Review of Specific Symptoms

The Ear

The major symptoms of ear disease are the following:

# Hearing loss

Vertigo Tinnitus Otorrhea Otalgia Itching

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss may be unilateral or bilateral and may develop slowly or occur suddenly. For any patient with a hearing loss, ask the following questions:

"Is the hearing loss in one ear?''

"For how long have you been aware of a loss of hearing?'' ''Was the loss sudden?'' ''Is there a family history of hearing loss?''

''What type of work do you do?''''What other work have you done?'' ''What types of hobbies do you have?'' ''Have you noticed that you can hear better when it is noisy?'' ''What kind of medications are you currently taking?''

''Do you know if you have ever been given an antibiotic called streptomycin or gentamicin?''

Occupational history is extremely important to ascertain. Patients with otosclerosis* can often hear better in a noisy environment. Drugs are well known to cause sudden bilateral

Otosclerosis is the formation of new bone in the labyrinth, causing progressive fixation of the footplate of the stapes to the oval window.

Figure 11-10 Clear plastic bead in the external ear canal.

Figure 11-10 Clear plastic bead in the external ear canal.

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