Our ears are some of the most sensitive parts of or body – they are responsible for controlling our balance and allowing us to hear sound.
There are many different ear problems that can be diagnosed in both infants and adults.
Middle ear infections – also known as otitis media – are especially common in babies and young children, and they commonly occur after a cold. With a middle ear infection, the ear canal, which is located just behind the eardrum, develops a build-up of pus and/or fluid. Some of the most predominant symptoms of a middle ear infection include earache, discharge coming from the ear, and loss of hearing. A child with an ear infection may also develop a headache, fever, and have trouble sleeping in addition to a loss of appetite. To reduce the pain that is associated with ear infections, Dr. Ali Ghahary recommends giving your child Advil or Tylenol – which is available in chewable tablets or liquid suspension formula. Dr. Ali Ghahary will also prescribe young patients with a course of antibiotics to help rid the infection, and in some cases may also prescribe eardrops.
Earwax blockage is also another common problem that Dr. Ali Ghahary sees in patients. While some individuals are simply prone to earwax blockage, it can also be caused by the use of cotton swabs/q-tips, as this can actually push wax further into your ears and cause injury to the eardrum. For those with recurring earwax buildup, Dr. Ali Ghahary will flush the wax out using a syringe filled with lukewarm water. You can also try some at-home remedies to help soften earwax, such as dropping a few drops of baby or mineral oil into the ear.
Inner ear function can also become a problem for older adults, especially those who are elderly. Approximately 50% of individuals between the ages of 60 and 69 will have some type of vestibular dysfunction, 70% for those between the ages of 70 and 79, and 80% for those 80 and above. Hearing loss, for example, can come along with aging, and it can affect one’s life in many different ways, such as talking on the phone or being able to hear your name when it’s called while at the doctor’s office or hospital. Individuals with hearing loss will also usually have to increase the volume on their televisions or radios.
If you suffer from hearing loss, the first thing you should do is see your family doctor. If you do not have a family doctor, there are many physicians at various clinics throughout Vancouver and the Lower Mainland that allow patients to be seen on a walk-in basis, including Dr. Ali Ghahary at Brentwood Medical Clinic in Burnaby.
In order to determine whether your hearing loss is temporary or permanent, Dr. Ali Ghahary will refer patients to an otolaryngologist; a kind of doctor who specializes in problems with the ears, nose and throat.