Hearing Loss

Symptoms Of Hearing Loss Include:

  • Muffled hearing.
  • Difficulty understanding what people are saying, especially when there are competing voices or background noise. You may be able to hear someone speaking, but you cannot distinguish the specific words. Listening to the television or radio at higher volume than in the past.
  • Avoiding conversation and social interaction. Social situations can be tiring and stressful if you do not hear well. You may begin to avoid those situations as hearing becomes more difficult.
  • Many adults may be depressed because of how hearing loss is affecting their social life.
  • Ringing, roaring, hissing, or buzzing in the ear (tinnitus).
  • Ear pain, itching, or irritation.
  • Pus or fluid leaking from the ear. This may result from an injury or infection that is causing hearing loss.
  • Vertigo, which can occur with hearing loss caused by Ménière’s disease, acoustic neuronal, or labyrinthitis.

Tinnitus

  • Is the sensation of hearing a sound, such as a ringing or roaring, that does not come from a person’s surroundings (nobody else can hear it). The sound may be continuous or come and go, it may keep time with the person’s heartbeat, or it may coincide with the person’s breathing.
  • To the person who is affected with tinnitus, the sound seems to come from one ear or from inside the head. In rare cases, clicking or crackling sounds or other noises in the ear can be heard by the doctor as well as by the person who has tinnitus.
  • Normal sounds that come from a person’s surroundings are “heard” when sound waves strike the eardrum. The eardrum vibrates, and those vibrations enter the inner ear, where they stimulate nerve cells to create signals that travel along the acoustic nerve to the brain. The brain then translates the signals into patterns that a person recognizes as sounds.
  • Tinnitus occurs when there is no external source of sound waves. For reasons that are not understood, the brain receives signals, either from inside the head or from within the ear, that cause the sensation of hearing a sound.
  • Tinnitus is most noticeable (and bothersome) when the affected person is in a quiet environment. The condition is often treated by using background noise to mask the ringing or roaring that is caused by tinnitus.

Vertigo

  • Vertigo (dizziness) is an uncomfortable feeling of motion when there is no actual movement. The feeling of motion is commonly described as spinning or whirling, but it also may include sensations of falling or tilting.
  • Vertigo can cause nausea and vomiting. It may be difficult to maintain balance, walk, or stand.
  • Causes for vertigo include nerve, blood flow, or inner ear problems.
  • Infrequent episodes of vertigo may not require treatment. If vertigo is severe or frequent, treatment will depend on the specific cause.

Meniere's Disease

  • Meniere’s (say “men-YEERS”) disease is a disorder of the inner ear that affects hearing and balance. It causes sudden attacks of vertigo (a spinning sensation), tinnitus (a loud ringing in the ears), and hearing loss that may be temporary or permanent.
  • It may also cause:Nausea and vomiting that occur with vertigo.A feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear.
  • The cause of Ménière’s disease is not known, but it may be related to a fluid imbalance in the inner ear.
  • Treatment includes medicines and sometimes surgery. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, salt, and stress may prevent attacks of vertigo.

Acoustic Neuronal

  • An acoustic neuronal is a noncancerous growth or tumor on the auditory nerve near the inner ear. The auditory nerve carries sound impulses from the ear to the brain.
  • An acoustic neuronal grows slowly and can cause hearing loss in the affected ear. Although the growth is not cancerous, it can press on other nerves or brain tissues as it grows.

Symptoms Of Acoustic Neuronal May Include:

  • Hearing loss (usually in just one ear).
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
  • Numbness or weakness of one side of the face.
  • Trouble standing or walking because of unsteadiness or vertigo.
  • Acoustic neuronal is not common; it most often occurs in people ages 30 to 50. The cause is unknown. Acoustic neuromas may be removed with surgery if symptoms are severe, in order to prevent damage to other nerves or brain tissues.