Hearing Impairment and Tinnitus: Cochlear Implantation and Other Rehabilitative Solutions
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The temporal bone houses the organ of hearing and balance. Trauma to the ear and the temporal bone can therefore lead to distressing symptoms, such as hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus, in addition to facial paralysis. This chapter focuses on the clinical features of hearing loss and tinnitus and their management, with an emphasis on the role of cochlear implantation. Facial weakness is discussed elsewhere. Trauma to the temporal region sufficient to cause such symptoms can be both soft tissue and bony in nature. Common causes include an impact such as a slap to the side of the head, an object hitting the area or a fall on to the side of the face. Accidental insertion of objects into the ear, e.g. swabs, are also common causes. Trauma can also be iatrogenic, such as injury during an attempt to remove wax, irrigating or suctioning the ear canal, or during foreign body removal.