Only rarely do disorders of hearing and balance produce life threatening
conditions. When they occur, it is most commonly seen with tumors that
arise from the vestibular or acoustic nerve and produce acoustic neuromas.
Hearing loss, balance problems, facial weakness and in severe cases, coma
or death may occur.
More common disorders associated with the ear and with hearing involve
loss of function. These produce difficulty hearing, problems understanding
speech and problems in communication.
Intimately involved with the body's balance apparatus, hearing problems
are frequently associated with dizziness or vertigo.
Infections in the skull, the ear, the sinuses and the nasal cavity can
lead to hearing problems. These infections can penetrate the skull and
produce meningitis and brain abscess.
Other conditions that may be associated with the ear include hearing
loss, multiple sclerosis, basilar skull fractures, herpes infection, strokes,
cholesteatoma and allergies.
Surgical therapies involve ENT surgeons, Otologists and Plastic