Common ear conditions can include:
Deafness may be caused by a variety of inherited or acquired conditions. In many cases the hearing may be helped by either surgery or a hearing aid. The correct diagnosis needs to be made before the appropriate treatment can be instigated. You can have a hearing test in clinic which will help to diagnose you condition. We can refer you on for either an NHS or private hearing aid if needed.
Dizziness is a very upsetting and disabling condition. This may be caused by conditions that affect the ear/balance organ primarily, by problems affecting other sensory inputs to the brain (sight or joint position sensation) or the brain itself.
A detailed history and examination will allow the likely cause to be identified and the correct treatment started. We are able to offer the Epley manouvre to reposition the otoliths for patients with Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo ( BPPV).
Tinnitus is a remarkably common condition affecting up to 10% of the population and usually does not have a sinister cause. A hearing assessment is advised in addition to general ear assessment. One-sided tinnitus needs further investigation to exclude more sinister causes. Sometimes a hearing aid may help reduce some tinnitus if it is in association with hearing loss. We can facilitate onward referral to tinnitus retraining services if needed.
Pain felt in the ear may be from the ear itself or may be a referred pain from the jaw joint, the nose, teeth, jaws or throat. A full assessment is required to find the source of the pain and to diagnose it correctly.
Ear infections may cause pain, deafness and ear discharge. The treatment for middle ear infection is very different from that for external ear canal infection and so a specialist assessment is advised to allow the correct treatment to be prescribed.
Wet ears normally result from either ear infections or a discharging perforation of the eardrum.
Diseases of the Eardrum
A variety of eardrum pathologies exist which include perforations, retraction or scarring. Sometimes a retraction pocket can build up a collection of infected skin cells (Cholesteatoma), which can give a long term discharging smelly ear. This needs prompt attention to stop any progression of the disease, which could lead on to serious brain infections or facial paralysis. Acute perforations following ear trauma usually heal spontaneously but established perforations may need operative intervention to reconstruct the eardrum.
Earwax may build up and cause a feeling of blockage and irritation even though it is rare to cause much deafness. Gentle removal is possible using a microscope and suction in the clinic.