Why is my right ear hurting and my hearing has decreased in it?
I'm a 32 year old mother of three and live in Kentucky. I have had past issues with allergies but no previous issues with my ears of hearing. I have taken allergy medications thinking it may give me some relief but it has not. My great grandmother did have some hearing loss and I'm worried I'm headed down that road. What type of doctor should I see and what should I do to get some relief?
Hearing is a complex process. There are many causes of malfunction in the process. This is a very serious condition. I would strongly suggest you urgently see your doctor. In addition, an ear-nose-throat doctor (known more commonly as an ENT doctor) would be good to see as they are the specialist for these problems. In general, hearing has two major parts. The first is the mechanical process -- where sounds waves are transmitted through the ear drum, through small bones, and then to the nerve. The second part is the nerve transmitting the sound to the brain where it is interpreted as the appropriate sound. In general, we define problems with hearing loss as either mechanical or nerve. The fact that you have ear pain probably suggest that there is a mechanical problem (although this is not 100%). Common causes include: ear effusion -- fluid in the ear drum. This can be caused by infection or by allergies. Ear drum rupture can also cause these symptoms. Hereditary causes are also possible. Otosclerosis is one of these -- where the bones fuse together and don't transmit sound. Talk to your doctor. An urgent evaluation is important to determine the cause. Good luck!
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