One of the awful pains of the body is that of earache. It is even more of an issue if a child is suffering from it or when it is one of the recurring bulging pain. Many people believe that if they suffer from an ear infection, it is due to the side effect of any viral disease. However, it is not true but is rather a misconception.
If you or any of your family members are prone to ear infections, you need to be more careful about your ear health. Also, no need to worry, there are many ways that can help you in preventing ear infections.
Causes of Ear Infections
Firstly, it is very important for us to understand why we suffer from an ear infection or what is the cause of an ear infection. According to the ENT doctors of the One Health Medical Services, there are various pathogens i.e. viruses and bacteria who are responsible for ear infections. These pathogens basically cause the formation of the fluid behind the eardrum causing a painful ear infection.
The infection usually develops in the middle ear, the reason being that via the Eustachian tube, the middle ear is properly ventilated. Bacteria and viruses travel from this tube towards the space of the middle ear and from there it causes ear infection.
Children are more prone to ear infections. The Eustachian tube of the children is flat and soft hence higher the risk of an ear infection.
Ear Infection Symptoms
According to the audiologists , here are some of the major symptoms of ear infections.
- Ear Discharge
- A feeling of fullness in the ear
- Pain in the ear (Continuous and dull or sudden and sharp)
- Nausea and vomiting
- A sensation that the sound is inaudible
- Hearing loss (mild)
- In the case of children, the symptoms of a sore ear are disrupted sleep, crying and irritability
Health Complications Due to Ear Infection
Ear Infections can lead to various health complications which are:
- Temporary to permanent hearing loss.
- Mastoiditis-Infection of bone of the ears
- Brain Abscess
- Ruptured eardrum
- Facial Paralysis
Tips to Reduce and Prevent Ear Infection
There are different ways by which you can reduce and prevent an ear infection. Some of which are as follows:
- Follow Good Hygiene
Good hygiene should be a standard for you for a healthy life. The first and foremost principle of hygiene is washing your hands properly and thoroughly. Your hands constantly touch places and objects thus collecting germs from everywhere.
So, while washing your hands, you are actually getting rid of the bacteria and other germs thus, reducing the transmission of germs and ear infection is prevented.
- Avoid Smoking and Air Pollutants
Poor air quality, air pollution, areas around factories are the contributing factors of ear infection. In fact, inhaling the harmful smoke of the cigarette is not only harmful to respiratory infections but also causes severe ear infections.
A person who smokes a cigarette is able to affect other people around them. In fact, pregnant women are at higher risk of various health issues and ear infections due to smoking. Not only this, the neonate baby would be at higher risk of postnatal infections.
- Untreated Allergies
Sometimes, you might mix the allergy with an ear infection. For example, if you have congestion, irritation in your throat or ear, or maybe you suffer from ear pain or blocked ear, it might be due to allergy instead of an ear infection.
If an allergy is not timely treated, it can result in ear infections and ear pain. It is quite easy to treat your allergy and protect yourself from ear infections. Treatments of such ear infections include nasal sprays or decongestants. In more severe ear infections, antibiotics are also provided.
A commonplace from where you can pick up ear infections is during swimming. Many people are unaware of ear hygiene during swimming. Water such as in rivers is the natural breeding place of the bacteria. So whether you are having a private pool at home or using a public pool, you need to make sure that the pool is well maintained.
Make sure that you are using ear plugs or bathing caps while swimming so that you should keep your ears dry. Therefore, it becomes very important and you need to see an audiologist to get a consultation regarding your customized earplugs.
- Healthy Eating
Last but not the least, food is the ultimate saviour. It is also one of the easiest ways to protect yourself from an ear infection. In the case of the children you need to make sure that during drinking milk and eating, they should be sitting upright. In the case of infants, a lying or semi-sitting position is good for them.
If the babies slept while having the bottle of milk in their mouth, it can lead to the liquid entering the middle ear and cause infections. Hence, breast feed is recommended to the babies till they are a sixth month old.
In the End
Without a doubt, ear infections are unbearable and if left untreated, it can cause hearing loss and other severe health conditions. Therefore, you need to take precautions and opt for remedies to protect yourself from the risk of developing an ear infection.