7 Common Ear Problems and How to Deal With Them

Ear problems are difficult to deal with, especially in young children. While most of these problems are short-term, their symptoms are unpleasant, and you may develop other problems such as headaches, stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. Common symptoms of ear disorders include earaches, the buildup of excessive earwax, and hearing loss. If you encounter any of these symptoms, consider visiting an audiologist before it develops into a permanent disorder. The following are the common ear problems and the best way to deal with them to avoid pain or mental distress.

Source: Athens Oconee Audiology

1. Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a common problem with people who are used to unhealthy loud noises. It’s characterized by buzzing sounds in the ears. Additionally, ear health experts link tinnitus to old age, explaining why the condition is common in older adults. However, it’s important to note that anyone can get tinnitus, regardless of their age.

Some people suffer from tinnitus temporarily, especially if it results from congestion due to cold or listening to loud music. Others have permanent tinnitus. The most common symptom of tinnitus is a continuous ringing in the ears. Some people describe it as sizzling, whooshing, or hissing. The best way to deal with tinnitus is to schedule a consultation with your ear health professional. Cognitive behavior therapy is also essential to reduce stress and anxiety.

2. Eustachian tube dysfunction

According to doctorkrueger.com, blocked eustachian tubes result from the plugging or infection from seasonal illnesses and allergies that inflame the tubes. Such illnesses include cold, flu, and sinus infections. Eustachian tube dysfunction can cause hearing problems and discomfort.

Home treatment can effectively solve the Eustachian tube dysfunction problem. If the symptoms persist, see a doctor for your first balloon dilation intervention. If you are wondering what is the first balloon dilation intervention, it is minor surgery recommended for patients with blocked eustachian tubes.

Source: Harvard Health – Harvard University

3. Hearing loss

Hearing loss can turn your life upside down if you don’t take action upon the onset of its symptoms. Unfortunately, the problem subdivides into three main categories; conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. This makes it hard to treat the problem at home because you may not know what type you’re suffering from.

Conductive hearing loss results from problems with the ear canal, eardrums, or the bones connecting to the eardrum. It causes a material buildup in the ear, such as ear wax or fluid. Sensorineural hearing loss results from the damage of the inner ear. It’s common in old people or teenagers and young adults who have regular exposure to loud noises.

It’s important to consult your doctor immediately when you develop hearing loss symptoms. Some resolve to remove the excess wax using cotton swabs, but this may lead to earwax impaction, a more severe problem than hearing loss. Instead of exposing your ear to worse risks, consider visiting a doctor to have the ear wax removed.

4. Ears popping (ear congestion)

A lot of air travelers complain about ear congestion due to the rapid air pressure that builds up in the ears when landing or taking off. The problem stresses the eardrum and middle ear.

You can relieve air pressure from your ears by yawning, chewing sweets or gums repeatedly, or swallowing saliva repeatedly to readjust the pressure. If you usually experience ear congestion during flights, consider taking an over-the-counter nasal decongestant approximately 30 minutes before taking off or landing.

Source: Healthline

5. Stuck foreign objects in the ear

Children are the most vulnerable to this problem because they put objects like buttons, beads, sweets, seeds, nuts, stones, mini toys, and crayons into their ears. These objects can lead to hearing loss and painful infections.

An adult will know when an object gets into the ear, but small children won’t. If your child complains of ear pain or discomfort, check if they’ve got an object in their ear. They may also rub or pull the ears. These objects cause bloody discharge to ooze out of the ears. The ears may also become red and swollen. Insects also crawl into the ears. Their buzzing sound not only causes discomfort and irritation but also affects your sleep.

Never probe the ear with an object such as a matchstick or cotton swab. Instead of pulling out the foreign object, the swab will push it deeper, which may consequently lead to an injury or difficulty in hearing. It’s advisable that you seek a doctor’s help as doctors have specialized training and tools that can remove the object safely without subjecting patients to further damages.

6. Excessive earwax

Ears have a self-cleaning mechanism that makes the earwax ooze out on its own. Excessive wax can block the ears, leading to difficulties in hearing. Its symptoms include dizziness, itchiness, difficulty hearing, earaches, ear infections, and irritating sounds from inside the ears.

Usually, people try to remove earwax using fingers and cotton swabs. Sometimes, this method works, but it’s dangerous as the fingers or cotton buds may push the wax deeper into the ear, causing worse problems. If your ears are blocked, put two to three drops of almond or olive oil twice a day. Treat them with the oil for around one week. After two weeks, earwax lumps shall start falling out of your ears. Your doctor can guide you on the best treatment.

Source: Verywell Health

7. Glue ear

This issue is common in young children and is one of the main causes of hearing difficulties in childhood. It mostly affects children between one to six years of age. Glue ear becomes noticeable when a sticky fluid fills the middle part of the ear. The fluid obstructs the conduction of sound vibrations to the cochlea, often leading to hearing loss. People with glue ear also become distracted when other people talk.

Glue ear heals by itself within three months. According to Meds News, if the problem lasts over 10 weeks, the patient may need specialized treatment like temporary hearing aids or the insertion of grommets into the ear.

Endnote

Ear problems can develop at any stage in life. If you have issues hearing, earaches, dizziness, or foreign objects in the ears, try the above treatment methods for relief, abd seek medical advice if these problems persist.

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