Ear infections are fairly common, especially among children. You may not pay much attention to your ears when it comes to focusing on healthy living. However, it’s really important to do everything you can to protect your ears and reduce the risk of infections and hearing loss.
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Reducing the risk of ear infections
Ear infections can occur as a result of the presence of harmful bacteria, fungal infections, dermatitis or allergies. In some cases, a buildup of earwax can also put you at risk of infection. It’s not always possible to prevent infections, and you’ll often find that ear infections are accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, sore throat, aches and pains, and a runny nose. Sometimes, however, it is possible to reduce the risk of infections. When it’s cold outside, wrap up warm, and wear a hat. Wash your hands on a regular basis, especially if there are colds and coughs flying around.
If you suspect you have a buildup of wax, don’t try and shift it using your finger or a cotton bud. If you do this, you can push the wax further into the ear, and you may also damage the ear. There are other techniques and treatments you can use to dislodge excess wax. Ask your pharmacist for recommendations or search online for the best products for ear wax removal.
If you do experience symptoms like earache, problems with your hearing, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or itchiness, see your doctor. If you do have an infection, it’s best to treat it as swiftly as possible.
Protecting your hearing
One of the best ways to protect your hearing is to avoid exposure to loud noises. If you work in a noisy environment, for example, a garage or a building site, make sure you use ear defenders. When you listen to music, avoid turning up the volume. If other people around you can hear your music, this means that it’s far too loud. If you go to a gig, try not to stand next to the speakers.
If you notice changes in your hearing, it’s wise to seek advice. Do you miss what people are saying to you or have you started having to turn up the radio or TV? It’s a good idea to have regular hearing tests. Sometimes, hearing loss can be temporary, and it may be linked to excessive wax or infections. However, it can also be symptomatic of aging or underlying problems. In this case, there may be solutions available that can improve your hearing.
When you think about your health, your ears probably aren’t the first body part to spring to mind. Nevertheless, they are important. Try and take steps to protect your ears, and reduce the risk of infections. Don’t insert foreign objects into the ear canal, and see your doctor if you develop symptoms like earache or itchiness. Spare a thought for your ears when you’re listening to music. It’s great to have music on, but you don’t need to have it blaring out at full volume.