HNO-Mallorca | Ear diseases

Ear diseases

In our practice, we often see patients with otitis externa (inflammation of the ear canal), also known as badeotitis, during the summer months. This is a painful infection of the ear canal. Local treatment with antibiotic ointments is usually sufficient. It is important that the ear canal is cleaned professionally under the microscope with a suction cup to allow it to heal quickly. Earwax is often found, which can act as a bacterial deposit when it comes into contact with pool water, triggering the infection in the first place. General practitioners do not usually have the appropriate technical equipment for this. Fungal infections are also common. Here, however, a clear picture emerges under the microscope, so that we can quickly suppress the process with antifungal ointments.

Skin diseases of the ear canal, such as ear canal eczema, are widespread. Patients usually complain of annoying itching in the ears. The cause is often a lack of oil in the skin, which is treated with suitable ointments.

Time and again we see patients with so-called barotrauma of the ears after diving or flying, when the nose was not clear and the pressure equalization did not work. Unfortunately, these patients often have damage to their inner ear, which must be treated urgently and quickly by a specialist. The earlier treatment begins, the better the prognosis!

Middle ear infections can be viral or bacterial. They can be very painful, as the eardrum comes under pressure from the wound secretion and can also burst. Treatment leads to an improvement after 2 to 3 days.

Wichtig: The patient must not fly with a middle ear infection!

In the case of inner ear diseases, acute sudden hearing loss is always an emergency. This is a sudden loss of hearing, usually on one side, combined with a beeping or ringing in the affected ear (tinnitus). Patients have a feeling of absorbent cotton in their ears. In 30% of cases, dizziness occurs at the same time. This is usually triggered by circulatory disorders in the inner ear. In general, however, one can assume a multifactorial development. Stress plays a role, as do misalignments in the cervical vertebrae and vascular diseases. In order to achieve good healing results, early specialist treatment is necessary.

Many patients come for treatment with acute or chronic tinnitus. Tinnitus is subjectively perceived ear noises (beeping, buzzing, whistling or hissing) These can be unilateral or bilateral. They can be steady or pulsating. They can be stable in intensity and frequency or changeable. Tinnitus usually comes from the inner ear, but middle ear diseases can also be responsible (otosclerosis). The causes are manifold. Cardiovascular diseases and vasoconstriction can be partly responsible, changes in the cervical spine, intoxication, but also side effects of medication have been identified as “culprits”.

In chronic cases in particular, we work closely with our cardiologist (carotid ultrasound) and with the orthopaedist and neurologist. As with sudden deafness, it is very important to start treatment quickly for acute tinnitus, which does not disappear by itself within 24 hours, in order to optimize the chances of success of the therapy.