Category Archives: Ear

Under pressure: Tiny tubes can cause big discomfort

The eustachian tube (named after Italian physician Bartolomeo Eustachio) is a small passage extending from the back of the nose to the middle ear. You have one for each ear. Its function is to regulate pressure between your ear and the external environment. Ideally, the pressure is balanced. The eustachian tube opens when you swallow or yawn in order to equalize pressure. The other function is to allow any fluid that has accumulated in the middle ear to drain into the back of the nose. At rest, it remains closed to prevent reflux (back-flow) from the nose into the middle ear space.

Continue reading Under pressure: Tiny tubes can cause big discomfort

Woman Loses Sound of Men’s Voices: A Closer Look at Hearing Loss

You may have heard the recent story of a woman from Xiamen, China, who woke up one morning recently to find that she could not hear her boyfriend’s voice. In fact, she couldn’t hear any male voice—her ears suddenly could only register frequencies that were at a woman’s average pitch or higher. “Talk about selective hearing!” says Dr. Brittany Beeg, an audiologist at Chicago ENT. “What a funny world we would live in if hearing loss would only select for certain voices!”  Continue reading Woman Loses Sound of Men’s Voices: A Closer Look at Hearing Loss

What’s Ear-ritating your family?

Ear infections can affect adults but are much more common in children. The medical term for an ear infection is otitis media or inflammation of the middle ear. The middle ear is the small part of the ear behind the eardrum. Germs from the nose and throat can get trapped and cause fluid to build up behind the ear thus causing an ear infection. Continue reading What’s Ear-ritating your family?