causes a build-up of fluid, with or without an infection. If there is an infection, it is often viral. Many children have several bouts of otitis media before they are 7 years old. Symptoms include crying, ear pulling, mild fever, and irritability.
- Glue ear: a type of chronic otitis media. A long-term build-up of thick or sticky fluid behind the eardrum causes hearing loss. This can make socializing and learning difficult, especially if hearing loss is not detected in early childhood.
- Wax: protects the ear and is normal. However, a build-up of wax may be a problem in some adults, and may require wax-softening drops. Impacted wax rarely causes a discharge or pain, but it may cause hearing impairment.
- Swimmer’s ear: develops when humidity, heat, and moisture cause the skin layer inside the ear to swell. The addition of further water through swimming, makes the skin lining the canal even softer and liable to infection. Attempts to remove the water with cotton swabs or other objects may make the condition worse, causing pain and itching.
- Ménière’s disease usually starts in one ear, but later may develop in both. Smoking, infections, or a high-salt diet may worsen the disease. Symptoms include a spinning sensation (vertigo), hearing loss, ear ringing (tinnitus), and ear pressure. The vertigo may cause severe nausea and imbalance. Hearing loss may become permanent. Drugs for motion sickness or nausea may help manage symptoms
You should seek medical advice if you have:
- ear pain or dizziness
- pus or blood discharging from your ear
- earache and generally don’t feel well
- neck or head trauma before the ear pain started
- hearing that is acutely impaired or gradually deteriorating
- a foreign object in your ear
- used a medicine for your ear and it has not improved or has become itchy, as this may indicate allergic dermatitis as a result of the medicine.
If you are experiencing any of these problems, or think that you have a hearing loss, call Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ today at 772-286-4327 and schedule your FREE comprehensive hearing screening with our Board Certified Hearing Aid Specialist.