Ear belongs to one of the five senses of our body. Ears are not just for hearing sounds, it keeps your body in right balance as well. How many people realize its importance in this Android world is a big question mark. Problems with our ears may start with a little pain and it can sometimes end up in a serious problem is the terrifying fact.

Importance of our Ears

A three-month-old fetus in mother’s womb will have a fully developed ear. There is a serious link between one’s hearing and speaking ability. It is only when a kid has the ability to hear, it will start to speak. Any problems with their hearing ability will impair their speaking ability as well.

What are the problems that our ears could go through?

One of the prominent problems with our ears is ear pain. There are many reasons for pain in our ears.

  • Lump formation in the ear
  • Pus formation
  • Dirt deposition
  • Injury to the ears
  • Insects getting into ear canals

are some of the common reasons for ear pain. Additionally, cough, cold, running nose can also cause pain in the ears. Throat pain due to cough and cold, swelling in tonsils could lead to ear pain as well. We can eliminate ear pain by finding out the real reason and treating it appropriately. Pus formation in the ears, in particular, could be a symptom of something very serious, if left untreated it can lead to deafness. So it is essential to bring it to the attention of a Doctor and get it treated immediately. Similarly, many people use sharp objects to eliminate the dirt inside the ear canal, this can lead to serious consequences as well. Our ears have ceremonious glands. These glands are the ones that secrete a waxy substance in our ears. Ear wax protects us from insects, dirt, and other objects from damaging the ears. There is no need to remove these ear wax. It will come out of the ears by itself.

Is it a good idea to use oils and other drops into our ears?

We must maintain our ears in dry condition. When we keep it wet by using oils or some home remedy ear drops, it will attract the dirt from the outside which can lead to yeast or fungal infection. This infection can get little itchy. It will also block our ears. If left untreated the infection can become more aggressive and lead to pus formation. Sometimes this can even make the ears to lose its hearing ability. So if it becomes a necessity to use ear drops or oils, do it under the advice of a Doctor.

What are the reasons for hearing loss?

Broadly, there are two common reasons for hearing loss. First one is the blockage in the ears that doesn’t let the sound waves to reach the eardrums. The second one is the problem with sound signals from reaching the brain. This includes swelling in cochlea region, damage in eardrums, exposure to extreme noise for long time duration. Ageing can bring about hearing problems in some people. People working in places like Airports, mines, workshops, who are exposed to extreme noise most of the times have a high probability for hearing problems. They can make use of earplugs to reduce the risk. Some people lose their hearing ability when there is a damage in the central bone in the ear namely Otosclerosis. There is a surgery called Stapedectomy to cure this problem. Apart from all these a baby can be born deaf due to genetic and other biological reasons.

Some people might experience dizziness and headache due to ear problems. There will be a sound of the ringing bell inside the ear. This problem is termed as Tinnitus. There is a disease that reduces the hearing ability and causes vomiting and nausea. This disease is called as Meniere’s disease. Our ears have very thin hair-like structures, these hair cells sound waves into neural signals and send it to the brain. When these hair cells, nerves that send the neural signals to the brain gets damaged, there will be a reduction in our hearing ability.

Ototoxicity

Some types of medicine can affect the ears. This can lead to hearing loss, ringing sounds inside the ear, and loss of balance in the body. There are over 200 different types of these drugs that are readily available in many pharmacies today.

The initial sign of Ototoxicity is none other than Tinnitus. When this condition is left untreated, it can severely damage the cells in the ear and lead to hearing loss. Drugs like aspirin, guanine, some antibiotics, certain medications that are prescribed for cancer, some types of anesthesia can lead to ototoxicity.

Cognitive Decline

Cognitive decline occurs due to aging. Its symptoms include loss of cognitive ability, memory loss, and loss of hearing. Around 30 to 40 percent of people who do not undergo proper treating for hearing loss become victims of Cognitive Decline.

Loss of Balance

Loss of hearing can lead to loss of balance and dizziness. This can sometimes make the person trip for no external reason.

Weight Gain

Obesity and hypertension can sometimes lead to hearing loss as well. Some Doctors claim excess fat in the hip region can lead to hearing loss in some women.

Osteoporosis

When a person is affected by osteoporosis, his middle bone in the ears (Otosclerosis) can undergo some damage. This can lead to hearing loss. Fortunately, this can be cured through surgery.

What are the treatments available to cure hearing loss?

Doctors will first find out the real reason for hearing loss by conducting several tests. Once the real reason is discovered, then the Doctor will proceed with appropriate treatment for the problem. People with reduced hearing ability may be advised to use “Hearing Aid”. This is basically an amplifier attached to your ears, to increase the hearing ability. If the “Hearing aids” do not help, then Doctors might advise for a Cochlear implant.

Quick tips to protect your ears

  • A persistent cough and cold must immediately be brought to the attention of a Doctor and get treated appropriately.
  • Do not use any sharp objects to clean the ears. Additionally, do not use any ear drops or oils into your ears without Doctor’s knowledge.
  • Talking over the phone for a long duration. Using headphones in high volume to listen to music can severely damage your ears.
  • It is necessary to keep diabetes and high blood pressure in control.
  • Smoking and Drinking alcohol, both are bad for your ear’s health.

Further Reading:

  1. Can Headphones Make You Deaf? – 5 Things You Should Know About It
  2. 4 Vital Things to Know about Heart Health for Seniors

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