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Ear diseases and symptoms

Learn about the causes and symptoms

Our hearing health can tell us a lot about any underlying ear problems or hearing conditions we may have, whether it be an easily treatable ear infection or other hearing diseases or issues. Being able to identify ear diseases and symptoms, from treating a common earache at home, to contacting a healthcare professional to address unusual noises in your ear, such as tinnitus, can help you find the right treatment and care for your specific hearing issues. 


Most common hearing diseases

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Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear, is the result of inner ear damage.

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Hyperacusis is a hearing condition that affects how you perceive sound, particularly a heightened sensitivity to sounds that are not usually an issue for others.

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Single Sided Deafness

Single sided deafness (SDD) is the loss of hearing in one ear, often caused by viral infections, head and ear injuries or Ménière's disease.

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Auditory processing disorder (APD)

Auditory Perceptual Disorder (APD) is a hearing problem that does not involve damage to the ear but results from the fact that what is heard is not processed properly.

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What causes ear diseases?

The causes of ear disease can vary from diagnosis to diagnosis. Viral infection and bacteria buildup are common sources of ear disease, as is fluid build up. Another is long-term or sudden exposure to loud noises, such as those found on construction sites, at performances or listening to headphones at too high of volume. Injury or trauma can also lead to ear disease, as well as other chronic illnesses and post traumatic stress disorder. Some others may be uncommon congenital conditions, such as the Goldenhar syndrome.

Common symptoms of ear diseases

Ear disease symptoms are not always the same. Even if two people are suffering from the same ear disease, they might not experience all of the same symptoms.

Some symptoms from ear diseases can be:

  • Trouble hearing others during conversation
  • An increase in asking people to repeat what they've said
  • Realising you're relying on lip reading to understand what people are saying
  • Getting lost in conversations, whether they be in groups or one-on-one
  • Increasing the volume when watching TV or listening to music
  • Experiencing fatigue or stress due to concerted efforts to keep up with conversation
  • Difficulty separating background noise from primary noise sources
  • Decreased ability to understand what people are saying on the phone
  • Tinnitus, which is a sound in the ears or head that isn't caused by an external source
  • Complete hearing loss
  • Loss of balance or vertigo

How to treat ear diseases

Most ear diseases cannot be successfully treated without the help of an experienced medical professional. If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms of ear disease, consult a doctor for guidance. 

Even if you're not experiencing any of these symptoms, consider preventative measures (such as using ear plugs) that can help you avoid or lessen the effects of ear disease. Contact us today to come in for a FREE annual hearing check to get professional advice from expert audiologists.

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