By Dr. (Major) Vipin Kakar Retd, Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT)
An earache is a problem we often have but don’t pay much attention to. Like that minor leak in the pipes which later turn into major ones, your earache might lead to a number of complications including hearing loss. You can take a look at the causes, symptoms, and treatments of various types of ear pain listed below.
1. Symptoms Of Ear Pain
i. Persistent irritation in the ear leading to pain at times
ii. A buzzing sound in the ear
iii. Impairment in normal hearing
2. Causes Of Ear Pain
i. Fluid can build up in your eardrum. This is known as glue ear and though it usually affects children, adults can also suffer from it.
ii. The ear canal(otitis externa) outside the eardrum possibly infected and this is commonly known as an ear infection.
iii. There can be accumulated earwax which plugs the ear and results in pain.
iv. Throat infections, like tonsillitis, can lead to the ear pain.
3. Hearing Loss
Some things, like age and illness, can lead to ear pain. Excessive use of electronic devices, some medications and drugs can also lead to ear pain and hearing loss. You need to consider these causes which may lead to hearing loss:
i. Hearing often decreases with age. Studies show that about 70% of people with hearing loss are above 70 years of age.
ii. Medications can impair hearing. Antibiotics, loop diuretics, aspirin and other medications for chemotherapy can lead to hearing loss.
iii. Constant usage of headphones and mobile phones has also been said to be responsible for hearing loss.
i. Painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen can be included in the treatment.
ii. Home treatment is quite effective. You can hold a flannel which is cold to the paining ear for around 20 minutes.
iii. Olive oil can help in loosening earwax.