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Ear Pain Tips

Ear Problem - Know Signs Of It In Children!

Dr.Palak Shroff Bhatti 90% (20ratings)
MBBS, MS - ENT, DNB - ENT, Fellow- Head & Neck Onco Surgery
ENT Specialist, Mumbai
Ear Problem - Know Signs Of It In Children!

Ear problems can strike any individual of any age, and be very troublesome. It can even impair normal life. However, children are especially vulnerable to these and all diseases because their immune systems have not developed to full strength yet. There are several kinds of ear diseases that may affect children.

Which is the most common type of ear ailment that affects children?

The human ear has three parts: the inside, the middle and the outside. Children are most prone to acquiring diseases of the middle ear that can impede their hearing temporarily or permanently. The liquid is accumulated in this part of the ear in affected children. Along with mild deafness, related trouble like a pain in the ear may also be caused. Antibiotics are the most common treatment in these cases.

Symptoms: What gives away hidden ear disease in children?

Ear diseases are difficult to detect in children, as the middle ear is not visible with the naked eye, and children most often do not complain of pain there. These symptoms are helpful in detecting if there really is a problem-

• Pain in the ears
• The pain inside the head
• Liquid coming out of the ear
Fever
• Losing the will to eat
• Difficulty hearing

The most common childhood hearing ailments-

Following are the (hidden) ear diseases that affect the most number of infants and children-

• Acute otitis media - This is a severe infection of the middle ear, causing pain and irritation there. Fluid discharges are also common. The child should be taken to visit an Ear-Nose-Throat specialist. They will treat her/him with antibiotics, as the underlying cause is mostly bacteria.

• Otitis media with effusion - This occurs after an ear infection is generally over, and the child does not feel any discomfort. However, the doctor senses fluid build up and infections still present in the ear. This condition mostly heals on its own.

• Congenital hearing loss - The child may have been born with hearing loss. This happens if congenital hearing loss runs in the family, or if the mother had major diseases like diabetes. Another possibility of hearing loss is that the baby may have been born with disorders of the brain or the nervous system.

• Acquired hearing loss - The child may develop hearing loss in her/his lifetime due to reasons like chicken pox, influenza or serious damage to the head.

Hearing loss or ear diseases are somewhat common across age and generations of people, but they also can hinder your normal functioning. If you suspect your child has one, you should take her/him to a specialist immediately and try to test if she/he has any of the above disorders.

2075 people found this helpful

Ear Discharge - Know All About It!

Dr.Harmeet Singh Pasricha 91% (70ratings)
DNB (ENT), MBBS, MNAMS - Otorhinolaryngology
ENT Specialist, Gurgaon
Ear Discharge - Know All About It!

Discharge from the ear is medically termed as otorrhea. This discharge can be white (clear), yellow, brown, bloody, or pus (purulent). Also, it can be offensive (smelly) or non-offensive. Discharge can be due to the pathologies of the ear canal, middle ear, or, rarely, from inside the skull. There are many causes of ear discharge, some are:

  1. Earwax- Wax is a brown, sticky discharge from the ear. The wax formation is a normal process. It is a protective mechanism of the body. It protects the ear from dust, bacteria, viruses, or any foreign bodies entering inside. Sometimes excess of wax can be a problem. That’s why it should be removed regularly.
  2. Infection- It is one of the most common reasons for discharge from the ear. It occurs when the middle ear is infected with bacteria or viruses. This causes fluid to build up in the ear, which leads to ear discharge. Generally, the discharge is yellowish due to pus and offensive because of the infection.
  3. Swimmer’s ear- It is medically termed as otitis externa. It occurs when the ear canal is infected with bacteria or virus. Mostly, this condition is due to long hours of swimming; too much moisture in the ear can rupture the wall of the ear canal through which the infection enters in the ear canal. Also, this can be due to eczema or any foreign body in the ear which can rupture the wall.
  4. Trauma- This can be due to the cotton swab while cleansing your ear if you insert or push it too deep. Also, this can be due to altitude changes such as seen in scuba diving or while flying in the aeroplane. This can cause rupture of the ear drum leading to ear discharge. Acoustic trauma- This type of trauma occurs due to loud noises which rupture the eardrum and can cause discharge from the ear.
  5. Necrotizing or malignant otitis externa- This condition is very rare. This condition can occur as a complication of otitis externa, or in immunocompromised patients, or in those suffering from diabetes. This can cause damage to the cartilage and bones in the base of the skull which is responsible for the ear discharge. It can be clear fluid due to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) which is present in the brain.
  6. Cholesteatoma- It’s a noncancerous growth of skin cells in the middle ear leading to discharge from the ear.
  7. Mastoiditis- It is due to infection of the mastoid bone which can cause discharge from the ear. Even this condition is very rarely seen.
  8. Fracture of the skull- Fracture in any of the bones in the skull can lead to discharge from the ear.
  9. Head injury- It’s an emergency. Bloody discharge from the ear can be present.
2090 people found this helpful

Excessive Earwax - How To Handle It?

Dr.Anurag Tandon 86% (69ratings)
MS - ENT, Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (DLO), MBBS
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Excessive Earwax - How To Handle It?

The body has its own protective mechanisms, and one of these is the ear wax. The skin in the ear produces an oily, waxy substance known as cerumen. This is produced to help protect the ear from the dust and the microorganisms that it is constantly subjected to. What happens is this earwax is naturally removed from the ear as it gets washed away through the ear canal that opens to the outside. However, in some cases, where there is excessive production of wax, it can harden and cause a blockage. Read on to know more about how this ear wax builds up, how it may cause blockage, and how to get rid of it.

Buildup: As noted, the ear wax is a natural protective mechanism to keep dust and bacteria from entering the ear canal which is a very critical organ. The middle ear is responsible for maintaining overall body balance. However, in some people, more wax is produced than what gets removed. Also, due to the recurrent use of earphones and earbuds, the wax can get pushed deeper. The earphones also could block the wax from getting out of the ear canal.

Excessive ear wax can lead to the following:

It is important to know that trying to remove ear wax at home should be avoided, as they can push the wax internally and cause more severe problems. These above symptoms could be indicative of various other problems in the ear and so should be immediately attended to by a medical doctor. Those who use hearing aids may also face the problem of excessive wax buildup.

Removal: As mentioned above, removal should not be done at home. This is true especially for young children and the elderly.

  • Wax softening: There are specific drops which can be used to soften ear wax. Some other products at home which can be used include baby oil, glycerine, mineral oil, or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Over-the-counter: Ear irrigation kits are available with clear instructions and can be used safely.

As the next step, clinical removal may be required. Those who are prone to excessive wax buildup may go for an annual or biannual wax removal. This could include irrigation and use of suction or curette to remove the wax. Ear wax, though not very pleasant, has a role to play in the ear’s health and small amounts of it is beneficial.

1313 people found this helpful

Ear Trauma - How To Deal With It?

Dr.Honey Gupta 86% (39ratings)
MBBS, DLO
ENT Specialist, Faridabad
Ear Trauma -  How To Deal With It?

The ear is a very sensitive organ of the body which can be damaged very easily. Ear trauma can be caused in the outer ear or middle ear or the inner ear. Ear traumas are mostly seen occurring due to motorbike accidents, blasts happening in a war zone or sometimes at sporting events.

The outer ear, or the part of the ear that is visible, only that can sustain ear traumas or an actual loss of the part of the ear. Trauma to the outer ear can happen due to mainly motorbike injuries or injuries at sports events or occupational injuries. In the hands of a good doctor, problems caused to the outer ear can be cured just like any other cosmetic surgery.

The trauma caused to the middle ear may always not be mendable because it is the main part that helps in hearing. If harmful foreign elements enter the middle ear, they may end up damaging the external canal, tympanic membrane and the delicate bones that aid to produce the sound. Fixing problems of the middle ear though might not always be possible but a good doctor with skills and experience can restore the functioning of the middle ear.

The inner ear faces trauma when it is exposed to high decibels of noise. The inner ear sits well protected inside a bone structure but can be harmed by a penetrating gunshot injury and in such cases, it is difficult to cure the trauma caused to the inner ear.

Ear traumas can affect a person's hearing severely. It may be in milder cases cured with a cosmetic surgery but in case a trauma is caused by the noise of a bomb blast, it may permanently damage the ears.

What are the causes of ear trauma?

  • Ear trauma has many causes and a few common ones are mentioned below-
  • Ear trauma may be caused when the external part of the ear is completely removed due to injuries caused by accidents.
  • Ear trauma can also be caused by injuries to the outer part of the ear these include those sustained in blunt force trauma.
  • Excessive noise can cause ear trauma and finally impede the hearing ability of an individual
  • Putting sharp objects in the ear to clean it can cause damage to the middle ear which may rupture the tympanic membrane.

Tips to deal with ear trauma

  • In case the external part of the ear starts to bleed due to some kind of scratch or minor accident, the bleeding must be immediately stopped by pressing a sterile gauge against the wound.
  • The wound needs to be washed with clean water and then treated with mild antiseptics.
  • Antibiotic medicines can be used to cure cuts and scratches.
  • A visit to the doctor is a must in case the wound is too deep to deal with at home.
     
1237 people found this helpful

Can Homeopathy Treat Earaches?

Dr.Professor Bhavesh Acharya 91% (92ratings)
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

Swimmer's Ear - Reasons Behind It!

Dr.Honey Gupta 86% (39ratings)
MBBS, DLO
ENT Specialist, Faridabad
Swimmer's Ear - Reasons Behind It!

Swimmer's ear is an infection of the ear canal, the passage that carries sounds from the outside of the body to the eardrum. It can be caused by many different types of bacteria or fungi.

Swimmer’s ear is a kind of infection which occurs in the outer ear canal and it results in an infected ear canal, long-term pain and irritation. Swimmer’s ear, as you can understand by the name, is referred in such a way because it is caused by water which is left inside the ear after swimming. The stuck water inside the canal gets damp where bacteria and fungus grows and results in an infection. Now we will discuss what are the causes that can bring such a condition.

Causes of Swimmer’s Ear - There are many reasons because of which people suffer from a swimmer’s ear: The entry of too much water inside the ear canal, leaves a part of it inside the ear which eventually allows bacteria to infest. The overcleaning of the ear canal with cotton buds causes the ear wax to come out which allows water to enter. When cosmetic chemicals like hair spray, enter the ears, it causes a sensitive chemical reaction which can lead to infection. Careless scratching inside the ear can result in small cuts inside the sensitive canal, where bacteria can infest. Swimming in water without covering your ears can also cause this.

So next time when you are swimming or scratching your ear without safety, remember that it can cause a swimmer’s ear. But you may have a question in mind, how will I know if I am suffering from this? We have thus listed the symptoms as well.

Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear-

Constant itching and irritation inside the ear. The pain or itching increases when you pull your year or chew something. There is an acute sensation of blockage inside the ear which is caused because of this condition and results in reduced levels of hearing. Someone suffering from swimmer's ear will have pus or ear fluids draining out from their ears.

Swimmer’s ear condition can be easily prevented if you follow some simple but very effective steps like blocking your ear with buds while swimming, cleaning the ear softly so that no water remains stuck etc. If you neglect any of the symptoms, they can result in a very chronic disease which can even result in hearing loss. So read through our article and understand what Swimmer’s ear is.

1277 people found this helpful

Ear Trauma - Helpful Information About It!

Dr.Mukesh More 90% (11ratings)
MBBS, MS - ENT, DNB - ENT
ENT Specialist, Nashik
Ear Trauma - Helpful Information About It!

The ear is a very sensitive organ of the body which can be damaged very easily. Ear trauma can be caused in the outer ear or middle ear or the inner ear. Ear traumas are mostly seen occurring due to motorbike accidents, blasts happening in a war zone or sometimes at sporting events.

The outer ear, or the part of the ear that is visible, only that can sustain ear traumas or an actual loss of the part of the ear. Trauma to the outer ear can happen due to mainly motorbike injuries or injuries at sports events or occupational injuries. In the hands of a good doctor, problems caused to the outer ear can be cured just like any other cosmetic surgery.

The trauma caused to the middle ear may always not be mendable because it is the main part that helps in hearing. If harmful foreign elements enter the middle ear, they may end up damaging the external canal, tympanic membrane and the delicate bones that aid to produce the sound. Fixing problems of the middle ear though might not always be possible but a good doctor with skills and experience can restore the functioning of the middle ear.

The inner ear faces trauma when it is exposed to high decibels of noise. The inner ear sits well protected inside a bone structure but can be harmed by a penetrating gunshot injury and in such cases, it is difficult to cure the trauma caused to the inner ear.

Ear traumas can affect a person's hearing severely. It may be in milder cases cured with cosmetic surgery but in case a trauma is caused by the noise of a bomb blast, it may permanently damage the ears.

What are the causes of ear trauma?

  • Ear trauma has many causes and a few common ones are mentioned below-
  • Ear trauma may be caused when the external part of the ear is completely removed due to injuries caused by accidents.
  • Ear trauma can also be caused by injuries to the outer part of the ear these include those sustained in blunt force trauma.
  • Excessive noise can cause ear trauma and finally impede the hearing ability of an individual
  • Putting sharp objects in the ear to clean it can cause damage to the middle ear which may rupture the tympanic membrane.

Tips to deal with ear trauma

  • In case the external part of the ear starts to bleed due to some kind of scratch or minor accident, the bleeding must be immediately stopped by pressing a sterile gauge against the wound.
  • The wound needs to be washed with clean water and then treated with mild antiseptics.
  • Antibiotic medicines can be used to cure cuts and scratches.
  • A visit to the doctor is a must in case the wound is too deep to deal with at home.
     
1696 people found this helpful

Ear Infection - Know Problems Related With It!

Dr.Kanupriya Halan 85% (10ratings)
MBBS, MS - ENT, DNB (ENT)
ENT Specialist, Mumbai
Ear Infection - Know Problems Related With It!

Ear infection is caused when viral or bacterial infection affects the middle ear which in turn leads to inflammation and accumulation of fluid behind your eardrums. Although anyone can encounter an ear infection, it is one of the most common conditions observed in infants. The initial symptoms may include fever, pain in the ear, release of pus from the ears, and a persistent throbbing in the ear. Ear infection can be very painful and troublesome if not treated soon enough. National Institute of Health reports that in most cases the infection disappears on its own without much trouble, but in rare occasions, they may leave you with adverse complications that you must be aware of.

  1. Hearing impairment- If you suffer from a chronic ear infection or if the infection has recurred after the treatment, you can face problems hearing. As we know, the infection occurs when fluid accumulates in your middle ear. If the fluid is not completely drained out, it may result in partial hearing loss. On the other hand, if the fluid remains trapped inside the ear for long it will harm the eardrums and the surrounding bones permanently, eventually leading to permanent hear loss. This condition poses far more a serious threat to infants as they are at risk of language and speech development delays as a result of hearing impairment.
  2. Ruptured eardrum- Rupture in the eardrum refers to tear or hole in the tympanic membrane or eardrum. Tympanic membrane is the fine tissue which separates the exterior ear canal from the middle ear. When fluid gathers behind your eardrum, the resultant pressure can break open the eardrum. This can cause blood or pus to flow out from the ears. If the situation does not resolve on its own, you may have to go for surgery.
  3. Mastoiditis- This condition occurs when the mastoid bone that is situated right at the back of your ear, becomes infected due to infection in the middle ear. In order to perform its function properly, the mastoid needs to receive air from different sections of the ear along with the Eustachian tube which acts as the bridge between the rear side of your throat and the middle ear. If the infection in the middle ear obstructs the Eustachian tube, then it can result in the infection of the mastoid bone. In certain cases, Mastoiditis can lead to brain abscess or Meningitis, an infection in the tissues covering the spinal cord and the brain, caused by bacteria.

In order to avoid such complications, you must look out for the symptoms, take necessary precautions and consult an Ear-Nose Throat (ENT) specialist immediately, if diagnosed with an ear infection.

2232 people found this helpful

Homeopathic Treatment Of Earaches!

Dr.Santosh Kachhap 89% (37ratings)
Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery
Homeopathy Doctor, Ranchi
Homeopathic Treatment Of 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.

1. 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.

2. 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 side. 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 times, the ear pain can be of nerve origin. It is more of 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.
 

1602 people found this helpful

Cochlear Implant - Know Merits Of It!

Dr.Anurag Tandon 86% (69ratings)
MS - ENT, Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (DLO), MBBS
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Cochlear Implant - Know Merits Of It!

Traditionally, people resort to hearing aids in order to take care of their auditory problems. The perception of hearing reduces as age progresses and people find it absolutely necessary to come up with ways by which they can improve their hearing. However, cochlear implants have become extremely popular because of the method that it uses in comparison to the traditional methods of hearing aids.

What is a cochlear implant?

A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants bypass the damaged hair cells of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain.

Who can they help?

The cochlear implant technology can help people who:

  1. have moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears
  2. receive little or no benefit from hearing aids
  3. score 50% or less on sentence recognition tests done by hearing professionals in the ear to be implanted
  4. score 60% or less on sentence recognition tests done by hearing professionals in the non-implanted ear or in both ears with hearing aids.

Many people have cochlear devices in both ears (bilateral). Listening with two ears can improve your ability to identify the direction of the sound and separate the sounds you want to hear from those you don’t.

What are the benefits of a cochlear implant?

Many adults with cochlear implants report that they:

  • Hear better with a cochlear implant than with a hearing aid
  • A previous study has shown that people with a cochlear implant achieve an average of 80% sentence understanding, compared with 10% sentence understanding for hearing aids1.
  • Can focus better when in noisy environments.
  • Find it easier to have conversations with people across meeting tables, in restaurants and other crowded places.
  • Reconnect with missed sounds that they could not hear before their cochlear implant.
  • Feel safer in the world as they can hear alarms, people calling out and approaching vehicles.
  • Talk and hear on the phone.
  • Enjoy music.

How is a cochlear implant different from a hearing aid?

A cochlear implant is very different from a hearing aid and is appropriate for individuals for whom hearing aids fail to provide benefit. A hearing aid makes sounds louder. Sound still travels through all the portions of the ear (outer ear, middle ear, inner ear) to the hearing nerve. A cochlear implant bypasses these structures and directly stimulates the hearing nerve with electrical energy. Because hearing aids amplify sounds and rely on the hearing system to convey the message, people with severe to profound hearing loss may be able to hear, but not understand speech well. The main objective of a cochlear implant is to improve speech understanding in quiet. Clarity with a cochlear implant is usually better than a hearing aid because the implant does not make sounds louder but delivers them to the hearing nerve.

There are a number of symptoms, which people should be looking out for before concluding that they have a hearing disorder:

  1. Inability to hear properly
  2. Excessive ear pain and stress on the brain
  3. Failure to communicate properly
  4. Discomfort in the mouth or nose
  5. Other feelings of anxiety or stress that may actually be a consequence of the hearing loss problem

 

2383 people found this helpful
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