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Ear discharge is the phenomenon of fluids being expelled from the ear. This condition is also known as otorrhea.
The kinds of fluids that can be discharged from the ear range from blood to pus and other forms of bodily secretions. It is caused by a number of factors, which determine the exact nature of the condition and the diagnosis for treatment.
What are the causes of ear discharge?
Some forms of ear discharge are natural, such as ear wax which is produced by the body as a form of defense against external particles that may enter the ears. Other forms are unnatural and result from anomalies in the health system.
The causes of these include the following:
- Infections: This is the most common cause of ear discharge and occurs when bacteria and viruses infest the inside of the ear and lead to the secretion of fluids, which builds up in the middle ear or at the eardrum
- Swimmer’s Ear: This condition is also known as otitis externa and is caused by staying in water for prolonged periods. It results from excessive exposure to moisture that makes the walls of the ear canal to break down allowing bacteria and fungi to enter and infect the ear.
- Trauma: Excess pressure on the eardrum can cause it to rupture and discharge fluids. This happens due to a number of reasons such as exposure to loud explosive sounds or pressure from flying in aircrafts and scuba diving.
- Skull Injury: Damage to the bones behind the ear as a result of injury can also lead to ear discharge due to infection.
- Acute Rhinosinusitis: Any sort of infection in Sinuses or nasal secretions may lead to infection in middle ear which may cause perforation in ear drum leading to ear discharge.
What are the symptoms associated with ear discharge?
Some of the symptoms of otorrhea are as follows:
- Abnormal and unusual secretion of fluids from the ear
- Swelling of the ear
- Partial or complete loss of hearing
- Pain and throbbing in the ear
- Accompanying signs such as fever and migraine
Diagnosis and treatment of the problem depend on the exact cause and nature of the condition, which also determines treatment and recovery time. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Sinusitis refers to a common condition characterised by inflammation and swelling of cavities surrounding nasal passages, commonly known as your sinuses. When something interferes with the flow of air into the sinuses and obstructs mucus drainage out of it, sinus infection or sinusitis mainly occurs.
The most common symptoms of this condition include headache or pain in the facial region, nasal congestion and discharge, loss of smell and fever in some cases. To ensure that you opt for the correct treatment it is necessary to identify the causes of blockage. Here are the chief causes responsible for giving you a sinus infection.
In most cases, a sinus infection is triggered by common cold and flu, which are caused by viruses. Swelling of nasal tissues occurs due to cold, in turn creating a blockage for the holes that are meant for draining mucous. In this case, rather than opting for antibiotics, take precautions against flu and cold. You can even consider getting a flu shot.
Certain pollutants and allergens or deviation of septum can be the cause behind sinus infections as they trigger coughing, irritation of the nose and inflammation. Some of these pollutants are dust, smoke and harmful gases present in the air or substances with a strong odour (certain foods, flowers, perfumes etc). To minimize chances of sinusitis, try to stay away from these irritants to the maximum extent possible. Moreover, you can also use an air purifier to reduce the effects of air pollution.
3. Long term use of nasal decongestant sprays
Nasal decongestant sprays may help you get rid of congestion, but on the other hand they are responsible for the constriction of the blood vessels present in your nose. Moreover, if used for a long time, these nasal products may worsen the symptoms of sinusitis, especially if the directions for use are not correctly followed. Also, prolonged use of the sprays can give rise to rebound nasal congestion, which is basically a relapse of congestion. So, try to minimise the use of it and follow directions very carefully if you do need to use it.
Smoke from cigarettes has an effect similar to pollutants on your nose. Cigarette smoke plays a significant role in degrading the natural sinus-cleaning system of your body resulting in more gunk build up in the sinuses, in turn clogging nasal passages. Moreover, smoking also leads to inflammation, triggering sinus infections. So, try to cut down on your smoking if not quit altogether.
Sinus can be treated with the help of medications or through endoscopic sinus surgery.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Are you feeling lightheaded, unbalanced or woozy lately? Are you having strange sensations in the ears and eyes? These indicate that you are suffering from dizziness, a condition affecting the body’s sensory organs. It can cause fainting at times as well. It is not a disease, but a symptom of several disorders. Dizziness is caused by inner ear disturbances, effects of medication, motion sickness and underlying health conditions, such as poor blood circulation, infections or injuries.
Test and diagnosis
If you feel dizzy for a prolonged period of time or if the dizziness occurs and reoccurs, a special treatment is required. This is because dizziness may make you prone to several risks in everyday life. Several tests are carried out to find out the cause of the dizziness. If a stroke is suspected, an MRI scan or CT scan is carried out. A physical examination is undertaken in which the way you walk and balance are observed and the nerves of the central nervous system are checked. Hearing and balance tests may also be required, which are as follows:
- Eye movement testing in which the path of the eyes is observed while tracking an object in motion. An eye motion test may be given where cold and warm water is placed in the ear canal.
- Head movement tests are carried out when benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is suspected.
Treatment of dizziness includes medicines, therapies and balance exercises.
- Various types of medicines are used initially to control the acute phase of imbalance. Drugs are even continued for some patients for a bit longer duration depending on clinical findings..
- Head position maneuvers: A technique known as canalith repositioning helps in resolving dizziness quickly. It can be performed by a doctor, therapist or audiologist. The position of the head is maneuvered in the process.
- Balance therapy: Several exercises help in making the body’s balance system lesser sensitive to motion. This technique, known as vestibular rehabilitation, is used for people suffering from dizziness due to inner ear conditions.
- Psychotherapy: This therapy may be used for patients who experience dizziness because of anxiety disorders.
- Use of antibiotics: An antibiotic by the name of gentamicin may be injected in the inner ear for disabling the balance function. The unaffected ear performs that function.
- Other procedures: A procedure known as labyrinthectomy may be used for disabling the vestibular labyrinth in the affected ear.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Nose bleeding happens because of presence of large amount of blood vessels in the nose and the reasons for nose bleeding are nose picking, low levels of Vitamin K, colds and allergies and nose membrane getting dry along with so many other reasons. But there are ways with the help of which it can be prevented and stopped.
Let’s first learn how it can be instantly stopped.
1. Sit comfortably: When your nose starts bleeding, you should sit in a comfortable position. Do not stand or lie down because in these positions, blood may pass on to your throat which could be harmful. Tilt your face forward and let a piece of cloth soak in all the blood.
2. Hold the nose: During nose bleeding, one should hold and pinch the nose for at least 10 minutes continuously. If it still doesn’t stop bleeding then hold it for 5-7 minutes more. Holding or pinching the nose is necessary because bleeding can stop if direct pressure is put on nose for a longer time.
3. Apply ice: Applying ice can be a great way of instantly stopping nose bleeding. Ice usually compresses and tightens the blood vessels because of which bleeding stops. Ice should preferably be applied on cheeks and nose. Alternatively, you can keep the ice in your mouth also for short intervals.
Nose bleeding can be prevented by taking the following measures :
1. Elevate the nose while resting. Take 2-3 pillows while sleeping.
2. Do not blow or scratch your nose forcefully.
3. Keep your blood pressure in control because it will help in preventing nose-bleeding to a great extent.
4. Avoid smoking because it delays the healing process.
5. Make sure the room you sleep in isn’t dry. Keep a check on humidity of your room.
6. Need to take special care in winters because the nose membrane gets dry mostly in winters.
7. Drink plenty of water and citrus food to keep your nose moist and avoid milk, wheat and fried food.
8. Do not overuse cold and allergy medicines. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ent Specialist.
The partial or total inability to hear is known as hearing impairment or hearing loss. It can be present at birth, or develop later in life.
There are a number of factors, which may cause hearing loss
1. Age - Age is the biggest factor when it comes to the loss of hearing, and you may lose the ability to hear as you age. This condition is known as presbycusis. It becomes difficult to understand high-frequency sounds like that of a child or a woman when you get old.
2. Noise - When you are exposed to loud noises for a prolonged period of time, it damages your ears. This leads to loss of hearing. 5% of the total population of the world is affected by noise (the degree of suffering varies). It may be a result of continuous exposure to loud music or a sudden exposure to a loud noise like an explosion.
3. Hereditary disorders - Hearing disorder may be inherited by the dominant or recessive genes of parents in the child. 70-80% of these cases inherit from the recessive genes, whereas 20-25% inherit hearing loss from the dominant genes.
4. Trauma - Serious injuries of the head/ears may cause loss of hearing, which may be either temporary or permanent. When damage is caused to the brain, the brain fails to process the message conveyed by the ears. So even if the ears are totally functional, a person may face the problem in hearing.
5. Perinatal problems - The ototoxic effects on the fetus due to excess intake of alcohol during pregnancy lead to hearing the loss in about 64% of the infants born to alcoholic mothers.
Also, premature birth can be associated with hearing loss due to high risk of being exposed to noise in neonatal units.
Knowing about the causes of hearing loss can lead you a step closer to preventing this disorder as you age.
Here are some useful tips that can help prevent hearing loss:
1. Be more aware - You should be diligent and aware of the situations, which may risk your hearing ability and should try to avoid such situations as much as possible. Limit your exposure to sources of hazardous noises like firearms, firecrackers, concerts and clubs.
2. Take precautionary measures - If your occupation calls for working at an environment of loud noises, use earplugs or earmuffs to block out the excessive noise. Also, make sure that you work in a place where employers take all the necessary measures of noise control under the federal or state regulations.
3. Monitor your use of gadgets - Monitor and control the use of hearing devices, and try to reduce the use of headphones/ earphones as much as possible. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ent Specialist.
Are you suffering from a sore throat that is prolonged in nature? Although, a sore throat is not very severe, being prolonged in nature indicates that it is chronic. You should not ignore a sore throat that does not heal over a long period of time. This might be an indication of a serious problem, and you will require proper diagnosis.
When is a sore throat termed as chronic?
- A sore throat may take various forms. It can be itchy, burning, scratchy in nature, and can also cause difficulty in swallowing food.
- It is likely for a sore throat to be accompanied by a form of pesky cough that leads to further irritation of the throat.
- Sore throats can also occur from common colds and several viruses. These usually resolve on their own.
- However, when your sore throat is persistent and you cannot find relief, it is referred to as a chronic sore throat. The primary cause of sore throat includes strep throat, allergies, tonsillitis or the infection of your tonsils, inhaling air pollutants, influenza, cigarette smoking, and inhaling via the mouth.
- Among these conditions, strep throat and tonsillitis may turn into severe problems, if not treated properly.
- Smoking is a major cause of chronic sore throat. You should control your smoking to eliminate these sore throat symptoms.
- Snoring is also a major cause for sore throat.
Relief from chronic sore throat
No matter what is the cause of your chronic throat pain, or sore throat is, you should follow some steps and undertake simple home remedies for soothing your scratchy, itchy and painful throat. Some of them include the following:
- Do hot water steam inhalation daily, which will help
- You must stay well hydrated and should moisten your throat by drinking lots of fluids throughout the day. You should add honey to warm drinks and hot tea.
- You may take over the counter pain relievers.
- You should install a humidifier in your home for preventing dry air that causes irritation to your throat.
- You may try gargling regularly with warm water and salt, at least twice a day.
It is difficult to diagnose the exact cause of a sore throat, but when it worsens or does not tend to leave, something serious is indicated. You must consult a doctor and undertake a physical examination of your throat in order to detect the cause.