How do we hear

The human ear is subdivided into three parts: the outer, middle and inner ear. The outer ear includes the pinna and the outer ear canal. The tympanic membrane is the boundary between the outer and the middle ear (tympanic cavity) where three small ossicles are located: the malleus, incus and stapes. The inner ear contains the cochlea where the perceived sound waves are being transformed into electrical impulses and transferred to the brain for further interpretation through the acoustic nerve. Too many diseases could cause hearing loss, some of them are completely reversible other are not. 


Otitis media is the commonest disease leading to hearing loss in children, due to inflammation in the middle ear. In some cases, fluid accumylates in the tympanic cavity, while the only symptom is mild hearing loss (secretory otitis media). The existence of enlarged adenoids is a triggering factor. Close monitoring is of great importance in order to avoid any permanent lesions on the tympanic membrane like atelectasis. Should the fluid remain for a period of three or more months whithout improvement, the next step is insertion of ventilation tube.


Tinnitus (noise in the ear) affects millions of people all over the planet, being one of the most frequent symptom in ENT. Patients experience a sensation of sound while no sound is really present to the ear. It is not yet clear how tinnitus develops and more importantly how it is cured. Tinnitus can become continuous and debilitating in many patients. In some cases, the patient may hear his/her own pulse as a result of arteriosclerosis, (a vascular disorder). Tinnitus becomes louder in quiet rooms or at bed time when patient goes to sleep. Exposure to loud sounds may cause tinnitus due to choclear hyper-activity, which is usually subsides. An otologic evaluation by an ENT should be immediately performed and various treatments may be offered.


Is a very common condition especially during the summer or in those who swim frequently throughout the year. Actually it is a skin infection of the outer ear canal due to the presents of water and the subsequent development of bacteria. Main symptom is itching in the ear accompanied by edema and pain especially when pressing on the ear canal. Patient should seek medical attention especially diabetics.


Mainly affects one ear and appears usually in adults. The hoolemark is sudden hear loss which may lead to deafness. Each evolution may take hours or even a few days. Hearing evaluation should be done immediately. Sometimes tinnitus or vertigo may also arrear. The cause of the disease is not yet known. Delayed onset of therapy is usually without result. The intratybanic injection of cortisone is the treatment of chose. 


The nose plays important role in breathing and pulmonary function since it filters air, removes articles, moistures the inhaled air so that lungs can absorb oxygen better. That's why normal nasal function is of paramount importance. Nasal function can be affected by other medication such as diuretics, anti-depressants, anti-high pressure agents, etc.


Paranasal sinus are air-filled cavities around the nose connected with the nostrils through tiny passages. When inflammation appears in the area sinusitis symptoms become evident. Symptoms are: pain in the upper teeth, on the face, in between the ears, loss of taste and smell, nasal congestion and yellowish nasal secretions.


Tonsils are located at the lateral site of the pharynx. The adenoids are on the roof of the pharynx in the rear part of the nasal cavity. Inflammation of these structures may cause serious problems such as chronic otitis media, sleep apnea, breathing and swallowing difficulties, developmental anomalies. Symptoms of tonsilitis- adenoiditis are:

  • enlargement of the tonsils- adenoids
  • whitish exudate on the tonsils
  • voice change
  • throat pain accompanied by ear pain and larged lymph nodes
  • painful swallowing
  • fever
  • halitosis