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We all understand how important ears and hearing are to everyday life. And yet, many of us take our ears and hearing for granted – so much so we rarely give thought to the fact that we might be susceptible to potentially serious ear conditions.

When something isn't right with your ears, it can have a considerable impact. From family to work; exercise to socialising, the things that bring us the most pleasure often become unbearable, and our nearest and dearest are badly affected.

Different types of ear condition require varying levels of medical care that depend on the patient's situation, but ultimately, you should always get checked out if you're having ear pain or hearing issues of any kind.

Learn more about ear conditions and how they can affect hearing health:

Age-related hearing

Age-related hearing impairment - also known as presbycusis - is a decrease in hearing ability as you get older and in most cases it affects both ears.

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Bilateral hearing loss

Bilateral hearing loss, or BHL, refers to the permanent loss of hearing in both ears. With several degrees of hearing loss, we explain what it is and the best treatment options.

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Blocked ears

Ear blockage can be caused by a number of factors and while it’s not always painful, if your ears are blocked it’s a good idea to seek medical attention.

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Cholesteatoma

Cholesteatoma is abnormal skin cells in your ear. It can be a congenital problem (birth defect) or develop through damage to the ear itself, so be sure to seek treatment early.

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Conductive hearing loss

Mostly temporary, as a result of problems with the outer or middle ear. In most cases, these involve something that’s preventing sound from properly reaching the inner ear, where it can be processed.

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Earache

Very common, especially in children. Although an earache will usually clear up after a few days, seek professional advice if your symptoms are getting steadily worse.

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Ear Discharge

Ear discharge is drainage of blood, earwax, pus, or fluid from the ear. Most of the time, any fluid leaking out of an ear is earwax, although seek medical help immediately to nip the problem in the bud.

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Ear pressure

Ear pressure can be particularly irritating but usually goes away by itself once illness is over. However, ear pressure should also be investigated to rule out anything more serious…

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Ear Popping

Ear popping can be caused by many reasons. And while it is often nothing to worry about, you should seek medical attention if you begin noticing any severe symptoms.

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Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

Susceptible to blocking, restriction and inflammation, the eustachian tubes can cause problems. Such phenomena are examples of eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD).

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Fungal ear infection

A fungal ear infection - also known as otomycosis - can cause a range of symptoms in one or both ears, including itching, redness and inflammation.

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Glue Ear

If you have glue ear, it means there’s fluid in the space behind your eardrum. Getting this treated early is the key to minimising any potentially serious issues later on.

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Hyperacusis

Are you finding it hard to hear everyday sounds as anything other than overly loud noise? You may have hyperacusis, and it should definitely be treated.

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Impacted ear wax

From time to time, harder wax is produced and it moves much more slowly through your ear canal. This can result in build-ups, which can become impacted.

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Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis can not only affect your hearing, but also make you feel dizzy. You might experience something more severe, like vertigo. This is why early treatment is imperative.

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Mastoiditis

Mastoiditis happens when an infection in the middle ear spreads to the mastoid bone. This can be serious, so be sure to report any symptoms to your GP immediately…

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Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s disease affects the balance and hearing parts of the inner ear. It is a long-term, progressive condition, and you should seek treatment as soon as you or others suspect a problem.

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Noise induced hearing loss

Caused by both long and short term exposure to loud noises, noise induced hearing loss is permanent, but there are a number of steps you can take to prevent the condition.

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Otosclerosis

Otosclerosis happens when a small bone in your middle ear gets stuck in place, causing gradual hearing loss. Knowing the symptoms of otosclerosis is the first step to treating this debilitating condition.

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Perforated Eardrum

If you notice ringing, hearing loss and loss of balance, your eardrum may have torn or ruptured. Be sure to get a perforated eardrum treated immediately, so symptoms do not worsen.

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Pulsatile Tinnitus

Pulsatile tinnitus is a rare condition, brought on by constricted blood flow in and around the ears. While it usually isn’t anything to worry about, the condition may be a sign of an underlying health complication.

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Sensorineural Hearing Loss

One of the most common types of hearing loss, typically age-related. A mostly permanent change, although many cases are treatable with hearing aids.

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Sudden Hearing Loss

A sudden and often unexplained drop in hearing, typically in one ear. Also known as sudden deafness, this condition should be treated as a medical emergency, particularly if accompanied by other, non-ear-related symptoms.

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Swimmer's Ear

Swimmer’s ear affects children and adults and can be very painful. Make sure to seek medical advice if you think you have swimmer’s ear or experience any ongoing ear pain during or after swimming.

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Unilateral hearing loss

Hearing loss in one ear, also called unilateral hearing or single sided deafness, can be caused by a number of factors such as a result of trauma or infection.

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