Every year on September 23, we observe International Day of the Deaf, a day dedicated to raising awareness about hearing loss and promoting deaf people's rights. Over 5% of the world's population, or 430 million people, is affected by hearing loss, which is disabling. The consequences affect relationships, education, and employment opportunities in addition to the individual.
The Most Common Ear Infections
Otitis media (middle ear infection) and otitis externa (swimmer's ear) are the most common ear infections.
Otitis media is a middle ear infection that affects the space behind the eardrum. It is most common in children, but it can occur in adults as well. Otitis media symptoms include ear pain, fever, hearing loss, and ear drainage.
Otitis externa is an infection of the ear canal's outer lining. It is most common in people who frequently swim or bathe. Ear pain, itching, and drainage from the ear are all symptoms of otitis externa.
Antibiotics can be used to treat both otitis media and otitis externa. However, it is critical to see a doctor in order to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Proper ear hygiene, such as gentle cleaning and avoiding inserting objects into the ear canal, can help prevent infections. Antibiotics must be administered promptly, and risk factors such as smoking and excessive moisture must be avoided.
Finally, International Day of the Deaf serves as a reminder of the importance of hearing health and the difficulties that those with hearing impairments face. We can protect our precious sense of hearing by understanding the causes of hearing loss, implementing preventive measures, and being vigilant about ear infections
Tips to Prevent Hearing Loss
Be aware of the factors that can contribute to hearing loss and know how to reduce the risk:
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Prolonged Exposure to Loud Noises: Prolonged exposure to loud noises, whether at work or during leisure activities, can cause irreversible hearing damage. In noisy environments, wearing hearing protection, such as earmuffs or earplugs, is essential.
Use of Personal Audio Devices: When using headphones or earbuds, limit the volume and duration. Excessive volume can be damaging to the delicate inner ear structures.
Routine Hearing Screenings: Schedule routine hearing screenings, especially if you are frequently exposed to loud environments. Early detection can help to prevent further harm.
Dietary and Nutritional Factors: Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and antioxidants. These nutrients help to maintain overall ear health.
Lifestyle Choices: Avoid smoking because it reduces blood flow to the ears and increases the risk of hearing loss. Maintain a healthy lifestyle to lower your risk of chronic diseases that can impair your hearing.
The article is authored by Dr. Girish Anand M S, Consultant - ENT Surgery, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore.