The middle ear is the space between your outer ear and the inner ear, which sends sound to the brain. While you can’t see your middle ear, you’ve probably felt it during airplane landings. As the plane descends, unequal pressure on both sides of the eardrum can create a short term sharp pain in the middle ear. Many professionals suggest special breathing exercises to avoid the pain of “airplane ear.”
The middle ear and hearing loss
The middle ear is usually filled with air, but sometimes the Eustacian Tube fills up with fluid. This means it can’t equalize the pressure in your head. The middle ear pain is often linked to a throat infection. Fluid in the ear can cause mild temporary hearing loss – a bit like being “stuffed up” when you have a cold.
Sometimes this infection will be treated with antibiotics. Repeated ear infections may require the insertion of a small pressure equalization tube in the eardrum to serve as a “drain”. Insertion of this type of tube often requires outpatient surgery, although the drains usually fall out by themselves when they are no longer needed.
Think you may have a hearing loss?
Find a hearing care professional near you today and have your hearing tested.