A Journey - From Outer To Inner Ear
Be aware of any skin abnormalities and consult your GP if you notice anything unusual.
Bowl of the Ear
Mostly skin problems which become more relevant when wearing ear moulds.
At the entrance to the ear canal, these are enemy number 1 for hearing aid wearers! Always try to keep your ears clean (preferably not with cotton buds).
Most problems here are caused by wax or eczema which can cause infections and should be referred to a GP.
These can be scarred from previous infections affecting the hearing or they could have perforations or grommets. This is a GP or hospital referral and should be mentioned at the time of consultation.
Although rare in today's world because of good medication, a mastoid cavity could be part of your history and must be mentioned at the time of consultation.
Middle ear bones can be dislocated through a fall or a hard hit to the head which gives an apparent total deafness even though the cochlear is not affected.
The stapes (smallest bone in the body) can have hereditary problems, problems caused by wear and tear or problems that occur out-of-the-blue. These are for GP referral and can now be resolved with teflon replacements.
Most problems here are due to the wear and tear of the little hairs which carry incoming sound to the nerves going to the brain.
These hairs can be damaged by sound, toxic drugs, childhood illnesses and fluid infections which can also relate to balance problems.
Occasionally there can be damage to the auditory nerve which can be either genetic or acquired.