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Top Health Tips on Treating Swimmer's Ear

Earphones Vs Headphones - Which Is Better?

MBBS, F.E.M-RCGP(UK)
General Physician, Gurgaon
Earphones Vs Headphones - Which Is Better?
Most people listen to music or their favourite videos while on the move, and they spend a considerable amount of time plugging in the headphones or earphones. If you are concerned about the pros and cons of the headphones and earphones, or rather which one is better, you will have to consider various aspects. These include noise isolation, frequency response, noise cancellation and comfort of wearing.

Earphones are devices which are worn on the pinna or the internal part of the ear. This device is also referred to as earbuds, in-ears, canal phones, buds, in-ear headphones, IEMs.

Headphones are equipment worn on or around the ear. These are not considered as handy as the earphones and are also known as ear speakers. Let s evaluate the pros and cons of these two devices and choose the one that is better.

Frequency response curve: This helps in assessing how much distortion is brought about by the devices which relate to the clarity. They should be able to respond equally well to all the pitches without transmitting any frequency more loudly than another. This suggests that the frequency you are receiving should be exactly similar to what has been fed in regardless of the frequency ranges. Typically, the earphones have bad frequency response while the headphones tend to have better frequency response. If you are primarily concerned about the noise distortion, then you should opt for headphones.
Noise isolation: By this, it is understood how well does the gear help in isolating other noises than what you are trying to listen. Generally, higher noise isolation is preferred unless you are willing to hear the sounds of the ambience. Better isolation also ensures that your audio would not bother others surrounding you. A rightly fitted pair of earphones would be able to give you the best noise isolation whereas good over-ear headphones would not be able to seal the sound from going out.
Noise cancellation: Noise cancellation is entirely different from the noise isolation. In the process of noise isolation, the atmospheric sounds which intrude in are reproduced and inverted. This is an excellent feature especially when you are travelling through public transportation or walking down the street. When it comes to earphones, the noise cancellation feature is are not as effective as headphones unless you buy any of the high end pieces. But the headphones are far better in cancelling the noises that are constantly playing in the backdrop.
Judging from all these aspects, the headphones tend to be a better purchase than the earphones, and they are also much more comfortable. Still, it boils down to personal preference at the end. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general physician.
7476 people found this helpful

Treat Your Ear Troubles With Homeopathy!

BHMS
Homeopathy Doctor, Delhi
Treat Your Ear Troubles With Homeopathy!
No matter what kind of ear trouble you have, homeopathic remedies treat them very efficiently. Ear troubles can be experienced both by adults and kids, and homeopathic remedies are known to treat all of them.
Sometimes, as a result of ear problem, one might face acute dental troubles. Some of the most prominent symptoms of ear troubles are ear infections, ear ringing, acute pain and others. You must visit a homeopathic expert for getting the list of homeopathic medicines that work best for treating your respective ear trouble.

Homeopathic medicines that treat ear troubles-

Belladonna: acute ear issues can be easily resolved by using this particular homeopathic medicine. Blood vessels can be highly protected, and on the other hand, you can get rid of unwanted ear symptoms, including pains, swelling and others. Necessary warmth can be provided to your ears so that you can get instant relief from painful conditions. You can apply the same at night in order to prevent the condition from worsening.

Aconite: this medicine is much more improved and effective in comparison to pulsatilla or chamomilla. Great sensitiveness, throbbing pain in the ears, stinging and other unbearable symptoms can be easily treated by applying this medicine. Due to sudden temperature change, your ears might start aching, and this ache can become quite severe if proper precautionary measures are not taken. In this case, you have to know the perfect application time; otherwise you will not receive the required results.

Pulsatilla: there are some special ear troubles that can only be alleviated by this medicine. It has got highest curative power as a result of which otitis externa can be effectively treated. Swollen, hot and red ears and be treated only by this medicine. Pulsating pain, severe darting and tearing are the commonest symptoms that can be well treated by the concerned homeopathic medicine. If you are facing ear-itching trouble, and you are thinking of using any toothpick, then you are absolutely wrong as you are recommended to use only this medicine.

Chamomilla: infantile ear aches can be relieved by using this homeopathic medicine. There are many people who often develop different kinds of ear troubles, especially due to cold. In case of such problems, this drug is the best option. Ear nerves can also be treated with this medicine.
7155 people found this helpful

Cotton Buds - How They Are Bad For You?

MD - Internal Medicine
General Physician, Nashik
Cotton Buds - How They Are Bad For You?
Cotton swabs or cotton buds, are commonly used in our daily lifestyle. Many people use it for various purposes, such as make-up, bacterial culture, and most commonly for extracting wax and debris from the ear. Even though they are sometimes handy in our busy schedule, they usually cause much more harm than benefits.

How are they misused?
Cotton buds are toothpick like pieces made of wood, plastic, or rolled paper, which have cotton stuck at both ends with a roundish edge. It came into existence during the 1920s for a safe purpose of ear cleaning by Leo Gerstenzang, when he saw his wife cleaning their baby s ear with a toothpick. They are until now used by the general population for ear cleaning, but these hardly remove the outer debris which are stuck near the outer edges. Impressing it inside the ear canal only does further damage, by forcing the inner wax further inside Sometimes extensive force also causes damage to the ear drums.

How does it cause the damage?
Applying a tool like the cotton bud inside the ear with hands usually creates a force that impresses upon the eardrum, also accumulating the surrounding earwax to that area, resulting in impaction of the wax. The force applied most often, if not always, causes a damage to the ear drums, which might cause severe pain, also leading to leakage, causing improper balance, deafness, and certain similar abnormalities.

Alternative measures
Although we are worried about cleaning our ears, it doesn t really require our notice, since our usual showers allow an adequate quantity of water to enter the ears and clean the accumulated debris automatically. The structure, in which our ear canal is designed, is usually naturally assisting in cleaning up the unusual wax around the ear.

If there is an uncontrollable build up of earwax that is not cleaned off normally, you can always consult an ENT or any general physician and get it cleaned under medical surveillance, which is best advised.
Doctors and medical practitioners all around the world have been trying to spread the message of preventing the use of cotton buds for ear cleaning. It is important that the message reach the greater part of the population. Spread it to your family, your closest friends, their friends, and as further, you can reach!
6837 people found this helpful

Can Homeopathy Treat Earaches?

MD, BHMS
Homeopathy Doctor, Mumbai
Can Homeopathy Treat Earaches?
Earaches can make life miserable. At times, the pain gets so intense that it throws life in jeopardy. This is where homeopathic medicines come as a huge relief. Earaches of different origins can be effectively treated with homeopathic medicines.

* Chamomilla: Chamomilla is the best homeopathic relief for people suffering from excruciating earache. The pain usually aggravates at night. The maddening pain leaves the person mentally very agitated. The medicine is equally helpful for children who get agitated and irritated due to the unbearable pain.

* Pulsatilla: At times, the earache is accompanied by a thick (mostly greenish) discharge from the ear. As a result, the ear feels quite heavy. A person might also experience difficulty in hearing. The darting pain is at its worst self at night. Such earaches and associated symptoms are best treated with the homeopathic medicine, Pulsatilla.

* Sometimes, even a little exposure to cold air can result in earaches. Worse still, there is pus like discharge from the ear and fever. The ear is very sensitive to touch. Hepar Sulph is an ideal homeopathic remedy under such circumstances. Psorinum is mainly used when the pus like discharge has a very unpleasant odour.

* At times, dental problems and throat infections can result in severe earache. Homeopathy has a solution for all. Plantago is an excellent homeopathic medicine to treat earaches resulting from toothache. Merc Sol is effective against earaches originating from dental problems. In such cases, there may be blood or yellow discharge from the ear. The pain gets unbearable at night.

Lachesis and Phytollaca are known to provide great relief from earaches resulting from throat infections. Lachesis is helpful when the throat pain slowly shoots up to the left ear. Swallowing of food makes the situation worse. Phytollaca, on the other hand, is the best medicine when the shooting ear pain is right sided. Belladonna helps to deal with severe and throbbing ear pain.

* Infection of the Otitis Media (middle ear) is a common factor, resulting in earaches. There may be fever and pus like discharge. The hearing is also greatly impaired. At night, the pain reaches the superlative degree. Go for Hepar Sulph if the pain intensifies upon slightest exposure to cold air. Use Belladona in case the ear infection is at a very nascent stage. Pulsatilla is equally effective to treat such earaches.

* Many a times, the ear pain can be of nerve origin. It is more of a facial pain, with the ear being affected. Verbascum Thapsus (Mullen Oil) can be of great help and can also be effectively used as an ear drop to provide some relief.
6001 people found this helpful

Ear Troubles - How Homeopathy Can Relieve It?

BHMS, MBAHCS, B.Sc. in Biology
Homeopathy Doctor, Delhi
Ear Troubles - How Homeopathy Can Relieve It?
Earaches can make life miserable. At times, the pain gets so intense that it throws life in jeopardy. This is where homeopathic medicines come as a huge relief. Earaches of different origins can be effectively treated with homeopathic medicines.

* Chamomilla: Chamomilla is the best homeopathic relief for people suffering from excruciating earache. The pain usually aggravates at night. The maddening pain leaves the person mentally very agitated. The medicine is equally helpful for children who get agitated and irritated due to the unbearable pain.

* Pulsatilla: At times, the earache is accompanied by a thick (mostly greenish) discharge from the ear. As a result, the ear feels quite heavy. A person might also experience difficulty in hearing. The darting pain is at its worst self at night. Such earaches and associated symptoms are best treated with the homeopathic medicine, Pulsatilla.

* Sometimes, even a little exposure to cold air can result in earaches. Worse still, there is pus like discharge from the ear and fever. The ear is very sensitive to touch. Hepar Sulph is an ideal homeopathic remedy under such circumstances. Psorinum is mainly used when the pus like discharge has a very unpleasant odour.

* At times, dental problems and throat infections can result in severe earache. Homeopathy has a solution for all. Plantago is an excellent homeopathic medicine to treat earaches resulting from toothache. Merc Sol is effective against earaches originating from dental problems. In such cases, there may be blood or yellow discharge from the ear. The pain gets unbearable at night.

Lachesis and Phytollaca are known to provide great relief from earaches resulting from throat infections. Lachesis is helpful when the throat pain slowly shoots up to the left ear. Swallowing of food makes the situation worse. Phytollaca, on the other hand, is the best medicine when the shooting ear pain is right sided. Belladonna helps to deal with severe and throbbing ear pain.

* Infection of the Otitis Media (middle ear) is a common factor, resulting in earaches. There may be fever and pus like discharge. The hearing is also greatly impaired. At night, the pain reaches the superlative degree. Go for Hepar Sulph if the pain intensifies upon slightest exposure to cold air. Use Belladona in case the ear infection is at a very nascent stage. Pulsatilla is equally effective to treat such earaches.

* Many a times, the ear pain can be of nerve origin. It is more of a facial pain, with the ear being affected. Verbascum Thapsus (Mullen Oil) can be of great help and can also be effectively used as an ear drop to provide some relief.
5906 people found this helpful

Foreign Bodies In Ear/Nose/Throat - What Should You Do To Manage Them?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - ENT
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Foreign Bodies In Ear/Nose/Throat - What Should You Do To Manage Them?
What is a foreign body (FB)?
Foreign body or FB is an object or piece of extraneous matter that has entered the body by accident or design. It is common to see certain items getting stuck in the ear, nose or throat especially, in young children. While most of the time they do not raise an alarm, however, sometimes they can lead to severe consequences like rupture of the eardrum or even choking.

How do FBs affect ear, nose and throat?

Children over 9 months develop an ability to pick up objects. As they explore the environment around them, they tend to put items such as peas, beans, marbles, beads, cotton, paper, etc, in their mouth, nose or ears. Similar trend may be seen in adults with mental disorders.
Trauma/ fall/accident can force FBs like rock, pebbles into the ear, nose or throat.
Adults while riding a bike or sleeping on the ground (campsites) can have insects: flies, ants, roaches fly into the nose or ear.
Choking occurs when FBs block the airway, common reasons are: not chewing the food properly, diseases like Parkinsonism, drinking alcohol or certain drugs that slowdowns the process of swallowing.
Managing FB in the ear, nose and throat

Foreign bodies in the ear
Symptoms: Pain in the ear, discharge or bleeding from the ear, feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear and dizziness and nausea in extreme cases.

Management:

Make sure the patient is sitting in an upright position, pull the pinna or outer semicircle of the ear towards the back. This can help you see the object clearly and also loosen it to wiggle out. If you can see the object clearly, use a tweezer to grasp the object and gently remove.
In case a live insect gets trapped inside the ear lie down and place few drops of warm vegetable or baby oil. Use oil only if symptoms of eardrum perforation like pain, bleeding/discharge from the ear is absent.
Tilting the head to the affected side can facilitate gravity to dislodge the object.
Foreign bodies in the nose:
Symptoms: Pain and difficulty in breathing from that side of the nose.
Management: Keep the uninvolved nostril closed by pressing a finger against the side of the nose and gently ask the person to blow from the affected nostril.

Foreign bodies in the throat:
Symptoms: Choking, inability to breathe and speak
Management: Perform Heimlich maneuver: abdominal thrusts, if trained otherwise, it is advised to call for medical help immediately.

How can you prevent foreign bodies from entering your ear, nose, throat?

Discourage talking, playing, laughing when food is in the mouth.
Do not give whole grapes, popcorn, nuts to children below 3 years.
Keep small objects out of reach of small children.
Teach children to avoid placing objects into their nose, ears.
5770 people found this helpful

Middle Ear Infections - Know Causes Of It!

ENT Specialist, Faridabad
Middle Ear Infections - Know Causes Of It!
The human ear is divided into three parts, namely the outer, middle and inner ear. All these parts function in coherence with each other and help us in converting vibrations into sound and information. The middle ear consists of the air space between the inner ear and the outer ear and contains the bones that transmit the vibrations of the outer ear and translate them into information. This area is prone to infections, especially among children and thus may cause discomfort or pain.

Symptoms of middle ear infections

Middle ear infections primarily tend to manifest themselves as inflammation of the tissues and buildup of fluids. Some of the symptoms are mentioned below.

Infections in children - Middle ear infections primarily occur in children although it can occur in adults as well. Some of the common symptoms could be:

a. Ear pain either sitting or standing up and especially while lying down
b. Irritability and crying, which is infants could translate to more than usual crying
c. Problems with sound and difficulties in hearing
d. Fluid buildup causing balance related problems
e. Discharge of fluid in certain cases
f. Unable to sleep and also loss of appetite
g. Some cases children may have high fever


Causes of middle ear infections

The primary cause of middle ear infection is due to the presence of bacteria or virus in the area. The Eustachian tube, which runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat, is connected to nasal passages as well.

Any infection that affects the throat or the nose may also affect the middle ear through this tube. Primary causes for the infections could be

a. Cold or flu like symptoms which then infect the middle ear as well
b. Otitis media, which is the buildup of fluid and inflammation either due to the presence of bacteria and viruses or even without it.
c. Seasonal infections which are common during late autumn or winters
d. Air pollution is also known to be a factor
e. Infection from others, especially in the case of children when they are part of a group care
f. Children from 6 months to 2 years are also susceptible to middle ear infections as their immune systems are much less developed.


Treatment of middle ear infections

Usually, middle ear infections resolve on their own within a day or so. You can try warm compress with a soft piece of cloth to ease the pain. However, if pain persists for too long then antibiotic medications may be required to fight the infection with pain relief medications to lessen the pain and discomfort.
5758 people found this helpful

Earaches - How Homeopathy Can Help?

BHMS, CCAH, Fellowship course in Advance Homoepath - FCAH
Homeopathy Doctor, Indore
Earaches - How Homeopathy Can Help?
Earaches can make life miserable. At times, the pain gets so intense that it throws life in jeopardy. This is where homeopathic medicines come as a huge relief. Earaches of different origins can be effectively treated with homeopathic medicines.

* Chamomilla: Chamomilla is the best homeopathic relief for people suffering from excruciating earache. The pain usually aggravates at night. The maddening pain leaves the person mentally very agitated. The medicine is equally helpful for children who get agitated and irritated due to the unbearable pain.

* Pulsatilla: At times, the earache is accompanied by a thick (mostly greenish) discharge from the ear. As a result, the ear feels quite heavy. A person might also experience difficulty in hearing. The darting pain is at its worst self at night. Such earaches and associated symptoms are best treated with the homeopathic medicine, Pulsatilla.

* Hepar sulph: It is an excellent remedy for earaches triggered due to otitis, cold or any other upper respiratory infections. It quickle releives the earpain of children.

* Sometimes, even a little exposure to cold air can result in earaches. Worse still, there is pus like discharge from the ear and fever. The ear is very sensitive to touch. Hepar Sulph is an ideal homeopathic remedy under such circumstances. Psorinum is mainly used when the pus like discharge has a very unpleasant odour.

* At times, dental problems and throat infections can result in severe earache. Homeopathy has a solution for all. Plantago is an excellent homeopathic medicine to treat earaches resulting from toothache. Merc Sol is effective against earaches originating from dental problems. In such cases, there may be blood or yellow discharge from the ear. The pain gets unbearable at night.

Lachesis and Phytollaca are known to provide great relief from earaches resulting from throat infections. Lachesis is helpful when the throat pain slowly shoots up to the left ear. Swallowing of food makes the situation worse. Phytollaca, on the other hand, is the best medicine when the shooting ear pain is right sided. Belladonna helps to deal with severe and throbbing ear pain.

* Infection of the Otitis Media (middle ear) is a common factor, resulting in earaches. There may be fever and pus like discharge. The hearing is also greatly impaired. At night, the pain reaches the superlative degree. Go for Hepar Sulph if the pain intensifies upon slightest exposure to cold air. Use Belladona in case the ear infection is at a very nascent stage. Pulsatilla is equally effective to treat such earaches.

* Many a times, the ear pain can be of nerve origin. It is more of a facial pain, with the ear being affected. Verbascum Thapsus (Mullen Oil) can be of great help and can also be effectively used as an ear drop to provide some relief.
5661 people found this helpful

Ear Barotrauma - Know Signs Of It!

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - ENT
ENT Specialist, Kannur
Ear Barotrauma - Know Signs Of It!
When you travel in an airplane or just come out of the swimming pool, your ears may sometimes block up and even be painful. This is what is known ear barotrauma and is caused by pressure differences inside and outside the ear drum. Severe cases may cause damage to the ear and impede your hearing.

Symptoms of ear barotrauma

Ear barotrauma usually occurs when the Eustachian tube is blocked due to differences in air pressure. The Eustachian tube is a long narrow tube that runs from the middle of your ear to the pharynx or the back of the throat and is thus very important in relevance to the ear, nose and throat. Thus ear barotrauma can also translate to pain in the ear and throat as well.

Some of the symptoms are:

1. Discomfort in the ear, or aggravated pain in extreme cases
2. Dizziness
3. The ears being blocked or full, in severe cases may feel like being underwater
4. Temporary hearing loss
5. Nose bleeding in severe cases
6. Health care providers may see an inward caving or outward bulging in the ear drum. In severe cases, the ear drum may look bruised as well.
7. Some severe cases may even exhibit signs typical of an ear infection along with some of the other symptoms mentioned above.

Precautions and self treatment

There are certain steps you can take to either prevent barotrauma or reduce the symptoms. These are:

Yawning or gulping - This is very helpful when air pressure differences are caused in cases of travelling by aircraft.

1. Inhale slowly and then exhale while your mouth is closed and you are holding your nostrils closed by fingers - This will help increase the pressure within the tube to try and open it forcefully.

2. Sucking on candy - This is another way to prevent barotraumas as you are constantly swallowing and keeping your Eustachian tube from being blocked in the first place.

3. Keep a few Chewing gums handy - Chewing gums also has similar effects on your ears as it forces the Eustachian tube to remain open despite pressure differences.

4. After diving or swimming, come out of the water slowly - Scuba divers and deep swimmers need to come up slowly to ensure that the Eustachian tube is given enough time to acclimatize and slowly come back to normal.

Usually, ear barotrauma goes away automatically after sometime and no medications are required. However, if symptoms still persist, it is best to go to a relevant doctor or a health care provider for pain relief and long term solutions.
5567 people found this helpful

Hearing Loss - Know Ayurvedic Cures With Natural Methods!

Ayurvedic Doctor, Navi Mumbai
Hearing Loss - Know Ayurvedic Cures With Natural Methods!
Proper and sound hearing is essential for a healthy living. If you are suffering from lack or loss of hearing, chances are that you are missing out on life itself. Therefore it is imperative that you undergo treatments in case you are suffering from any kind of hearing ailment.

There are various reasons that contribute to loss of hearing. Some of the common causes are-

1. Age

2. Increasing noise

3. Genetically inherited

Over the years various surgical and non-surgical methods have surfaced that repair hear loss and damage. Among the other branches of medicines, Ayurveda is the most old and ancient method. It uses natural herbs in order to correct and treat hearing loss. This has proved to be extremely beneficial and potent and it cures hearing ailments by various natural methods. Some of them are:

1. Lukewarm mustard oil or sesame oil

If you are suffering from ear ache or loss in hearing, try putting few drops of warm mustard oil and sesame oil in your ear and hold it with index fingers. At the same time store the air in your mouth and let your cheeks contract and bulge for a minute or so. This ayurvedic tip considerably improves hearing and reduces ear pain.

2. Raddish juice and sesame oil

If you are suffering from sores and hearing problems, a mixture of the two can be beneficial. In this method, a small quantity of raddish juice should be boiled with a small quantity of sesame oil till the juice absorbs the oil. This mixture should be administered twice a day in order to experience the results.

3. Applewood oil

A variety of ingredients are required in order to create the resultant oil. Initially cow's urine should be boiled and the applewood powder must be added to it. This mixture should then be filtered and further added with sesame and goat's milk. This concoction then should be boiled and the resultant oil should be stored and applied with cotton daily. This improves hearing a great deal.

4. Mixture of neem and turmeric

In this method turmeric and neem leaves are boiled together. The steam should be taken as well as the water must be applied on the ears and surrounding areas. This has proved to be an extremely effective remedy in treating puss in the ears and consequent hearing loss.

5. Mixture of raddish juice, turmeric, sesame oil and ajwain seeds

All these ingredients must be taken in selective quantities and boiled to get the resultant oil. This oil must be stored and used to treat hearing loss and other ear diseases.
5542 people found this helpful