When you hear people talking about problems with their hearing, it often has something to do with the middle ear, which consists of three small bones (called ossicles) that sit behind the eardrum and connect the middle and inner ear. This is the part of the ear that assists hearing by changing sound waves to mechanical vibrations.
When you experience any type of damage to your middle ear, you may experience impaired hearing and hearing loss, spread of infection to nearby tissues, and tearing of the eardrum (which usually repairs itself within a few days). The Merck Manual provides the following types of middle ear disorders:
- Blockage of the eustachian tube (which connects the middle ear and the back of the nose)
The symptoms of a middle ear disorder vary and can include:
- Loss of balance
- Hearing loss
If you or someone you know is suffering from ear discomfort, it’s important to consult a doctor, such as the expert physicians at Westwood ENT. During your initial appointment, we will sit down with you and discuss all of your symptoms and medical history before we even start the diagnostic process. Once we discover what is causing the disorder, we’ll develop an individualized treatment plan that is the right fit for what you are experiencing. Treatment may include:
- Medication: Antibiotics and over-the-counter pain relievers to help with infection and pain, respectively
- Myringotomy: Tubes temporarily or permanently placed in the ear to drain fluid, which may remain after an infection
- Middle Ear Reconstruction: An outpatient procedure that replaces the damaged middle ear bones with prosthesis
If you suspect discomfort stems from a middle ear disorder, don’t let this advice go in one ear and out the other. Call 203-574-5997 and make an appointment at one of Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat’s four conveniently-located offices today.