The ears are one organ of the body where proper care is usually misunderstood. This is a sad case, especially since the ears are very sensitive and play a vital role in our lives: for example, nothing seems to invoke emotions faster than hearing a baby cry or listening to a romantic song on the radio. In addition to being the channels of hearing, the ears also play a crucial role in letting one keep his balance: something that is indispensable in the tasks of everyday life.
Despite these crucial roles that ears play, many people wind up taking them for granted, and only notice them when something seems amiss, such as when there is pain in the ear or an irritating itch that just would not go away. If you have already undergone something like this, you will likely want to know what the best way is to care for your ears:
1. Protect your ears – Even little children know instinctively to cover their ears when they hear loud noises. Indeed, loud noises, especially when exposed to regularly, have a tendency to damage the ears. But these are not the only things from which you should protect your ears. Sudden blows as well as foreign objects can also damage the eardrum, which can result in hearing loss, both temporary as well as permanent. In line with this, be sure to wear protective items for your ears when you are exposed to loud levels of noise, such as leaf blowers, power tools, or other similarly loud objects. This also includes wearing ear plugs at motor sporting events and rock concerts. Be sure also to keep stereos as well as home theatre systems at reasonable volumes.
In terms of foreign objects and blows, be sure you wear a helmet whenever you are involved in activities that pose a risk to your ears, such as biking, skiing, or roller blading. Even more crucial is when you undertake scuba diving: be sure you learn the proper technique to avoid unnecessary buildup of pressure in the ears. As for foreign objects, it does not necessarily refer only things that may accidentally get into your ear, such as insects or construction debris; it also includes Q-tips or other alternative cleaning instrument that you actually deliberately put inside your ear without being careful.
2. Clean your ears properly – Indeed, Q-tips seem to have been designed to clean the ears, but doctors have since held the stand that they are not advisable for use inside the ears. In cleaning your ears, use extra care: start with a washcloth to wipe the outer ear. Some experts have the guideline never to put anything inside the ear that is smaller than one’s elbow. This includes Q-tips as well as bobby pins, or any other sharp or pointed objects. These things have the tendency to injure the eardrum or the ear canal. Understand also that earwax is the natural mechanism that the ear has for cleaning itself; this means that you will not have to worry about getting rid of every last bit of earwax. Of course, the case would be different if the build-up of earwax is already blocking hearing; in that case, visit your ear physician as he will be the best person to remove it.
3. Treat upper respiratory illnesses promptly – Infections in the upper respiratory tract have the tendency to result in ear infections. Some medical conditions also affect hearing. When you have any medical condition and you suddenly experience hearing loss or noise in your head or ears, be sure to consult with an ear doctor immediately. Also, any drainage coming from the ear is not normal and needs to be checked immediately. Also take careful note of prescriptions, as some medications also affect hearing. If you happen to be taking medication and experience balance problems, ringing in the ears, or unusual hearing, consult your doctor immediately.
These basic things to remember should ensure you take good care of your ears. If you experience anything that does not feel like the ordinary with your ears, do not hesitate to consult an ear physician immediately, as it is best to deal with the symptoms as soon as possible.