The ear is the avenue of the heart. Ears not only let us hear, but they also play a role in maintaining our balance, which is vital to our ability to function in daily life. Unlike other body parts, your ear does not ask for much. Neither does it require to be brushed like your teeth nor does it need to be trimmed like your nails. All the ear asks for is a regular wash every day. The ear is one the most important senses in one’s body. It requires proper care and maintenance.
“Generally individuals do not take much care about their ear. They feel that it is a part of the body that requires no care. They fail to understand that the ear is very sensitive and can be damaged in numerous ways. They ignore the little ways that ear maybe damaged,” says Dr. Prabhakaran, ENT Specialist, Prabha Group of Clinics. We can’t even see our ears, except in a mirror. We take for granted what they do for us day in and day out — until we notice something’s wrong, such as when an earache strikes or when our hearing is ignored as lack of concentration.
More than the do’s that are involved in taking care of one’s ear, the don’ts have a bigger list. Deafness, a lack of balance, and a constant ringing in the ears are all signs of serious problems. The biggest risk to the ear is listening to high music from mp3 players and mobile phones. “The ear cannot put up with sound more than 85 decibels for more than ten minutes. The total volume should be only at 60% of the total volume your music player can offer. Constant listening to loud music may damage the inner ear,” says Dr Rajarajan, ENT, Astra Hearing Care.
While working in places that are prone to heavy sound and machinery noise, workers must compulsorily put on ear plugs to reduce the sharp noise from entering their ear. It is generally a misconception that ear wax is dirty and must be removed once in a while but it is best that it is left alone. “Ear wax is a secretion within the ear which protects the eardrum and the ear canal, it requires being there and it should not be removed by people. It’s in your ear for a good reason: to trap dust, bacteria, and other particles that might cause injury, irritation, or infection. Ear buds must never be used for the ear,” says Dr Sankaralingam, ENT, Joy Clinic. Other harmful effects of using ear buds are scratches in ear drum and cotton getting stuck inside the ear.
In case of cold, the eustachian tube swells and air is absorbed by the lining of the middle ear,creating a partial vacuum. The eardrum then gets pulled inward and fluid weeps from the lining of the middle ear. Bacteria or viruses from the nose and throat can also travel up the tube and infect the stagnant, when this happens, an infection is underway and therefore simple cold must not be ignored with self medication. Consulting a doctor is compulsory in such cases.
Middle-ear infection is the most common illness in babies and young children. It is recommended to check new born babies with the OAE test (otoacoustic emission) to predict the emissions within their ears. It is just a precautionary measure to make sure there is no problem with the ears.
Ear is mostly taken for granted by people and problems related to the ear are ignored. People must be aware that little infections and pain in the ear may result in something big and harmful which may result in hearing loss. The best way to deal with hearing loss is to do all you can to prevent it in the first place.
Here are some quick tips to keep your ear safe:
- When you are around noisy/high sound environment, use Ear plug to avoid high decibel hitting your ear directly.
- Always keep volume level at 60% or below and every decibel above that is harmful to your ear.
- If you are using cotton swabs to clean, STOP using it right away as that will only push the dust inside which damages Ear drum
- If you encounter ear pain, do not take a random ear drops as they may be harmful or produce side effects. Get advise from Doctor before taking any drops as Ear is a sensitive part
- Keep your ears dry most of the time. Use soft towel to clean outer portion of your ear
- Avoid usage of Ear phones for 60 minutes or more. Take a break and then continue if needed
- If your ears are exposed to heavy music for 2 hours or more, give some rest for ears to recover from that by moving to a quiet/calm place
- Go for walking, jogging or play a sport daily. This is not only good for your overall health, but also pumps blood to all parts including your ears.
- Do not get too anxious or too much stressed as it may result in Tinnitus and can give permanent hearing disability
Take care of your Ears and tell us if above tips were helpful. Do comment below if you have some more tips!