Saturday, February 19, 2005

Eustachian troubles...

The eustachian tube links the ear system to the nasal system and is there to keep pressure equalised. I have a tendency to get blocked tubes in the winter which results in "tympanic distension", i.e. the eardrup curves out or in due to pressure or slight vacuum, reducing the effectiveness considerably. It frequently hurts as well and can precipitate an ear infection.

The worst trouble with suffering hearing loss in this way is the inability to locate sounds properly- every time a phone rings in the office I have to look at mine to see if it is my phone. I also have to be careful where I sit in meetings so that I'm not constantly having to move my head where I can hear best and lip-read as well.

Fortunately, for me, it is a temporary problem and the brain soon gets used to it. Unfortunately, it can last several months and I am reminded of how bad it is by occasional temporary restoration after a yawn or swallow when my hearing is briefly very good again.

Most of the time it is a serial effect, with the right ear generally suffering the most. When it takes out both ears at the same time personal effectiveness declines dramatically.

I'll just go & sniff some more decongestant drops from my inhaler cup....

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