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Hearing Health Medical Issues Explained

  • Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease
    Autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED) is an inflammatory condition of the inner ear. It occurs when the body's immune system attacks cells in the inner ear that are mistaken for a virus or bacteria.
  • Cholesteatoma
    A cholesteatoma is a skin growth that occurs in an abnormal location, the middle ear behind the eardrum. It is usually due to repeated infection, which causes an in growth of the skin of the eardrum.
  • Cochlear Implants
    A cochlear implant is an electronic device that restores partial hearing to the deaf. It is surgically implanted in the inner ear and activated by a device worn outside the ear.
  • Ear Tubes Explained
    Sometimes ear infections and/or fluid in the middle ear may become a chronic problem and insertion of an ear tube by an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat surgeon) may be considered.
  • Ear Infections and Earache
    Otitis media means inflammation of the middle ear. The inflammation occurs as a result of a middle ear infection, and can occur in one or both ears. Otitis media is the most frequent diagnosis recorded for children who visit physicians for illness.
  • Ears and Altitude
    Ear problems are the most common medical complaint of airplane travelers, and while they are usually simple, minor annoyances, they occasionally result in temporary pain and hearing loss.
  • Earwax
    Ear doctors would say "never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear! Cotton swabs are for cleaning bellybuttons-not ears."…find out why.
  • Genes and Hearing Loss
    Learn more about how the genes you inherit from your parents can contribute to hearing loss in you or your children.
  • Hyperacusis - An increased sensitivity to everyday sounds
    Hyperacusis is a condition that arises from a problem in the way the brain's central auditory processing center perceives noise. It can often lead to pain and discomfort.
  • Meniere's Disease
    Meniere's Disease is a disorder of the inner ear. Learn more about its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
  • Otosclerosis
    Find out more about otosclerosis, a hardening of the bones in the middle ear.
  • Ototoxic Drugs
    Some common drugs such as antibiotics, aspirin, diuretics and chemotherapy can cause hearing loss. In fact BHI spokesperson Shelley Beattie developed hearing loss as a child due to an overdose of aspirin. See below for reputable websites on the link between drugs and hearing loss.

American Speech Hearing Association

Merck Drug Company

National Institute of Health

Otoneurology Education Tutorial:
Comprehensive write-up by Dr. Timothy C. Hain

The Royal National Institute of Deafness (RNID)

  • Perforated Eardrum
    A perforated eardrum is a hole or rupture in the eardrum, a thin membrane that separates the ear canal and the middle ear. The medical term for eardrum is tympanic membrane.
  • Plastic Surgery of the Ear
    Protruding and drooping ears or torn earlobes can be surgically corrected. These procedures do not alter the patient's hearing, but they may improve appearance and self-confidence.
  • Swimmer's Ear
    If you already have an ear infection, or if you have ever had a perforated or otherwise injured eardrum, or ear surgery, you should consult an ear, nose, and throat specialist before you go swimming and before you use any type of ear drops