Q.How to clean EAR?
Ans. No active cleaning is required as there are glands in the ear which cleans it naturally. No object should be inserted inside the ear canal, only the outer part of ear to be cleaned. No oil or any other liquid to be instilled; give medication ear drops only after consultation with doctor.
Q.What are common causes of pain in the ear in children?
Ans. Common causes are
- Impacted wax (Cerumen)
- Infection in ear canal
- Infection in ear drum or middle ear
- Trauma due to insertion of foreign objects like caps of pen, hair pin etc.
Ear pain should not be ignored and opinion of child specialist or ENT specialist should be taken.
Q.How to prevent ear infections?
Ans:Common measures to prevent ear infections are
- Avoid Trauma: Educate children about not to insert anything in the ear
- Do not let dirty water enter ear canal
- Avoid feeding with bottle in lying down position
- Do not Slap the child as it can damage the ear drum
- Early diagnosis and treatment helps the spread of infection
Q.When to visit doctor?
Ans:ENT specialist opinion should be taken if
- Persistent pain in ear
- Ear discharge
- Suspicion of hearing loss
- Delayed speech
- Difficulty in understanding of spoken language by child
- Whenever in doubt, its better to consult rather than feel sorry later
Q.How long can a child listen to loud music safely?
Ans:Hearing hazard depends upon both level of noise and duration of exposure. It is best to avoid such situations and use well fitted ear plugs especially for babies.
Q.I enjoy listening to loud music through ear/headphones. Will it harm my hearing ability?
Ans:The risk of hearing loss increases as sound is played at high intensity (volume) and for long durations. It has been shown that listening through earphones at 95% of maximum sound volume for 5 minutes (with most devices) continuously will damage hearing. To protect hearing, volume should be minimized and breaks should be taken while listening through ear/headphones
Q.Is there any other function which ear has besides hearing?
Ans:Yes. Balancing and for maintaining posture. Inner ear is responsible for it.
Dr Rahul Varma