Otology is a field in medicine dealing with disorders of the ear.
An ear infection is most often a viral or bacterial infection affecting the middle ear, which is an air-filled space behind the eardrum containing tiny vibrating bones. Ear infections are painful because of fluid buildup and inflammation. The most common symptoms of ear infection are ear pain and discharge of fluid from the ear. Ear pain may occur due to cold or fever, whereas fluid discharge may occur due to a ruptured eardrum.
Ear pain/discharge is a common health complication that usually occurs in children, but sometimes they affect adults as well. The pain can come and go or may be constant, dull, burning, or sharp. In some cases, the affected may experience liquid discharge from the ear. The root cause of ear pain is ear infection. It happens when the middle ear is affected by a bacterial or viral infection causing fluid buildup and immense pain. Ear pain may occur due to cold or fever, whereas fluid discharge may occur due to a ruptured eardrum.
Ear sensation or tinnitus is the perception or ringing in the ears. Tinnitus itself isn’t a condition but rather a symptom of an underlying condition like a circulatory system disorder, ear injury, and age-related hearing loss. Ear sensation isn’t something that can be labeled severe, but it can affect the quality of life. It worsens with age and the symptoms can be improved with treatment. Treating the root cause can sometimes help; while other treatments may help mask or reduce the ringing sensation. The affected is advised to seek the doctor’s help immediately to reduce the symptoms while getting treatment.
Hearing loss or hearing impairment is when your ability to hear is reduced or completely compromised. The most common causes of loss of hearing are ear infection, ageing, and loud noise. In most cases, it is difficult to cure hearing impairment and is typically treated with hearing aids. Our hearing ability worsens after we cross the 40s. This age-related hearing loss is called Presbycusis. On the other hand, exposure to loud noise and any untreated ear infections may also lead to hearing loss. Hearing impairment is the result of the sound signals not being able to reach the brain.
Earwax is waxy, yellowy material formed inside the ear that is produced from the sebaceous glands in the ear canal. Earwax is our body’s safety mechanism to protect the lining of the ear canal. It cleans and lubricates the ear canal repelling water, ensuring that bacteria, fungi, and insects do not get through and harm the eardrum. The waxy composition also helps trap dirt as well. However, when the body produces too much earwax, it becomes hard and can cause ear problems with the most severe being hearing loss or hearing impairment. It is recommended to visit your ENT specialist once a while to clear out the excessive buildup