If you or your child has an earache that is accompanied (in some cases) by a stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat and fever, it is likely that the ear pain is due to an ear infection.
Your doctor will examine the eardrum with an instrument called an otoscope for signs of infection -- not an easy task if the patient is a fussy infant. The doctor may also check for blockage or filling of the middle ear using a pneumatic otoscope, which blows a little air at the eardrum. This air should cause the...
Tinnitus is not a disease. It's a problem in your hearing system. It's usually not a sign of anything serious, though you should see your doctor to get it checked out.
What Your Doctor Needs to Know About Tinnitus
How tinnitus affects your life is important for diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor may ask:
What are your symptoms?
Do the symptoms make it hard to concentrate, sleep, or work?
Has tinnitus caused relationship problems or made it hard to do daily tasks?
Loud noises and aging are common causes of tinnitus. A health problem, such as thyroid imbalance or high blood pressure, can also cause it. So can earwax, if it blocks the ear canal. Some medications may also trigger tinnitus. Sometimes, there is no clear cause.
When you meet with your doctor, be ready to answer questions like these:
Have you had any long-term exposure to loud noises, including at work?
Have you been exposed to an extremely loud noise, such as an explosion?