6 December, 2013
by DR. A. L. ADLAKHA (E.N.T.Surgeon)
Isn’t it fun to be able to talk and hear? You can talk to your friends, hear their jokes and laughter. But if you cannot hear and talk, you would miss out on a lot of fun. To preserve these precious gifts of speech and hearing you have to take special care of your ears.
Our ear is a delicate organ. A damage or injury to any part of the ear may lead to ‘deafness’. One of the common causes of deafness is persistent Ear Infection and Ear Discharge. If neglected, it may lead to permanent deafness.
It is therefore, essential that we pay special attention to our ear and its hygiene. Here are a few guidelines that will help you take proper care of your ear and hearing faculty:
• A slap or blow on the ear can cause a hearing problem that may be irreversible. Take care not to slap or strike anyone on the ear, even for fun.
• Sudden loud noises like crackers, gunshots, etc. can damage the ear and can cause deafness. Protect your ears from loud noises.
• Do not clean or scratch your ears with pointed objects like matchstick, hairpin, pencil, etc. It can rupture the eardrum or injure the ear canal.
• Keep a watch on young children playing with tiny objects like beads, seeds, etc. If they put them in the ear, the eardrum may get ruptured or the ear canal may be injured.
• Do not put oil or any other liquid in the ear as they can result in pain, swelling and ear discharge. Keep your ears dry always.
• Do not swim in dirty water. Unclean water entering the ear can cause ear infection. While swimming, always plug your ears with ear plugs, especially while diving.
• Do not have your ears cleaned by roadside quacks. They use unclean instruments which may cause infection. The eardrum too may get damaged. Clean your outer ear (PINNA) with cotton buds regularly. Do not clean the ear canal with a cotton bud, the wax might get pushed inside the canal.It is better to get the ear canal cleaned by a doctor.
• Avoid using unwashed pillow covers, towels, etc. used by a person with ear discharge.
• While feeding a baby keep its head raised. Otherwise milk may enter into the ear cavity (through the small passage connecting the throat and ear). It can cause pain with swelling and ear discharge.
• Frequent nose and throat infection may cause ear pain, swelling and discharge. Consult a doctor immediately and take regular treatment.
• Recurrent pain in the ear and ear discharge can cause permanent deafness. Don’t neglect it. Use of oil or water only worsens the condition.
Prevention is better than cure. Proper hygiene and care of the ears at the right time will help in preventing deafness. Better Hearing is Better Living.
Dr. A. L. ADLAKHA
Amritsar, Punjab. INDIA