3 Ear Disorders That Can Affect Adults and Children

3 Ear Disorders That Can Affect Adults and Children

Ear disorders require prompt attention. Ear infections are a common ear disorder of childhood; toddlers let you know from their cries that they’re in distress. Hearing loss and dizziness, or vertigo, are serious ear disorders that can upend life as you know it. Older adults who suffer untreated hearing loss are at greater risk of dementia.

Dr. Nilesh Patel, board-certified ear, nose and throat physician, treats all types of ear disorders at two convenient locations in New York City. Following is helpful information about three ear disorders that can affect both children and adults. 

Hearing loss

Hearing loss can occur any time during your life, including before birth. Problems such as lack of oxygen at birth or during the prenatal period can cause hearing loss in infants. Chronic ear infections can result in hearing loss in children. Trauma, age, exposure to loud sounds, and more can cause hearing deficits in adulthood. 

Dr. Patel provides a hearing test to help discover the kind of hearing loss you or your loved one has and the possible reasons for it. He examines problems that affect your nose, ear, and throat, all of which can affect your hearing. 

If hearing aids would help you, Dr. Patel explains your options and recommends the type that would help you the most. He ensures that your hearing aids are working well for you and that you know how to use them. 

If you qualify for a cochlear implant for severe hearing loss, Dr. Patel can perform this surgery for both children and adults if hearing aids provide little benefit. 

Ear infections

Ear infections are a common malady in childhood, but adults can also get them. Your ear canal is a thin tube. Your ears get wet every day from baths and showers. Bacteria love a moist environment, and viruses and bacteria can easily lodge in your ears. 

You can sustain an outer, middle, or inner ear infection. The most frequent type of ear infection (otitis media) is in the middle ear behind your eardrum. Your child has sharp, searing pain with this type of infection. Babies and children often suffer from otitis media because the eustachian tube that drains fluid from the ear to the throat is horizontal and becomes easily clogged. As your child grows older, the tube changes to a more vertical position so the fluid drains well. 

Dr. Patel examines your ears with an instrument called a pneumatic otoscope to determine the type of infection you or your child has. He prescribes an antibiotic if the infection is bacterial. 

If your toddler has chronic ear infections, Dr. Patel may recommend putting in a tube to keep the fluid flowing out of the middle ear so that it doesn’t back up. He takes the tube out in six to 18 months. 

Vertigo

An inner ear infection may be the culprit if you experience dizziness, or vertigo. Dr. Patel performs one or more tests to determine function in your inner ear. He may prescribe a steroid to reduce inflammation and/or an antihistamine. 

Meniere's disease is a condition that causes dizziness, ringing in the ear, and other unpleasant symptoms which lessen your quality of life. Dr. Patel uses a range of therapies to help relieve your distress. 

Call Dr. Nilesh Patel or request a same-day appointment through our online portal if you have a problematic ear, nose, or throat condition. 

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