Middle Ear Infections
Middle ear infections occur behind the eardrum. These infections are usually due to bacteria or viruses, which are often related to a recent cold or allergy problem. These ear infections are most common in young children, whose ear anatomy is not yet fully developed. Children under age 5, boys, bottle-fed infants, and children in daycare run the greatest risk of infection.
Middle ear infections are often treated with antibiotics, but if the ear infections are recurrent the doctor may recommend tubes. Placing tubes is a simple inpatient or outpatient procedure (depending on the age of the patient) that consists of removing any remaining fluid in the ear and placing a plastic tube in the eardrum
If you have Meniere’s disease you’ve experienced at least one of the following:
- Attacks of vertigo (a spinning or whirling feeling that causes balance problems). These attacks often include nausea, vomiting and sweating with sudden onset and may last for 20 minutes to several hours.
- Hearing problems. Hearing is often partially or completely lost during vertigo attacks. Over time this hearing loss may become permanent.
- Tinnitus (ringing, buzzing, whistling, or roaring noises in the ear). These noises may get louder just before a vertigo attack.
- Nystagmus (involuntary movement of the eyes).
- A feeling of pressure or fullness in the ears.
Treatment options include:
- Lifestyle changes
- In-office treatments
- Certain types of surgery
Tinnitus is an abnormal noise in the ear such as ringing, buzzing, whistling, or roaring. Tinnitus is commonly accompanied by hearing loss and roughly 90% of patients with chronic tinnitus have some form of hearing loss. Some common causes of tinnitus include Meniere’s disease, noise trauma, advancing age, ear wax, and ototoxicity. Some common tests performed in our office to help diagnose and treat tinnitus are audiograms and tympanograms performed by our audiologist. Some treatments for tinnitus include:
- Hearing aids
- Surgical treatment (to be considered when there is a clear structural reason for tinnitus that can be improved with surgery)
- Lifestyle changes