Japan's strength in treatment for ear disease
Japan’s strength in treatment for ear disease
In some ear diseases, Japanese treatments and technologies are advanced and could be the services to attract medical tourism.
This disease arises out of abnormalities in the inner ear (accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the inner ear (endolymphatic edema) is thought to play a role in the development of the disease), resulting in dizziness, tinnitus, hearing loss, and pressure in the ears. Japanese otolaryngologists can accurately diagnose Meniere’s disease through detailed examination. In addition, Japan has a diverse range of drugs for vertigo and tinnitus, and treatment is tailored to the symptoms and constitution of the patient. Minimally invasive treatments, such as subtympanic steroid injections, may be utilized and surgery may be avoided. Individualized prescriptions may be provided to improve constitution and alleviate symptoms by utilizing Chinese herbal medicines. Japanese treatment guidelines and therapies are attracting attention from overseas.
・Cochlear implants (inner ear implants):
This is electronic medical devices for people who have lost their hearing. While regular hearing aids amplify sound through the outer ear, inner ear implants transmit sound by directly stimulating the auditory nerve. Japanese otolaryngologists accurately diagnose as to whether the case is fit for cochlea implants by performing very precise audiometric tests and imaging of the inner ear. Japanese manufacturers and research institutes are striving for innovating to reduce the size of implants, extend battery life, and improve sound quality. In addition, the advanced surgical techniques performed by physicians, especially in the inner ear region with its fine anatomy, require a high degree of expertise. Since not only the surgery but also the subsequent rehabilitation is important, specialists such as speech therapists and audiologists in Japan help patients with auditory rehabilitation to achieve better results.
・Microsurgery of the ear:
Utilizing high-resolution imaging technology, the condition of the affected area can be assessed in detail. This helps doctors to select the need for surgery and the surgical method. Medical equipment made in Japan is highly rated worldwide, and a wide variety of advanced instruments and devices necessary for microsurgery are used. Japanese otolaryngologists have advanced surgical skills for fine ear structures, especially for difficult and reconstructive surgeries.
Research and development of regenerative medicine for hearing is also underway in Japan. Particular attention is being paid to the development of stem cell-based therapies. For example, research is being conducted on the use of stem cells to regenerate the hair cells inside the ear, which are responsible for detecting sound and converting it into signals to the nerves.