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Treatment & Terminology of Ear-Related Problems

Treatment & Terminology of  Ear-Related Problems
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  • 0:01 Parts of the Ear
  • 0:28 The Outer Ear
  • 0:53 The Middle & Inner Ear
  • 2:24 Hearing Aids &…
  • 3:09 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
Your ear is composed of three different sections, each of which has its own procedures that can be performed to restore function, treat a condition, or just for looks. Take a listen to this lesson and find out what some of these are.

Parts of the Ear

When I say the word ear, what do you think of? Probably those two things sticking out the side of your head. But the ear is actually made of three large sections: the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. What you see is only the outer ear.

All three sections of the ear can be affected by disorders, but we're not going to worry about that right now. The focus of this lesson is the terminology of specific ear treatment procedures.

The Outer Ear

If you are in an accident, or you are facing off against Mike Tyson, then you run the risk of having your outer ear injured or chewed off. Ouch.

If this happens, you may want to surgically repair the outer ear. The surgical repair of the external ear is called an otoplasty. Oto- means ear, and -plasty refers to the surgical repair or molding of something.

The Middle & Inner Ear

A wide variety of procedures can be performed on the middle ear, the part of the ear where three small bones called the ossicles are located.

One of these procedures is known as a myringotomy, the cutting into of the tympanic membrane. The tympanic membrane is a fancy schmancy word for the eardrum. Myringo- is a combining form for the eardrum, and -otomy means to incise or cut into something.

A myringotomy may be performed to allow for tympanostomy tubes to be put through the eardrum to allow for fluids to drain from the middle ear. -Ostomy is a suffix that means an artificial opening has been created somewhere.

Like we may sometimes want to correct a damaged external ear, we may sometimes want to correct any damage to the middle ear, something called a tympanoplasty, a procedure that involves the reconstruction of the eardrum and ossicles, the three bones of the middle ear.

One of these bones is called the stapes. It is the innermost of the three bones of the middle ear. A stapedectomy is a surgical procedure where all or part of the stapes is removed and replaced by a prosthesis in order to improve hearing. -Ectomy is a suffix that denotes the surgical removal of something out of the body.

-Ectomy is also a suffix found in labyrinthectomy, the surgical removal of the labyrinth. The labyrinth being a word that basically refers to the inner ear itself and all of its individual parts.

Hearing Aids & Cochlear Implants

The procedures we discussed are sometimes used to improve hearing. You 'ear' me? Yet they are not the only options people have that may help them hear well. Two famous ones are hearing aids and cochlear implants.

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