What are Ear infection & hearing loss problems?

Your-Health-Online Back-to-Directory A health article about ear infection & hearing loss problems from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies

How the Ears Work

Your ear is divided into three major components: the inner ear, the middle ear, and the outer ear. The outer ear is what is physically seen in our bodies. The ear canal is the path where the sound waves pass through.


It is also seen from the outside. The ear canal acts like a funnel catching the sound waves and lead them to the eardrum.

The middle ear is where the eardrum is located. It is actually a small space inside the ear filled with air. In the middle ear, there are three tiny bones. Collectively, they are called the ossicles.

Individually, there are the hammer, the anvil, and the stirrup. From the outer ear, sound is directed to the eardrum. Now on the eardrum, these bones move in tune with the sound that passes on the vibration toward a much smaller part of the ear, the cochlea.

The cochlea is already part of the inner ear. It has fluid in it, which, in turn, moves the hairs on the outside of the cells. Several of these hair cells create an electrical impulse that is send with the auditory nerve directly to the brain.

The brain then processes the information and you are able to hear the sounds. All these processes are done in a matter of microseconds.

What Is Otitis?

Otitis media, being the leading common infection affecting children, is the principal cause of doctor visits by children. Also, it is the most recurrent reason children obtain antibiotic treatments or even undergo surgery.

Approximately 3 to 4 billion dollars are spent on patients diagnosed of severe Otitis media as well as related complications each year. Ear infections in fact affect all ages; however they are significantly common among children especially between 6 months up to 3 years old. This is due to the fact that the infants’ immune systems are still developing.

Short and immature, somewhat horizontal and easily blocked “eustachian tubes” can be responsible for ear infections.

Fluid can persist in your child’s “middle ear” for weeks and even months, resulting at some level short-term hearing loss but at a curtail time for cognitive and language development.

AOM or “acute otitis media” usually is associated with an upper respiratory viral infection. The infection may be attributed to a bacteria or virus along with enlarged adenoids, allergies, or colds that result in eustachian tube blockage.

OME or “otitis media with effusion” refers generally to the existence of fluid in your child’s middle ear.

Generally, it is asymptomatic and usually is detected during “well-child” examinations, the infection normally is caused by constant scratching, moisture like during swimming in the pool or placing objects in the “ear canal”.

Signs & Symptoms of Ear Infections or Hearing Loss

Hearing loss signs

If one or more of these processes fail, then you get hearing loss. In general, there are three types of hearing loss. These are the conductive hearing loss, the sensor neural hearing loss, and the mixed hearing loss.

Conductive hearing loss is a disorder if either the outer ear or the middle ear prevents the sound from getting into the inner part of the ear. If you have this problem, the sounds you hear are faint and distorted. This is mainly due to ear canal infection, wax build-up or the presence of a foreign object in the ear canal.

Sensor neural hearing loss happens if the nerves in the inner ear become damaged. They cannot transmit the signals to the brain. People with this illness say that they hear speech as mumbles or they are able to hear that you are saying something but can't understand it at all. This is common to old people. Other than age, the factors that contribute to this type of hearing loss are injury, diabetes, meningitis, or even heredity, among others.

Mixed hearing loss comes about when these two are combined. This means the patient has problems with all the components of the ear. He has acquired both conductive and sensor neural hearing loss.

Identifying hearing loss especially in children and infants necessitates meticulous observation, systematic medical examination as well as audiological testing.

• You need to raise your voice consistently in order to get your child's attention.
• Your child frequently asks "huh?" or "what?" when you are talking to him.
• Your child’s response to sounds is inconsistent, at times hearing it while other times may not.
• Your child had suffered some sort of ear infection.
• Your child complains that his ears are painful.
• Your watches T.V. with very high volume level.
• Your child's speech very poor compared to other his age.
• Your child seldom uses verbal language.
• Your child asks frequently that you repeat what you have said.

How to Identify and Cope with Hearing Loss in Your Child

What is a middle ear infection?

A middle ear infection is an infection of the air-filled space in the ear behind the eardrum. Anyone can get an ear infection, but ear infections are more common in children less than 8 years old.

How does it occur?
Ear infections usually begin with a viral infection of the nose and throat. For example, a cold might lead to an infection of the ear. Ear infections may also occur when you have allergies. The viral infection or allergic reaction can cause swelling of the tube between your ear and throat (the eustachian tube). The swelling may trap bacteria in your middle ear, resulting in a bacterial infection.

Pressure from the buildup of pus or fluid in the ear sometimes causes the eardrum to tear (rupture). The eardrum is a thin membrane that separates the delicate parts of the middle ear from the air and moisture in the ear canal.

What are the symptoms?
You may have one or more of these symptoms:
• earache
• hearing loss
• feeling of blockage in the ear
• fever
• dizziness.

How is it diagnosed?
Your health care provider will ask about your symptoms and look at your eardrum. Your health care provider may check for fluid in the ear. This test is performed with a small device in the ear canal. A puff of air is blown into the ear and movement of the eardrum is measured. If there is fluid behind the eardrum, the membrane will not move well.

Symptoms for otitis externa and otitis media

Symptoms for otitis media

Following are the symptoms for otitis media
• Pain and itch in the infected ear
• Fever and falling sick
• Hearing problem in the infected ear
• Dizziness in some cases
• Fluid discharge from the infected ear
• Vomiting.

Depending upon the symptoms we can know which section of the ear has problem. Both otitis externa and otitis media have different symptoms. Symptoms of otitis externa are mild itching or pain, swelling, thick discharge from the ear, hearing loss.

The most common symptom of otitis media is mild pain in the ear. Besides this, some other symptoms are fever, hearing loss and occasional discharge from the ears. Infants may show symptoms like diarrhea, poor feeding, irritability and so on.

Symptoms for otitis externa

Following are the symptoms of otitis externa
• Itch in the infected ear
• Discharge from the infected ear
• Pain getting more severe by movement of the ear lobe or the jaw
• Temporary reduction in hearing
• Slight fever
• Inflammation in the ear.

What Causes Ear Infections or Hearing Loss ?


How otitis media occurs

Compared to adults, it is difficult for kids to fight infection leading to ear infections.

Otitis media generally occurs when bacteria or viruses get inside your child’s ear then cause infection. Usually this is an outcome of another ailment like cold or flu.

Researchers affirm that being around smoke from cigarette can also play a part to otitis ear infections.

Causes for otitis media
The main cause of otitis media is blockage of the Eustachian tube due to cold, allergy or some foreign particles in the ear. This causes fluid to build up in the middle ear. This fluid can cause swelling of the ear drum if infected by the virus. If adenoid glands interfere with the Eustachian tube it will cause otitis media. Weak immune system will not cure the infection.

Causes for otitis externa
Otitis externa is caused by the bacteria or fungi. Moist and wet conditions are favorable for the growth of these bacteria or fungi. Frequent swimming or exposure to water increases the chances of infection. Skin allergies can also cause otitis externa.

Other causes of ear infection
Besides all these some other factors like nutritional deficiency, allergy and other infections may also cause ear infection.

The two main causes of earache are the infection of the outer ear and the middle ear called otitis externa and otitis media in medical parlance. Otitis externa is the skin infection of the ear canal which often occurs after swimming. It is also called swimmer's ear.

Otitis media is the infection of the middle ear and eardrum. It is commonly seen in infants and children. Ear ache may also be caused due to ear infection or any ear disease, nose, mouth, or throat infection, injury to jaw bones, an insect in the ear, fungus growth in the ear, wax buildup in the ear and so on.

What Causes Hearing Loss

Our sense of hearing is one of the wonderful gifts that are bestowed upon human beings. Hearing gives us the ability to perceive sound and listen to the world around us. Hearing allows us to enjoy music. Hearing makes us appreciate the calm sound of nature. And most of all, it gives us the ability to communicate with one another.

Hearing loss can be caused by many factors. Some factors are so evident we can actually prevent it while others could be something that we do not have control of. In order for you to understand what causes hearing loss with the aim to avoid it, follow the information below:

1. Ear infection. An ear infection could be characterized in many ways. It can affect the inner ear, the middle ear, or the outer ear. Ear infection could also arise due to poor hygienic practices.

2. Wax build-up. The ears have fluid in them. That fluid comes in contact with the dirt around us. Once that happens, wax is formed in the ears. If not cleaned regularly, it could build up to the extent that it would cause the person not to hear well.

3. Foreign objects in the ear canal. Anything inside the ear, no matter how small it is, would cause a person not to hear properly. It may also lead to ear infection if not removed right away.

4. Tumors. Tumors, if it grows inside the ear, would definitely cause hearing loss. Tumors are unusual growths. Once you see a tumor growing in your ear or in any part of your body, you should consult to the physician right away to check it, as it may grow so big it affects the rest of your body.

5. Injuries. Injuries to the ear would surely cause hearing loss. There are also injuries that are not directed to the ears but cause hearing problems. Common injuries, mostly to the head would contribute to the state.

6. Excessive exposure to noise. People who are always in a place where there is loud music or sound will gradually have hearing problems. This is also go true with people that are fond of using headphones and playing the songs too loud through those headphones.

7. Viral infections. In children, hearing loss can occur if and when they contracted viral diseases such as measles or mumps. These illnesses are known to affect the sense of hearing in children and they would continue to have problems with it until they are full-grown adults. It is then advisable for parents to consult a pediatrician when symptoms of these diseases show.

8. Ototoxic drugs. There are medicines that can cause hearing problems. These medicines are for an entirely different disease, but the side effects are causing hearing loss. It is very important to ask your doctor of all the possible side effects of the drugs you take in so that you can be informed accordingly.

9. Certain Diseases. There are a lot of diseases that can directly cause hearing loss. Some of these are meningitis, diabetes, high fever, stroke, or Meniere's disease. If you have contracted these diseases sometime before, it could be the reason why you are having hearing problems now.

10. Heredity. There are cases that everything in your body checks well but you are having hearing problems apparently for no reason at all. It may be because you have this problem in your blood. Your DNA causes the problem. Somebody in your lineage may have the same hearing loss problem and it was passed on to you.

These are the common reasons why a person has hearing problems. There are still other causes not stated here. At the first signs of a hearing problem, go to your doctor right away. It is not good to wait because hearing loss, if ignored, may lead to deafness.

Your ears are very important. Hearing allows you to appreciate all the sounds around you. It enables you to communicate properly. It is a must to take care of your ears because without them, you won't be able to live your life to the fullest.

Risk Factors:

Hearing Loss – Are You At Risk?
Our modern world is filled with hundreds of different sounds that we experience in our daily lives. Take, for example, a normal working adult. He is greeted in the morning by the shrill sound of the alarm clock. The loud voices of the reporters on the morning news program on the television or radio coming out of the speakers.

Out on the road, there is the shrill cutting volume of the music on the car radio or CD player accompanying the honking horns of the automobiles during rush hour traffic.

Various sounds emanate from an assortment of technological devices inside the office building, such as copier machines, computer speakers, raised voices in meetings, the clicking of the keyboards, and a whole lot more. You go through this routine for a significant amount of time per day, five days a week.

For the weekends, one might watch a football game at the stadium, with 80,000 people screaming together, or go to an amusement park with the family and hear the noises the rides make.

Keep in mind that this is just one small example of what a typical individual goes through each day. After several years of going through this routine, he/she might experience gradual hearing loss due to the accumulated volume of different sounds and noises over the years. You can be that same person, so it would benefit you if you find out now if you are at risk for hearing loss.

Among those at risk, particularly in today’s generation, are the ones who frequently listen to their MP3 players, and/or iPods. Research has suggested that there is an increase in hearing loss in the youth of today, many of whom can be seen with earphones wedged inside their ears.

The earphones (or headphones, in some cases) are the bridge between the music from the device to the ear canal. Since the sounds go directly into the ears, outside noise can be drowned out by simply increasing the volume, thereby allowing the user to enjoy the music without interruption – but at a costly price.

Obviously, increasing the volume means exposing the ears to greater levels of strain, which in the future could diminish and cost that person his hearing.

Of course, the duration of the exposure to high decibel levels is also a major factor. If you tend to listen to music at around 85 decibels only (as opposed to 100 or above), but for over eight hours a day, it could potentially lead to hearing loss as you grow older.

If you’re a person that doesn’t use any MP3 players, iPods, or the like, it does not mean that you are exempted from possible hearing loss. In fact, every individual is at risk if he or she does not take the proper precautions in protecting their ears.

Factory workers are at risk because of the excessive noise levels most, if not all, of the machines make. Beauticians and those who work in the salon are at a similar risk – this is because of those noisy hair dryers and blowers. Gardeners have their lawn mowers to worry about, since they too make a lot of noise.

Law enforcement officials and protection agencies have their sirens and guns as cause for concern in terms of decibel levels – they are over 120 db, which could hurt the ears a lot, particularly for continuous periods of time.

Whatever the case, a person is almost always at risk, depending on his/her lifestyle and the various occupational hazards they occur. What is important is to try and protect yourself from these possible dangers.

How Are Dizziness and Vertigo Related
Vertigo is the sensation of whirling or spinning, which occurs as a direct result of disturbance to one's balance or equilibrium. Dizziness is the term most widely used to describe this feeling.

There are two kinds of vertigo, the subjective vertigo, which means a person senses a movement, or the objective vertigo, wherein the person has a perception that the things around him are moving.

Vertigo is actually a symptom, and not a disease in itself. Usually, it is a result of a disorder in the vestibular system. The vestibular system is the structure, which consists of the inner ear, the vestibular nerve, the brainstem, and the cerebellum. It is also the system responsible for integrating the sensory stimuli, as well as your movements. It also keeps the object you see in visual focus, even if your body is moving.

In reality, vertigo and dizziness are the symptoms of Meniere's Disease. The disease is characterized by a very disturbing illness. It presents the patients with hearing loss, as well as pressure in the ear. People who have this disease also have what is called tinnitus and a severe imbalance.
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How can I prevent an ear infection from occurring?

• If you tend to get ear infections often, ask your health care provider if you need to be checked for allergies. Getting treatment for allergies may help prevent ear infections.

• Ask if using decongestants when you have a cold may help prevent you from getting ear infections.

Ear Infections in Children

Middle ear infection is a very common problem faced by children. Even infants below two years could face this problem. Infection in the ear is caused by germs and viruses.

They enter the human body and grow to cause infection, affecting the normal functioning of the body. Similarly, germs can enter the ears. Depending on the location of infection, the infections are named.

The human ear can be divided into the inner part, middle part and outer part. When the outer ear is infected by germs, the infection is known as swimmer’s ear.

When the inner part of the ear gets infected, it is called middle ear infection. The germs infect the middle portion of the ear and fill that area with pus or a yellow gooey liquid. This liquid has cells which fight germs.

The middle part of the ear is shaped in the form of a tiny air pocket. It is located at the back of the eardrum. And when the pus begins to fill in this area, the ear feels like a filled balloon which is on the verge of popping. This feeling is really painful.

The throat is connected to the middle portion of the ear through a channel known as Eustachian tube and in fact middle portions of both the ears are connected to the throat by two Eustachian tubes. The job of these tubes is to allow the free movement of air, from the middle ear, in and out direction.

Infants below three years have less developed and smaller Eustachian tubes and therefore are less capable of keeping germs completely out of the middle ear. As the child grows, so do the Eustachian tubes and the more capable they are of keeping germs outside, but they still face some problem.

Usually kids, who have allergic problems and catch cold very frequently, are more prone to get ear infections. When the child gets cold, the Eustachian tube gets obstructed which allow germs to get into the middle ear. And the germs which gain entry, multiply rapidly resulting in a middle ear infection.

The child gets a fever along with the ear pain. Some even find it difficult to hear because of the blockage. Middle ear infection is not contagious, but the cold caught from others can eventually result in an ear infection. The sooner the doctor is contacted, the better for the child and the rest of the family members.

The doctor will check the ear with the help of an otoscope. It is a special flashlight which makes the eardrum visible. The eardrum is a thin membrane separating the outer ear from the middle ear.

The otoscope can also be used to blow a puff of air into the ear. This determines whether the ear drum is functioning normally and is moving in a healthy way or not. Because of the puss formation due to the infection, the fluid will press against the ear drum and may even make it to bulge. Also, the eardrum can turn red because of the infection.

The doctor will prescribe a pain reliever to be taken for the next two days. Antibiotics will be prescribed if the infection is caused because of bacteria, which will end the infection within a couple of days.

Incase, the doctor recommends an antibiotic, the cycle must be completed as told by the doctor, otherwise there can be a possibility of re-infection. Few children who get ear infections frequently will have to undergo other tests such as tympanogram and audiogram.

Children can take some steps to avoid ear infection. They must wash their hands regularly. They must keep away from people who are infected with cold. And if they do come near or in contact with an infected person, they should wash their hands and should not touch their eyes or nose. Parents, who smoke, should not do it near the kid as the tobacco smoke can be responsible for the malfunctioning of the Eustachian tube.


Preventing Hearing Loss

There are several ways to reduce the risk of future hearing loss. You may choose to wear ear protectors, such as earplugs and earmuffs. Earplugs are usually worn by musicians in order to preserve their ears, due to the noise level they create while performing music.

Ordinary people can follow their example by using earplugs while knowingly passing through in high-decibel level areas, such as construction sites. Earmuffs are usually seen in firing ranges and can help those who are exposed to excessive decibel levels constantly.

Limiting noise exposure will go a long way in helping you. If you know you have to pass through a noisy place, avoiding it will be beneficial. Even simply going to a quiet and tranquil place can help give your ears the rest they need. This is a good alternative to spending your weekends.

Avoid potential loss of hearing. Start taking precautions now.

When to seek Medical Advice:

Otitis media effects

An untreated otitis media infection can move from the “middle ear” throughout the neighboring head parts, counting the brain as well and can result to hearing impairment permanently when left untreated.

Hearing loss happens when fluid build-up impedes the eardrum’s ability and causes the “middle ear bones” to freely move. Excessive fluid also can put much weight on your child’s eardrum and eventually tear it.

Likewise, persistent fluid in your child’s middle ear can lessen your child’s hearing capability at a critical time for language and speech development.


Otitis media generally is diagnosed on the basis of one in two tests so as to verify the fluid’s presence behind your child’s eardrum.

In the pneumatic otoscopy test, your physician employs an otoscope so to search for fluid, examine eardrum appearance and observe how well does the eardrum move.

In a tympanography testing, your physician utilizes a typanogram in order to establish the state of the eustachian tube as well as the eardrum’s movement.

Your child may have “acute otitis media” if:
• There is fluid present behind your child’s eardrum
• Your child complains of ear pain
• Fever
• Your child’s eardrum is either yellow or bulging red

Your child may have “otitis media with effusion” if:
• There is fluid present behind your child’s eardrum
• The eardrum can not move freely
• The child does not feel pain and has no fever as well as no yellow or bulging red eardrum

When observing anything abnormal or unusual that you notice with your children, never ignore it; take notice and consult your pediatrician at once. It is always better to be safe now, than to be sorry later.

If you think you have hearing problems, consult with an audiologist right away, so that the problem be corrected quickly. The audiologist is an ear expert, and they can attend to your problem and address your health questions accordingly. You just have to make an appointment with their office.

The ears are such an important part of the body. Take care of your hearing accordingly. Do everything that you can to preserve the way it works.

Losing your sense of hearing is unthinkable. You will miss a lot of things around you. You won't be able to appreciate good music. You won't be able to communicate with other people even. The ears have such an important role in our body. Do not take your hearing for granted, especially as you grow old.

Hearing tests are conducted with an individual that is believed to have hearing problems. In a hearing test, the attending physician will be able to determine the degree of hearing loss one has. It also determines if only one ear has a problem or both. The doctor will also know exactly where the problem lies, if it is in the inner ear, the outer ear, or the middle ear, so that it can be treated as necessary.

The graphs of the audiogram, which is the chart where the hearing test results are recorded, would also show the loudness and the pitch that the person can hear, in contrast to what he can't. It will show the sound frequencies that you hear the best and the frequencies you hear the worst.

Undergoing tests
When you notice a hearing problem, have your child undergo a “hearing test” and other hearing evaluations.

Behavioral testing
Behavioral hearing assessments are employed with children that can already respond well to sounds through head turning their or through playing some sort of a game.

Behavioral tests offer 3 main parts of information:
• Measure the amount or degree of a child’s hearing loss.
• locate the problem
• provide data about how hearing loss can impact your child's ability to communicate.

“Auditory Brainstem Response” Testing
When behavioral testing does not provide accurate results in some children and infants, an “Auditory Brainstem Response Test” or ABR is recommended.

ABR provides useful information regarding the amount and type of “hearing loss”, its effect on the child’s communication skills as well as the hearing nerve’s functioning.

Otoacoustic Emissions
This measures “otoacoustic emissions-sound” generally sent out by the child’s inner ear.

Some kind of tiny microphone is usually placed into the “ear canal” then the sounds therein are analyzed through a computer.

Medical evaluations
1. Otolaryngology. Here, an otolaryngologist finalizes the medical evaluation of your child’s hearing system then obtains a complete medical history.

If there is a problem, the otolaryngologist is able to establish if surgical or medical treatment can make it better.

2. Medical genetics. Its main purpose is to, if possible, establish the hearing loss cause.

This evaluation includes your family’s medical history, physical examination, review and evaluation of birth records as well as hearing tests.

3. Ophthalmology. Because in some cases children can have visual difficulties other than hearing loss, an investigation by your ophthalmologist may be recommended.

This is done because often, children suffering from hearing loss depend more on “visual” cues compared to children of normal hearing.

It is a fact that hearing loss or difficulty can greatly slow down or delay your child’s development. When your child cannot clearly hear, this limits his capability to learn and communicate well.

However, an important note to keep in mind is that if hearing loss or difficulty is recognized as early as possible, most children progress with normal intellect and lead productive lives. As a parent, never ignore the signs; never wait until it’s too late.

Treatment/Therapy for Ear Infections or Hearing Loss:


How is it treated?

“Acute otitis media” or AOM is generally treated with antibiotics taken orally; amoxicillin generally is the “first-line” antibiotic “acute otitis media” treatment.

However, recent studies have shown that the symptoms of ear infections often go away in a couple of days without antibiotics.

Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics, and the medicine may cause side effects. For these reasons, your health care provider may wait 1 to 3 days to see if the symptoms go away on their own before prescribing an antibiotic.

Your provider may recommend a decongestant (tablets or a nasal spray) to help clear the eustachian tube. This may help relieve pressure in the middle ear. For pain take a nonprescription pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Carefully follow the directions for using medicines, even if they are nonprescription.

How long will the effects last?

In most cases you should feel better in 2 to 3 days.
If you are taking an antibiotic and your eardrum has not returned to normal when your provider examines you again, you may need to take a different antibiotic or other medicine. In this case, it may take another 1 to 2 weeks before your ear feels normal again.

Children with AOE or “otitis media with effusion” typically do not require antibiotics because the fluid normally does not disturb children and it virtually disappears after 3-6 weeks. However, when the fluid in the ear still exists even after months and causing hearing difficulties, antibiotics will help.

Unnecessary antibiotics in fact may be harmful because after every sequence of antibiotics, more likely children can bear resistant or already immune bacteria. And these are not typically killed or destroyed by common antibiotics, so that when kids get resistant bacteria infections; it can be hard to cure or treat the infection and will require high-priced antibiotics or antibiotics through injections.

Therefore, because “otitis media with effusion” AOE does bother children, you should wait and only give antibiotics when needed.

Natural Alternative Remedies for infected ear

Put few drops of garlic juice into the infected ear. Use blow dryer from about 12 to 15 inches from your head, this will remove any water trapped in the Eustachian tube. Put some olive oil on the warm spoon; put 2 to 3 drops of this in each ear.

Put few drops of lobelia extract into the infected ear and rub it gently. Wash your ear using colloidal silver, it is a natural antibiotic. Slightly warm one teaspoon of juice of the mango leaf and put it into the infected ear drop by drop.

Pour some garlic juice in the paining ear; its antibiotic qualities will help to relieve the pain. If your earache is due to rise in altitude than just chew gum or yawn. This will contract the muscles and open the Eustachian tubes. For swimmer's ear, put some mineral oil in both ears before going in the water.

Apply some heat to your aching ear using a heating pad or a warm cloth. Put few drops of hydrogen peroxide in the aching ear. Put two drops of holy basil leaves’ juice in the aching ear.

Take Vitamin C and increase zinc intake
Take vitamin C to boost your immune system, it will help you to combat infection. Increase Zinc intake, it reduces ear infection. Eat a healthy diet with lots of calcium in it. Avoid processed foods and hydrogenated oils. Stress on breast feeding for infection in infants.

Other suggestions for ear infection
Avoid going in front of any one smoking because cigarette smoke can block Eustachian tubes. Avoid accompanying people suffering from cold. Wash your hands regularly. Avoid touching nose and eyes.

Vitamin C Diet
Most commonly earache is a result of an ear infection. Take Vitamin C to boost your immune system. It is a natural antibiotic and antihistamine that helps to reduce inflammation and fever. Include zinc in your diet because it reduces ear infection. Certain foods, more commonly dairy products like milk, butter, cheese etc tend to aggravate ear infections, so it is better to avoid them during an ear infection.

Other suggestions
Clean your ear professionally regularly. This will remove all the dirt or any object which must be residing in and may cause problem later on. Use ear plugs during swimming to avoid water from entering your ear.

How to Treat Ear Wax Problems

Although all healthy ears produce some wax, a small percentage of the population suffers from build-up that can cause significant discomfort and sometimes temporary deafness.

A doctor or nurse will place several drops of warm water into the affected ear, block it with a cotton ball, and have the patient rest like this for 30 minutes. They will then flush the ear several times with a large, dull-headed syringe, with a kidney-shaped basin resting under the ear to catch the water and wax.

Sometimes, they will flush each ear up to 15 times. If this doesn't remove all of the wax, they will repeat the same procedure the next day after the guest has spent a few hours with olive oil in the ears, covered with cotton balls.

Most general practitioners have the appropriate tools to perform this simple procedure. An important precaution is to insert the tip of the syringe no more than half an inch into the external ear canal to ensure that it isn't too close to the ear drum. For obvious reasons, we cannot recommend that people perform this procedure on their own.

Home Remedy for a Painful Earache

If you've ever had an earache, you know how acute the pain can be. Antibiotics are the conventional treatment of choice, but they take some time to work. And while topical treatments work faster, they are rarely effective because they don't penetrate the eardrum to reach the source of the infection.

Essential oils (highly concentrated plant and flower essences) have been used for many years as an alternative treatment for ear infections. And a study recently published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases provides proof that this is a good approach to take.

Researchers induced ear infections in rats and compared treatment with oil of basil (which has potent anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties) and with a placebo. 81% of the rats treated with the essential oil were cured, compared to a cure rate of only 6% in the placebo group.

To administer this treatment at home, blend one to two drops of oil of basil with half a teaspoon of olive oil. Put two drops of this mixture into the ear and use a cotton ball to apply the remaining oil to the outside of the ear. Oil of oregano and tea tree can be used in the same way.

If the earache pain is severe or persistent, see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.


About Hearing Aids

Know the types and styles of hearing aids and learn which will best suite you and you will be on your way to a more improved audible range (of course you must not forget to seek assistance from your audiologist).

Different styles are now available depending on your need, level of hearing impairment, visibility of the device and most importantly what you can afford.

Let’s take a look at what is available.

BTEs (behind the ear)
This is the most common style since it can be used for every type and level of hearing loss. This fashion slings behind the ear and is very visible. BTEs are the most frequently utilized aids especially for certain medical conditions that disallow the use of other devices.

ITCs (in the canal)
It is a little bigger than CICs but smaller than ITEs. Appropriate for people with the normal sized ear canal and for people with minimal hearing loss. It is less visible than BTEs and ITEs but a little more costly. If you are prone to skin irritations and moisture retention this is not advisable for you.

ITEs (in the ear)
It is customized to fit a specific ear and is placed in the concha (this is your outer part of your ear canal) and a small portion of the inner canal. Basically any level of hearing loss can use this kind of device. It also allows people with minimal vision and poor agility to also operate and control it with ease.

CICs (completely in the canal)
If appearance is a major factor for you CICs are the way to go. This style is very undersized it’s barely seen when you wear it since it is nestled deeply inside your ear. Aside from its size this style was said to experience less feedback when the hearing aid user utilizes a telephone. One of the main drawbacks for this style is its cost. It is a little more than regular hearing aids due to its compact size; the technology used was more advanced.

Bone conduction
Different from the rest, this device sends out vibrations or sensations in the skull for people whose hearing loss are conductive and are not permitted to wear the typical hearing aids available.

Aside from the styles you also need to look in the technology that comes along with the device below are types of hearing aids available on the market today.

Analog hearing aid
If the price tag is one of your major concerns, analogs are easier on the pocket. Just ask your audiologist to adjust the device according to your needs. Of course there is a limitation to the degree and quantity of the adjustment.

Programmable hearing aid
If remote controls are your thing then this is the device for you. When purchased the audiologist simply sets different programs in a computer chip inside the device that contains all the important programs. The programs are based on the loudness or noisiness of specific environments and your reaction to specific levels of sounds.

Digital hearing aids
No fuss device. It simply adjusts by itself. It is the best invention made so far. Adjustments are made precisely for your needs and can process sounds that are complex for the common hearing aids. Any type of hearing loss patient can use this kind of device since it will adjust to your needs. Every single type of sound is automatically filtered specially the unwanted noises. The most state of the art can even hear muffles. This device is pricey but worth it. This can be seen from its popularity and pieces sold by manufacturers.

Choosing a specific hearing aid that works right for you entails a lot of work but in the long run your auditory problems will be eased. Care and proper handling of these devices will ensure longer life and better hearing quality so always remember to clean and use only the cleaning materials specified by the manufacturers.

Choose the best device with outmost care and seek help from the professional and you will be on your way to better hearing and better living.

On the Edge: Hearing Impairment Treatments

For those that are hearing-impaired, aside from learning sign language, the most important thing is to find treatments that may alleviate their condition or open up the possibility for a total recovery to hearing. In the past, the only known types of treatment were the use of hearing aids, or other corrective surgery.

Thankfully, research on hearing disabilities has not gone dry. Today scientists are still working on new ways of helping people regain their sense of hearing. Although many of the treatments that have been developed so far are still a few years away from total completion-or meaningful use, it is so exciting to know that many new treatments are on the way.

Not all hearing impairments are irreversible. Some cases of hearing loss are temporary or even reversible. There are even cases of severe hearing loss that can be given treatments to allow some sort of hearing. As technology marches on, you force a treatment have become available-and some of them are promising enough to make even the most jaded spectator hopeful.

Of course, the treatment for “temporary” hearing loss depends on the cause of the problem in the first place. In the case of hearing loss due to ototoxic medicines, hearing usually comes back after discontinuation of the medicine.

Here are a few of the new treatments that are being developed, and some of the other treatments that are now available to help those with hearing impairments. While not all of the treatments listed here have been approved for use, they do show how bright and exciting the field of medicine has become for those with hearing impairments.

At the risk of sounding repetitive, we have discussed some of these methods previously, but we include them here as a refresher.

1. Hearing aids. Fortunately, the technology used in these devices has not grown stagnant. Today, you are technology has made these devices a lot more reliable than they were a few years ago.

You may want to consult with your ear specialist on the newest models readable, as the newfangled hearing aids nowadays are able to project sound better, more efficiently, and with better results.

2. Cochlear implants. Cochlear implants have become popular in people with severe hearing loss. Cochlear implants are devices that are inserted deep inside the ear to assist in the sound making process of the body. These devices take place of missing cells in the year and help generate sounds to be relayed to the brain.

This has become one of the best choices for those with age-related or noise induced hearing loss. It has even become a popular treatment for children who have been just diagnosed with having hearing loss or hearing disabilities.

3. Ear cell regeneration-in a promising development, scientists have been able to engineer ear cells in the laboratory. These ear cells can be implanted alongside cochlear implants to help regenerate lost nerve cells in this ear.

The technology is promising because it raises hopes about being able to cure even severe hearing loss. However, this technology is three to five years from completion. It has, however, generated a great deal of excitement among those watching for developments in hearing treatment.

If this technology is truly able to regenerate nerve cells in the year it could open up a whole new world of opportunity for those with moderate to advanced hearing loss. These cells will make the contact between the cochlear implant and the brain is not more effective and efficient -dramatically increasing how the cochlear implant works.

It would be good to keep a critical eye out for any new treatment that comes on the market. Many notable treatments have come out in the past only to disappoint. Your cell regeneration, for example, is new and exciting. However, it still remains to be seen if this treatment can actually be of any use.

Thankfully, it seems like this treatment can actually live up to its billing. For many people looking for better treatment of hearing impairments, this could be very good news.

It does pay to keep track of the newest developments in hearing technology. Aside from implants, there are new and improved medical treatments and therapies available for those seeking to alleviate their hearing disabilities. Please do consult with your ear specialist to learn about the latest treatments available for your hearing condition.

Self Care strategies for Living with Ear Infections or Hearing Loss

What can I do to deal with middle ear infections?

• Follow your health care provider's instructions.
• If you are taking an antibiotic, take all of it according to the directions, even when the symptoms have gone away before you have finished it.
• To help relieve pain, put a warm moist washcloth or a hot water bottle over the ear.
• If you have discharge from your ear, you can wipe it away and loosely plug the ear with cotton to catch further drainage. If you have a lot of fluid and pus draining from your ear, the eardrum has probably ruptured and there may be a more serious infection. Ask your health care provider how to care for ear discharge in your case.

If you have a fever:
• Rest until your temperature has fallen below 100°F (37.8°C). Then become as active as is comfortable.
• Ask your provider if you can take aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen to control your fever. Anyone under the age of 21 with a viral illness should not take aspirin because of the increased risk of Reye's syndrome.
• Keep a daily record of your temperature.

Call your health care provider if you have:
• a temperature over 102 degrees F (38.9 degrees C) that persists even after you take acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen
• a severe headache or worsening pain around the ear
• swelling around the ear
• increasing dizziness
• worsening of your hearing
• weakness of one side of your face.

Keep all your appointments. Your health care provider may want you to have one or more follow-up exams until signs of inflammation and infection have disappeared.

There are also self care strategies for:
Hearing Loss and how it affects the Quality of Life

How Hearing Loss Affects You Professionally

Understanding the Emotional Problems of Hearing-Impaired Children


It is hard to imagine how hard it is for those children that have hearing disabilities to blend in with normal society. Just the fact that they are usually unable to participate in normal conversations is already a big impediment to their social development.

And when social development lags behind, a child may develop a host of issues and emotional trauma that should be recognized and dealt with while still young. These emotional problems could lead to bigger and more destructive issues that would impair the normal development of the child.

The child, due to the disability, could feel out of place, lowly, lonely, outcast, resentful, and moody. It is very important that the parent works hand-in-hand with a guidance specialist on helping the child cope with this situation. The parent should exercise a great deal of patience and understanding when dealing with the child. This is the only way that children can deal with the social problems they are faced with when out on their own.

Here are some of the problems children experience due to their hearing impairment.

1. Inability to make new friends. Children, especially at an early age, are wont to make fun of, or fear the unknown. This also goes for things that are different. Children can be cruel and since your child, because of the hearing impairment, is different he or she becomes a target for all sorts of pranks and jokes.

This could push them farther away from making friends thus perpetrating the heightened feelings of exclusion and loneliness. And usually, kids that are different are the butt of everyone's jokes and are treated as anathema. Also, being unable to understand what other people are talking about me arise in them a feeling of paranoia. They may feel that everyone is talking about them-especially when people give them odd looks.

Although they may be able to learn how to read lips, this ability may also turn out to be the butt of jokes. Some children make fun of those who try hard to read lips, and try to hide what they are saying behind their hands. Again, it may sound cruel, but for some young children this is just schoolyard fun.

2. Frustration at not being able to express themselves. The hearing-impaired know they cannot communicate properly with other people. This makes them feel like no one can understand them. This may arise from an inability to understand other people properly.

This could cause a heightened sense of estrangement - being different and being unable to blend in with the crowd may cause all sorts of behavioral problems. And since not everyone understands sign language, they may feel that the people they can relate to are limited.

This can be alleviated somewhat by strong family support and affiliation with other people who can communicate in sign language. This could also be a good reason for one with a hearing impairment to seek education in a special school for the hearing-impaired.

3. Suspicion. Most people feel awful when people talk behind their backs. It could increase one's sense of suspicion. This is doubly so for those with hearing impairments. This is because people tend to say bad things about them even when in their presence, thinking that since they are hearing-impaired they would not understand a single word of what they are saying.

However, even those with hearing impairments can learn to understand body language much better than those that can hear properly. So when they see people talking to each other in hush-hush matters, they can read body language and see that they are being talked about.

This can be a very frustrating experience for those trying to get along with other people. This could cause the children to withdraw into themselves. Teaching others to understand these feelings people with hearing impairments experience could do much to help them react properly to them.

Being able to understand what people with hearing impairments go through will help us be able to deal with them in a better manner. Also it will help us educate people who associate with them to understand how what they do affects them.

Knowing how what we do affects other can help us understand their way of thinking better, leading us to be able to understand and communicate with them effectively. Also, being aware of the issues and problems these people go through will help their guardians to recognize and anticipate potential problems their loved ones are experiencing.

Should Your Deaf Child Learn Sign Languages: Strong Reasons to Teach Your Child the Language?

The Effects of hearing Loss on Your Child’s Speech

Diet change strategies:

Preventing Ear Wax Buildup

After unplugging wax from the ear, it is important to address what caused the build-up in the first place. One of the most common causes is a deficiency in omega 3 fatty acids. Some excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids include:

• walnuts
• purslane
• ground flax seeds
• cod liver oil
• cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, and herring

If you choose to use cod liver oil, be sure that your source has been tested for mercury and other common toxins. My wife and I like and use Carlson's Cod liver oil and take 2 teaspoons per day. (CarlsonLabs.com)

If you choose to eat cold-water fish, please try to ensure that it comes from the ocean and not a fish farm. You can ask your grocer or fish monger where his fish is from.

Sometimes, the use of pasteurized dairy products like milk, ice cream, cheese, sour cream, and creme fraiche can create irritation in the ear, which can contribute to a build-up of wax. Incidentally, the use of pasteurized dairy products is one of the most common causes of ear infections in children.

If you know a child who suffers from intermitent ear infections, please find a gentle way to let his parents know of this strong link between pasteurized dairy and ear infections.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are common in swimmers, thus a common name for one type of ear infection is “swimmer’s ear”.

Ear infections are common in small children because their ear canals and tubes are not large enough to keep fluid from accumulating in them when they have a cold or flu. The accumulated mucus can become infected.

Taking herbal cures instead of antibiotics can often help cure the infection. Besides taking herbs to help cure the infection, you can also try making some “swimmer’s drops” to put into the ear.

Herbs for the Ears • Butcher's Broom,
• Calendula,
• Garlic,
• Ginkgo,
• Hyssop,
• Mullein.

• Echinacea – Taken internally, this ancient Chinese herb is known to help treat infections. You may take capsules or a tincture, and is also available as a tea. Note that you may be allergic to this herb if you are allergic to ragweed or other members of the aster family.

• Astragalus – Another ancient Chinese remedy that is taken orally, astragalus is helpful in treating infections, and can be taken as a preventative remedy. Available as capsules or in tincture form, this is usually safe for children. For young children, check with the doctor before administering.

• Oregon Graperoot – The berberine in Oregon Graperoot acts as a natural antibiotic. It is used to kill many types of bacteria. It is taken internally in capsule form, and you should follow the directions on the bottle. Do not take if you are pregnant.

• Lemon Balm – A good-tasting herb, lemon balm is a natural anti-virus, bacteria fighting herb and is also used to help calm or soothe. Commonly available as a tea, drink up to 4 cups of tea per day.

Vitamin & Nutrient Associations

Even when we try to eat well, we're disadvantaged. The nutritional content of most food has been compromised over the years, not only by deficient soils and modern production, transportation, storage and processing methods, but also by the enormous amounts of chemical and artificial substances added to promote growth, storage life, taste and appearance.

It's for this reason that more and more medical authorities are advocating the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. However, finding them in the right combination can be both confusing and costly.

The nutrition products I am going to recommend you make use of knowledge gained from the botanical world's 6,000 year history. They incorporated health building nutritional herbs with the best modern technology to help our bodies cleanse and detoxify so that the cells - the tiniest living units - can be as fully nourished as possible.

This allows the cells to grow, repair and to perform their functions with the best possible efficiency so that we feel and look better and are more able to prevent and fight disease. Once the body begins to clear itself of toxins it can more efficiently absorb nutrition.

You may find benefit from our information on detoxification as well as a bit about detoxing because of change of diet

It may be due to difficulties with your digestive system that is causing your body to be starved of key nutrients, vitamins or minerals. In this case you may find useful answers by reviewing our article on Nutrition For Your Cells. There is also more information here about why is nutrition such an issue nowadays?

It may be that your metabolism has slowed due to pressures that have been placed on your system through life in general or through specific “challenges” you have faced in the last few months or last few years. Review this by looking at our article about balancing your Metabolic Rate.

Further reading through our articles on Ear Infections or Hearing Loss health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.

We wish you well in your search for solutions to this Ear Infections or Hearing Loss problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.

More Resources available about Ear Infections or Hearing Loss :

How Are Dizziness and Vertigo Related
Vertigo is the sensation of whirling or spinning, which occurs as a direct result of disturbance to one's balance or equilibrium. Dizziness is the term most widely used to describe this feeling.

There are two kinds of vertigo, the subjective vertigo, which means a person senses a movement, or the objective vertigo, wherein the person has a perception that the things around him are moving.

Vertigo is actually a symptom, and not a disease in itself. Usually, it is a result of a disorder in the vestibular system. The vestibular system is the structure, which consists of the inner ear, the vestibular nerve, the brainstem, and the cerebellum. It is also the system responsible for integrating the sensory stimuli, as well as your movements. It also keeps the object you see in visual focus, even if your body is moving.

In reality, vertigo and dizziness are the symptoms of Meniere's Disease. The disease is characterized by a very disturbing illness. It presents the patients with hearing loss, as well as pressure in the ear. People who have this disease also have what is called tinnitus and a severe imbalance.
(To read the rest of this article click on the Title above here.)

How to Identify and Cope with Hearing Loss in Your Child
Hearing loss, considered to be one very prevalent birth defect in infants, affects approximately 4 in every 1,000 American newborns.

According to a recent research, about 7 million American children undergo some type and level of hearing loss, 15 percent of which experience “aural impairment” in just one or even both ears.

Hearing loss may have a huge effect on your child’s life. Because communication and language rapidly develop during your child’s first three years, an unrecognized hearing loss will interfere with your child’s language, communication and speech. Furthermore, your child’s hearing loss can cause learning problems and consequently affect your child’s school performance.
(To read the rest of this article click on the Title above here.)

How Hearing Loss Affects You Professionally
Losing your sense of hearing is going to be a big problem, both personally and professionally. You'll know you have hearing problems if you often ask people to repeat what they say. Or you cannot hear the doorbell or the telephone any longer. It is also apparent if others complain that you play the radio or the TV too loudly.

Hearing can definitely affect your personal life because the way you communicate with your family and friends is going to be harder. It goes with your professional career too. Especially if you have the need to converse every time you do your job.

To give you a better overview of how the loss of hearing affects you professionally, here is a list of the most common things. The aim here is to let you know that this problem has to be addressed as soon as possible if you want to continue in your career.
(To read the rest of this article click on the Title above here.)

Hearing Loss and how it affects the Quality of Life
The loss of hearing has such a huge impact on a person and how he relates to other people. The loss of hearing is apparent in older individuals. But it could also happen due to an unfortunate accident that damages the sense of hearing. In either case, it is a problem that has to be dealt with accordingly.

People who are experiencing the loss of their hearing need support and attention. This is a life shattering ordeal they are going through. The suffering is going to be more bearable if they feel they are not alone in the battle.

The quality of life for an individual suffering from hearing loss is definitely affected in many ways. Here are just few things a person could feel amidst hearing loss:
(To read the rest of this article click on the Title above here.)

The Effects of hearing Loss on Your Child’s Speech
Nearly 28 million Americans including about 1 million children have some level of “reduced hearing”, varying from severely deaf to several stages of “progressive hearing loss”.

Hearing loss generally is determined by how much sound volume your child can hear without amplification. Normally, it is categorized as slight or borderline, moderate, mild, profound or severe. The word "deaf" applies usually to a child whose loss of hearing is so massive that your child cannot effectively communicate with others using his or her voice only.

Hearing loss is not often detected until your child is between two to four years 4 years old because the vital stage for language or speech development is generally from birth up to three years of age; failure to recognize hearing loss when your child is still young can have major implications for your child's speech.
(To read the rest of this article click on the Title above here.)

Choosing Special School for hearing impaired
If your child is hearing-impaired, you may be considering sending him or her to a special school for those with hearing problems. However, this is not an easy decision especially when you consider the fact that most parents want their children to grow up normally, and this usually involves sending them to a typical school.

Having your child grow up in a normal school environment helps them experience with most other children of their age experience. However, a hearing impairment definitively hinders their chances of being able to blend in properly.

Studies show that students with hearing impairments go through a lot of stress and emotional trauma whenever they are made to fit in with a social group that has difficulty understanding them. School children, specifically, have a tendency to treat those with hearing impairments differently.

(To read the rest of this article click on the Title above here.)

Should Your Deaf Child Learn Sign Languages: Strong Reasons to Teach Your Child the Language?
Aside from the stress related to the physical inability of the child to communicate, one also has to deal with the emotional stress this type of situation presents.

The problem becomes evident and frustration sets in especially during times when communication has become cumbersome. A hearing impairment makes communication difficult for those who have not been able to cope with the problem.

This may make the child feel socially isolated from the rest of the family when he or she isn't able to communicate properly with siblings or with parents. These are some of the factors that make learning sign language the ideal course of action on for families with members that have hearing disabilities.
(To read the rest of this article click on the Title above here.)

What Are Cochlear Implants
Not hearing anything is a thing of the past. Availability of every single type of hearing device and technology is at hand. One of the well awarded technologies is cochlear implants.

This implants change the way you look to technology for the hearing impaired. In fact it does not only change the way you look at the technology accessible, it also changes the life of the patient.

Unlike the typical hearing aids this implant allows music to be heard and enjoyed. Although it may sound a little different from the actual sound making it sound a little more mechanical, in time the brain will adapt to the different sounds presented and will soon normalize.

Cochlear implants are devices that allow sound perceptions aiding with lip reading by giving sound detection and speech recognition to the patient. It is implanted for people who do not benefit from hearing aids that are placed in the ears.

(To read the rest of this article click on the Title above here.)

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