Common Ear Conditions and Treatments

Common Ear Conditions

Hearing Loss

If you take your ears for granted, listen up: hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the world. If you have lost some of your hearing, you'll find strategies to keep lines of communication open with friends and family.

Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can occur suddenly, but usually develops gradually. General signs of hearing loss can include:

difficulty hearing other people clearly and misunderstanding what they say
asking people to repeat themselves
listening to music or watching television with the volume turned up higher than other people require

Common ear problems

Otitis media
Glue ear
Ear wax
Swimmer’s ear


Otitis Media (OM)

Otitis Media

Otitis media (OM) is any inflammation of the middle ear (see the images below), without reference to etiology or pathogenesis. It is very common in children.

There are several subtypes of OM, as follows:

Acute OM (AOM)
OM with effusion (OME)
Chronic suppurative OM
Adhesive OM

Signs and symptoms

AOM implies rapid onset of disease associated with one or more of the following symptoms:

Otalgia
Otorrhea
Headache
Fever
Irritability
Loss of appetite
Vomiting
Diarrhea