Ear Conditions

Ear Conditions

There’s many conditions that can affect your ears and hearing. Fortunately, most do not cause major problems and can be treated fairly quickly or naturally disappear over time. There are more serious conditions that can create a significant impact on your quality of life and will need treatment.

Below are just some of the more common ear conditions that we treat.

Ear Wax

We all have earwax: it’s an important way in which our body prevents infections of the ear. It protects the ear by trapping dirt and repelling water, stopping them from entering the ear canal.

Most of the time, earwax does not cause any problems so there’s no need to remove it. But, occasionally, it can build up and form a ‘plug’ in the ear that may cause pain or hearing loss.

You might be tempted to insert something into your ear to remove any wax, such as cotton buds or even a matchstick. But this can be dangerous and you risk perforating your eardrum.

We offer a number of treatment options, including quick and painless microsuction.

Glue ear and grommets

Glue ear is a condition where the middle ear fills with fluid. It’s common in childhood and often flares up in winter.

Glue ear usually goes away on its own, but, occasionally, it can cause problems such as hearing loss in one or both ears. Here are some signs that your child may be having hearing problems

• Turning up the volume on the TV or stereo
• Not replying when you call
• Struggling to follow conversations or answering questions inappropriately
• Complaining about earache or noises in the ear

It might go away on its own, but if it doesn’t the usual treatment is to drain the fluid from the ear. This is done by placing tubes (known as grommets) in the ear, which drain the fluid away. This is a routine surgical procedure, so you should not worry if your child needs to have this done.

Hearing loss

Hearing loss is a common condition and can affect people of all ages. It’s not unusual to lose our hearing as we get older, but children can also be affected. Hearing loss may have a clear cause, such as glue ear in children, or it may need further investigation such as a hearing test to diagnose the cause.

The treatment for hearing loss depends on its cause. For example, if your child has glue ear, their symptoms may disappear on their own and not require any treatment. Sometimes minor surgery may be needed to correct the problem. Hearing aids are also a very helpful way for you to manage any hearing loss and they have improved enormously over the last few years. Some of the very latest designs can only be seen by looking directly into your ear. Which of course doesn’t happen.

Our ENT specialists can help you with hearing loss. They’ll discuss your symptoms in detail and will carry out routine tests and examinations to understand the cause of your condition and suggest the right treatments for you.

Vertigo, dizziness and balance disorders

Vertigo is a feeling of dizziness and losing your balance. You may feel as if you or the room you’re in is spinning around and moving. The feeling may be barely noticeable or it may cause you to feel unsteady or lose your balance. It may happen for just a few seconds, or it could last longer.

Feelings of dizziness and losing your balance are symptoms and not a condition. So, treatments depend on the cause. For example, vertigo may be caused by a problem with the part of your ear that controls balance, or it may be caused by an infection or migraine.

Noises in the ear (tinnitus)

Noises in the ear, such as ringing, buzzing, whistling or hissing, are known as tinnitus. The sounds heard are often different for different people and can vary in intensity and how often they occur. They can be constant or intermittent.

We all have some noise in our ears. If you sit in a very quiet room with no external sound you may become aware of a noise in your ears, which is normal. But, sometimes, noises in your ear may intrude on your day day-to-day life. For example, they may be more noticeable when you’re tired, experiencing stress or are trying to get to sleep.

Treatment for tinnitus depends on its cause. It may be caused by a cold. Or a build-up of earwax. Stress can also produce it. In some cases tinnitus may be connected with hearing loss.

In most cases, there is no cure for tinnitus. So, treatments include learning how to manage your symptoms. Our ENT specialists will discuss your symptoms in detail in order to understand the cause of your tinnitus and will advise you on the best treatment options.