The ear problems are common. But they might become disastrous if proper care is not taken. The treatment procedure for different ear problems might vary. It is desirable to go to a medical service provider to get the right treatment.
The most common ear problems are:
- Otitis media which is an infection of the middle ear.
- Infection of the ear canal, outer ear and the skin around the outer ear and canal.
- Mastoiditis which is an infection of bone behind the ear. It might create a swelling from an over-sized lymph node.
- Problems in the ear drum.
- Otitis externa or swimmer’s ear which is an infection of the outer ear and ear canal.
- Temporomandibular joint syndrome which affects the jaw joint and causes pain and tenderness.
- Blockage in the Eustachian tube which might be the result of cold or flu.
- Toothache and ear pain in the same side.
- Barotrauma which is experienced just after an air trip. This is also known as airplane ear.
- Mild infection in the ear canal which form a pimple in the ear.
- Build up wax or fluid in the ear canal.
- Otosclerosis is an unusual formation of a bone in the ear. It blocks the three tiny bones from vibrating and it cause loss of hearing.
The primary causes of ear problems are:
- Common cold.
- Injury in any part of the body.
A viral or bacterial infection, usually as a complication to a respiratory tract infection, happens to be the most common cause of an earache. This infection leads to an inflammation in the middle ear. This condition is called as otitis media, which if not treated, can progress to become a chronic form called Glue Ear, where a sticky fluid fills the middle ear (ear-drum).
Due to this, a pressure builds up inside the ear causing the pain. At times, the pressure may result in the rupture of the ear-drum. Though single rupture is not serious, but if repetitive ruptures occur, it might result in the loss of hearing. When the fluid gets filled, the hearing may get muffled.
But it takes the body around 3 to 4 days to absorb the fluid. Once this fluid is absorbed, the hearing will return to normalcy. But this is not the only cause of the earaches amongst the children. At times, some genetic problems, congenital abnormalities, maternal infections during the pregnancy and meningitis or head injury in the childhood may lead to the earaches and other ear problems.
The inflammation in the outer ear, due to infection, dermatitis, eczema or presence of foreign bodies in the ear, results in otitis externa. An earache amongst kids does not always indicate an ear infection as the root cause of the ache. It might be due to some other causes like teething, sore throat, symptoms of cold, runny nose, accumulation of earwax, air pressure changes, fluid buildup without infection (which is called as serous otitis).
Minor ear problems might be treated in home by taking some simple treatments. But it is desirable to go to a doctor if there is pain, redness, swelling and irritation in the ear.
Some of the treatment for ear problems are:
• Keep the affected ear up while sleeping.
• Taking pain relief medicines like ibuprofen.
• Ear drops.
• Heat pads and warm cloth application might solve the problem.
How to Avoid Ear Problems?
The basic things to keep in mind to avoid ear problems are:
• Avoid unhygienic water while swimming.
• Use a cap covering the ears before diving into water.
• Dry and make the ear moist free after a bath.
• Go for regular check up.
• Clean the ears properly to avoid hard deposit.
• Leave a thin layer of wax to block the small dust particles and insects from entering the ear.