The ear has three parts—outer ear, middle ear and inner ear; the outer ear is what you see outside and the tube that leads to the middle ear. Between the outer ear and the middle ear is the ear drum. The ear drum accentuates the sound from outside which is then transmitted to the inner ear by three small bones in the middle ear. Infections affect the outer and middle ear but chronic infections affect mainly the middle ear, pus discharges come mostly from the middle ear.
The inner ear is encased in bony structure and has the hearing organ and the organs that balance you. The middle ear is connected to the inner ear by two small openings. The middle ear is also connected to the back of the nose by a tube and to the bone behind the ear lobe. The nerves responsible for taste and facial movement pass through the middle ear to the face muscles and the front part of the tongue.
You can now see why you must care for your ears.
1. Do not use sharp pointed objects to clean your ears
Clean your ears with extra care. Wipe the outer ear with a wash cloth or tissue. Do not use sharp pointed objects to clean your ears; you may injure your ear drum or the ear canal. The use of cotton buds is not recommended.
Earwax is the ear’s mechanism for self-cleaning. If you have a build-up of wax that is blocking your hearing, see your doctor to have it removed.
2. Clean pierced earlobes regularly.
If you have pierced ears, clean your earrings and earlobes regularly with methylated spirit.
3. Treat the common cold promptly
Reduce the risk of ear infections by treating upper respiratory (ears, nose, throat) infections promptly
If you experience itching or pain in your ears, consult with your doctor appropriate examination and treatment. You will be referred to a specialist if need be.
4. Avoid self-medication
Some medications can affect hearing. Take medications only as directed, and consult your doctor if you experience unusual hearing, balance problems, or ringing in the ears.
Some illnesses and medical conditions can affect your hearing. If you experience sudden hearing loss or have constant noise in your ears or head, see an ear doctor promptly.
5. Avoid exposure to noise
At home or work, wear hearing protection during exposure to loud levels of noise. This includes mowing the lawn or when using power tools. By law, a noisy work environment requires use of hearing protection. You can easily get ear protecting headgear in shops.
Ear buds, such as those that come with an IPOD or MP3 Player, do not protect your hearing.
When using stereos and home theatre systems; avoid high volume levels.
When using personal sound systems with head phones, the volume should be at a comfortable level. If someone else can hear what you are listening to, the volume is too high. Remove the headphones from time to time to give your ears a rest.
Wear earplugs at rock concerts, nightclubs and motor sporting events.
Keep automobile sound systems at sensible volumes. This can help you avoid hearing damage and allow you to hear and yield to emergency vehicles.
6. See your doctor if you have ear- pain, discharge or noise in the ear.
Drainage from the ear is not normal and usually suggests infection. See your doctor as soon as possible.
Also see an ear doctor immediately if you injure you ears, experience ear pain, or notice changes in your ear or hearing.
7. Be safety conscious
Always wear a helmet when you bike, ski and roller blade or in any other activity that puts you at risk for head and ear injuries.
If you scuba dive, learn and practice proper underwater techniques to avoid potentially damaging changes in pressure inside your ears.
When flying airplane, swallow and yawn frequently when the plane is ascending and descending to equalize pressure in your ears. If you have an upper respiratory problem such as cold or sinus infection, take a decongestant a few hours before descending, or use a decongestant spray just prior to descent and on landing.
Earplugs with special filters can be purchased to help equalize air pressure in ears during air travel.
8. See your ENT doctor regularly
Have your ears checked regularly by your primary care physician. Have your hearing checked by an audiologist if you or anyone else questions whether your hearing is normal. Consult an ear physician as necessary.
Also Read 9 EASY WAYS TO BE PROTECT YOUR EYES