The Trick to Healthy Ears
It’s probably safe to say that most of us don’t really think about our ears. In fact, the way we take care of our ears is very commonly based on habit rather than “rules”. For example, many people still use cotton swabs (q-tips) to clean their ears even though they’ve long been identified as items that can cause significant damage to the ear. It’s habit!
So how should you actually take care of your ears? Most of them you’ll already know. Like avoiding loud noises and not putting sharp objects in your ears (yes that includes a cotton swab).
But did you know that you also need to keep an eye on medication you take? Damage to the inner ear and tinnitus are side effects for some common medications. You also need to exercise regularly (it helps most things unfortunately).
Keep reading to find the answers to your most frequently asked questions about ear health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Inner ear infections are fairly common and can happen because of a normal cold or flu. If you do have an infection, you’re likely to experience one or all of these symptoms:
- Ringing in your ears (tinnitus)
- Hearing loss
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blocked ear, or the ear feels full
It generally isn’t possible to actually touch your eardrum if you push your finger into your ear as they’re less than a centimetre in diameter. But you can reach it with other objects. Mostly commonly a q-tip.
Putting anything into your ear, including your finger, can cause damage or irritation. A common result of putting your finger in your ear is pushing ear wax down onto your eardrum.
There are a few different theories. One being that if you were to use a q-tip or something to clear out the earwax from your ears, you’re likely to create a bit of an itch. Itches generally feel good to scratch.
Another theory is from Dr Pross, who has stated that there’s a structure that runs from your brain to your anus that can be stimulated through the ear.
If you try to clean your ears and push too deep, you run the risk of touching your eardrum which can be incredibly painful especially if it becomes punctured. You can also accidentally push wax further down your ear canal, and towards your eardrum. This can result in pressure in the ear, difficulty hearing, and ear infections.
- Avoid sharp objects - this includes objects thin enough to enter the ear canal
- Avoid loud noise - use ear plugs if it can’t be avoided
- Exercise regularly
- Quit smoking
According to WebMD, your ears can provide clues about your health. Some of these can include:
- A diagonal crease in your earlobe could indicate heart disease
- Tinnitus can indicate a number of things, from wax buildup to a head injury
- Itchy ears can be a sign of psoriasis
- Earaches can indicate an infection of the ear or throat or be a symptom of teeth grinding
Some of the most common complaints about ears are earaches, pressure and tinnitus. Many issues with the ear can be caused by wax buildup, loud noise and infections.
This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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