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A brief understanding of the anatomy of the ear is required in order to understand the pathology behind deafness. The ear can be grouped into 3 categories: the external ear, middle ear and inner ear. In cases of conductive deafness the defect is due to an obstruction in the middle ear which contains the ear ossicles. Sensorineural deafness points more towards pathology in the inner ear. A more detailed history regarding other symptoms such as tinnitus, vertigo, ear discharge, ear pain is needed to tell apart the various ear pathologies. A triad of deafness, vertigo and tinnitus points to Meniere's disease. Age of the patient as well an occupational history would be of good use to get to a proper diagnosis.
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