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What is Cochlear Hydrops?

Marjorie McAtee
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Cochlear hydrops is a condition of the inner ear. Some medical experts believe it may be a form of Meniere's disease, or perhaps an early stage of the disease, that will eventually develop to encompass all the symptoms of the true condition. Others, however, disagree. The two conditions share the symptoms of aural fullness, tinnitus, and hearing loss, but, unlike Meniere's disease, cochlear hydrops does not typically cause vertigo.

Excess fluid in the cochlear chamber of the inner ear is believed to cause this condition. Meniere's disease can cause fluid to accumulate in the cochlear and vestibular chambers of the inner ear, which is why some medical professionals think the two are related. Others believe that, since this condition does not necessarily affect the vestibular chamber of the inner ear, it is most likely a distinct illness.

People diagnosed with cochlear hydrops usually experience symptoms related to the malfunction of the cochlea in the inner ear. Excess fluid in the cochlear chamber can put abnormal pressure on the cochlea, leading to tinnitus, hearing loss, and feelings of fullness or pressure inside the ear. The hearing loss associated with this condition generally interferes with patients' ability to hear lower pitches first, but it then typically progresses to the higher pitches. Ringing sounds in the ears, known as tinnitus, can occur, and the noises are often low in pitch.

This condition generally has a variable effect on hearing, and the degree of a patient's symptoms may change from one day to the next. Patients diagnosed with cochlear hydrops may even experience symptom-free days. Symptoms generally follow a pattern in which feelings of pressure in the ear dissipate, followed by the dissipation of tinnitus, followed by restored ability to hear. When the symptoms return, aural fullness and tinnitus generally begin at once.

Cochlear hydrops can sometimes be misdiagnosed as a dysfunction of the eustachian tubes, which help to regulate pressure levels on both sides of the eardrum. This condition, however, occurs most often in only one ear, typically leaving the other unaffected.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Marjorie McAtee
By Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee, a talented writer and editor with over 15 years of experience, brings her diverse background and education to everything she writes. With degrees in relevant fields, she crafts compelling content that informs, engages, and inspires readers across various platforms. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a skilled member of any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By Certlerant — On Mar 09, 2014

People know about the famously well trained leader dogs for the blind. There are dogs also trained to help people with loss of hearing.

Hearing dogs have other jobs that the seeing eye dogs don't. A hearing dog needs to alert it's master of things like a knock at the door or a ringing phone. While a seeing eye dog needs to react to things like a hole in the sidewalk, a hearing dog needs to react to a beeping car. Both dogs are trained to put their master's well being above their own. Each dog has their own specialized job.

Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee, a talented writer and editor with over 15 years of experience, brings her diverse background and education to everything she writes. With degrees in relevant fields, she crafts compelling content that informs, engages, and inspires readers across various platforms. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a skilled member of any content creation team.
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