Diseases concerning the ear
Diseases concerning the external ear, for example „otitis externa“ . Especially during summer time there are lots of patients who come to our clinic because of a horrible pain in the ear. Ear wax and bacteria from the pool can cause a severe infection in the auditory canal. Sometimes the ear canal is very swollen, the patient can`t hear properly and in some cases you even can`t touch the ear. In that case we speak of a so called ‚otitis externa’ (not to be confused with a middle ear infection: different treatment). Most of the time the patient doesn´t have to take antibiotics (unfortunately some GPs prescribe antibiotics quite often and there are a lot of resistences against antibiotics these days just because they are prescribed too quickly!!). The ENT Doctor cleans the auditory canal under the microscope by sucking the pus out. Then he installs a special antibiotic cream. If the patient sees the ENT Doctor in time – when he feels that there is something wrong with his ear – in most of the cases one treatment is enough to cure the infection. An ENT specialist can also see (with the microscop) whether it is an infection with fungus, in that case there is a completely different treatment and antibiotics or cortison is not allowed at all!!
Eczema of the external ear. This disease occures quite often in patients as a consequence of using shampoo and hairspray which enters the auditorial canal. The skin dries out and feels itchy.
Middle ear infection. This is very painful. The infection can be caused by a virus or a bacteria. In that case the ENT Doctor has to prescribe an antibiotic if there is no improvement within 24 hours. Usually the patient feels far better after a 2-3 day treatment with an antibiotic. During the first few days of a middle ear infection the patient can´t fly!!
Some patients see an ENT Doctor because they have noticed an unbearable pain during landing. There is a lot of pressure in the ear. Some can´t hear properly. If this should last a few hours, you should see an ENT Doctor immediately!! It could be a so called baro-trauma. Maybe the patient had a blocked nose so the pressure equalizing wouldn´t work (it can also happen in diving!!). This can be a quite severe problem, because it can damage the inner ear (forever).
If you have the feeling that all of a sudden you can´t hear properly or you have a dumb feeling in the ear and/or you can hear a frequent tone in your ear, which wasn´t there before, it could be a so called „sudden hearing-loss“ and/or„tinnitus“. In that case you should see an ENT Doctor immediately.
Tinnitus can arise just like this! but can also have severe causes like: problems with the neck, intoxication, illness of the heart and circulatory system. The ENT Doctor will find out after different tests and then send you to the specialist.
Dizziness (vertigo) can be a big problem. The patient can´t drive a car, some even feel really sick. The cause of vertigo can be a disease in the inner ear, but also of the brain or the circulatory system or spine. Again: the ENT Doctor can find out with the help of his special equipment (videonystagmographia) and find the adaquate treatment.