Tag Archives: Ear

Tinnitus

Definition:   Tinnitus is noise or ringing in the ears.It may be a the sensation of hearing ringing, buzzing, hissing, chirping, whistling, or other sounds. The noise can be intermittent or continuous, and can vary in loudness. It is often worse when background noise is low, so you may be most aware of it at night when you’re trying to fall asleep in a quiet room. In very rare cases, the sound beats in sync with your heart (pulsatile tinnitus)……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

A common problem, tinnitus affects about 1 in 5 people. Tinnitus isn’t a condition itself — it’s a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.

Although bothersome, tinnitus usually isn’t a sign of something serious. Although it can worsen with age, for many people, tinnitus can improve with treatment. Treating an identified underlying cause sometimes helps. Other treatments reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less noticeable.

There are two kinds of tinnitus:

Subjective tinnitus is tinnitus only one can hear. This is the most common type of tinnitus. It can be caused by ear problems in the outer, middle or inner ear. It also can be caused by problems with the hearing (auditory) nerves or the part of your brain that interprets nerve signals as sound (auditory pathways).

Objective tinnitus is tinnitus the doctor can hear when he or she does an examination. This rare type of tinnitus may be caused by a blood vessel problem, an inner ear bone condition or muscle contractions.
Symptoms:
Tinnitus can be perceived in one or both ears or in the head. It is usually described as a ringing noise but, in some patients, it takes the form of a high-pitched whining, electric buzzing, hissing, humming, tinging or whistling sound or as ticking, clicking, roaring, “crickets” or “tree frogs” or “locusts (cicadas)”, tunes, songs, beeping, sizzling, sounds that slightly resemble human voices or even a pure steady tone like that heard during a hearing test and, in some cases, pressure changes from the interior ear. It has also been described as a “whooshing” sound because of acute muscle spasms, as of wind or waves. Tinnitus can be intermittent or it can be continuous: in the latter case, it can be the cause of great distress. In some individuals, the intensity can be changed by shoulder, head, tongue, jaw or eye movements.

Most people with tinnitus have some degree of hearing loss: they are often unable to clearly hear external sounds that occur within the same range of frequencies as their “phantom sounds”. This has led to the suggestion that one cause of tinnitus might be a homeostatic response of central dorsal cochlear nucleus auditory neurons that makes them hyperactive in compensation to auditory input loss.

The sound perceived may range from a quiet background noise to one that can be heard even over loud external sounds. The specific type of tinnitus called pulsatile tinnitus is characterized by hearing the sounds of one’s own pulse or muscle contractions, which is typically a result of sounds that have been created from the movement of muscles near to one’s ear, changes within the canal of one’s ear or issues related to blood flow of the neck or face.

Causes:
Prolonged exposure to loud sounds is the most common cause of tinnitus. Up to 90% of people with tinnitus have some level of noise-induced hearing loss. The noise causes permanent damage to the sound-sensitive cells of the cochlea, a spiral-shaped organ in the inner ear. Carpenters, pilots, rock musicians, street-repair workers, and landscapers are among those whose jobs put them at risk, as are people who work with chain saws, guns, or other loud devices or who repeatedly listen to loud music. A single exposure to a sudden extremely loud noise can also cause tinnitus...CLICK & SEE : 

A variety of other conditions and illnesses may lead to tinnitus and they are as follows:
*Blockages of the ear due to a buildup of wax, an ear infection, or rarely, a benign tumor of the nerve that allows us to hear (auditory nerve)

*Certain drugs — most notably aspirin, several types of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, sedatives, and antidepressants, as well as quinine medications; tinnitus is cited as a potential side effect for about 200 prescription and nonprescription drugs.

*The natural aging process, which can cause deterioration of the cochlea or other parts of the ear

*Meniere’s disease, which affects the inner part of the ear

*Otosclerosis, a disease that results in stiffening of the small bones in the middle ear

*Other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, circulatory problems, anemia, allergies, an underactive thyroid gland, and diabetes

*Neck or jaw problems, such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome

*Multiple sclerosis

*Injuries to the head and neck

*External ear infection

*Acoustic shock

*Cerumen (earwax) impaction

*Middle ear effusion

*Superior canal dehiscence

*Sensorineural hearing loss

*Acoustic neuroma*Mercury or lead poisoning

*Neurologic disorders

*Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

*Giant cell arteritis

*Metabolic disorders like thyroid disease, hyperlipidemia, vitamin B12 deficiency, iron deficiency anemia, psychiatric disorders,diabetis

*Psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety
Tinnitus can worsen in some people if they drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, drink caffeinated beverages, or eat certain foods. For reasons not yet entirely clear to researchers, stress and fatigue seem to worsen tinnitus.

Diagnosis:
The basis of quantitatively measuring tinnitus relies on the brain’s tendency to select out only the loudest sounds heard. Based on this tendency, the amplitude of a patient’s tinnitus can be measured by playing sample sounds of known amplitude and asking the patient which they hear. The volume of the tinnitus will always be equal to or less than that of the sample noises heard by the patient. This method works very well to gauge objective tinnitus (see above). For example: if a patient has a pulsatile paraganglioma in their ear, they will not be able to hear the blood flow through the tumor when the sample noise is 5 decibels louder than the noise produced by the blood. As sound amplitude is gradually decreased, the tinnitus will become audible and the level at which it does so provides an estimate of the amplitude of the objective tinnitus.

Objective tinnitus, however, is quite uncommon. Often, patients with pulsatile tumors will report other coexistent sounds, distinct from the pulsatile noise, that will persist even after their tumor has been removed. This is generally subjective tinnitus, which, unlike the objective form, cannot be tested by comparative methods. However, pulsatile tinnitus can be a symptom of intracranial vascular abnormalities and should be evaluated for bruits by a medical professional with auscultation over the neck, eyes and ears. If the exam reveals a bruit, imaging studies such as transcranial doppler (TCD) or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) should be performed.

The accepted definition of chronic tinnitus, as compared to normal ear noise experience, is five minutes of ear noise occurring at least twice a week. However, people with chronic tinnitus often experience the noise more frequently than this and can experience it continuously or regularly, such as during the night when there is less environmental noise to mask the sound.

Treatment:
Psychological:
The best supported treatment for tinnitus is a type of counseling called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which can be delivered via the internet or in person. It decreases the amount of stress those with tinnitus feel. These benefits appear to be independent of any effect on depression or anxiety in an individual. Relaxation techniques may also be useful. A program has been developed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Medications:
There are no medications as of 2014 that are effective for tinnitus and, thus, none is recommended. There is not enough evidence to determine if antidepressants or acamprosate is useful. While there is tentative evidence for benzodiazepines, it is insufficient to support usage. Anticonvulsants have not been found to be useful.

Botulinum toxin injection has been tried with some success in cases of objective tinnitus (palatal tremor)

Others:
The use of sound therapy by either hearing aids or tinnitus maskers helps the brain ignore the specific tinnitus frequency. Although these methods are poorly supported by evidence, there are no negative effects, which makes them a reasonable option. There is some tentative evidence supporting tinnitus retraining therapy. There is little evidence supporting the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation. It is thus not recommended.

Alternative   Therapy :
Ginkgo biloba does not appear to be effective. Tentative evidence supports zinc supplementation and in those with sleep problems, melatonin. The American Academy of Otolaryngology, however, recommends against melatonin and zinc.

Doing YOGA EXERCISE daily with PRANAYAMA (specially Anuloma belome , Kapalabhati and Bhramari ) may help a lot to improve and sometimes cure totally.
Prognosis:
Most people with tinnitus get used to it over time; for a minority, it remains a significant problem.

Prevention:
Prolonged exposure to sound or noise levels as low as 70 dB can result in damage to hearing (see noise health effects). This can lead to tinnitus. Ear plugs can help with prevention.

Avoidance of potentially ototoxic medicines. Ototoxicity of multiple medicines can have a cumulative effect and can increase the damage done by noise. If ototoxic medications must be administered, close attention by the physician to prescription details, such as dose and dosage interval, can reduce the damage done.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinnitus
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/multimedia/tinnitus/
http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-tinnitus-basics

Hear, hear

The ears are one of our five sense organs but most of us take very little care of them. And a lot of us are gradually losing our hearing owing to neglect, misuse and wilful damage. The inability to hear properly and the consequent misinterpretation of what is heard can lead to misunderstandings with friends and social isolation. It can also be dangerous, as motor horns, bells, sirens and even warnings shouted may be missed.

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Some babies are born deaf as an isolated defect or part of a complex plethora of congenital defects and syndromes. Sometimes the mother contracts measles, mumps or chicken pox during the first few months of pregnancy and deafness occurs in the baby as a result.

Hearing should be checked soon after birth. Some babies can hear, but develop post-lingual (after speech develops) hearing loss. Minor hearing loss can begin by age 20, with difficulty in hearing whispers and soft speech. By the time one reaches 65, 30 per cent have significant hearing loss while 50 per cent are quite deaf by the time they cross 75. Age related gradual degenerative deafness is called presbycusis.

The ear consists of the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Sound waves enter through the outer ear and cause vibrations at the eardrum. Three small bones of the middle ear amplify these vibrations as they pass to the inner ear, which contains a fluid-filled snail shaped structure called cochlea. Sound waves make the tiny hairs attached to the nerve cells in the cochlea move in different directions. This transforms the sound waves into electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain.

Continuous exposure to loud sound can damage the fine hair on the nerve cells, leading to progressive loss of hearing. This can be occupational in people who work with loud machinery. It is becoming common in teenagers who use “in ear” earphones to listen to loud music prolonged periods. Even soft piano music should not be listened to for more than two hours at a stretch.

Difficulty in hearing can also occur because of the external ear canal being blocked with wax. This can also lead to severe ear ache. It can be tackled with wax dissolving eardrops. A physician can clean it out. Ear buds tend to push hard wax further inwards, blocking the canal further. Pins and other sharp objects should never be inserted into the ear as they can damage the eardrum.

The middle ear is prone to viral and bacterial infections. Fluid and pus can collect, causing temporary hearing loss. Viral infections are unavoidable but immunisation is available against H. Influenzae and pneumococcus, the two common bacteria that cause ear infections in childhood. These injections are not part of the free national immunisation schedule; they are classified as “optional” vaccines and have to be paid for.

If left untreated, middle ear infections can result in hearing loss. The infection can spread outwards damaging the eardrum or inwards causing brain fever and meningitis. It can also damage the nerves conducting sounds to the brain.

Childhood infections such as measles, mumps and chicken pox could cause deafness as a complication. This too is preventable with immunisation. Vaccinations for all these diseases should be completed by the age of two.

Hearing loss can develop because of a defect either in the conduction pathways or in the nerve cells. It can also be a side effect of medication such as chloroquine, quinine and aspirin as well as antibiotics like gentamicin and kanamycin.

A sudden blow to the head, or a poke with a sharp object can also rupture the eardrum. Sudden loud noises can have the same effect. In war zones, there are “epidemics” of deafness where large numbers of the population cannot hear. Children are particularly vulnerable.

Once hearing loss has set in it should be evaluated professionally to assess the severity, whether one or both ears are affected and if it is reversible and curable.

Small holes in the eardrum can heal spontaneously or with medication. Larger holes require surgical repair, with skin grafts. In permanent hearing loss, a hearing aid should be considered, particularly in older individuals. Hearing aids vary in price, size and usability. The individual has to be fitted with the aid that suits him best. Cochlear implant surgery is also an effective but expensive solution.

Tips to preserve hearing:

• If occupational exposure to loud noise is inevitable, use ear mufflers.

• Turn TV and music volumes down.

• Do not place foreign objects in the ear.

• Children should be immunised against measles, mumps, German measles, chicken pox, H. influenza and pneumococcus.

• Women should complete their immunisation schedule before marriage.

Source: The Telegraph ( kolkata, India)

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Labyrinthitis

Definition:
The labyrinth is a group of interconnected canals chambers located in the inner ear. It is made up of the cochlea and the semicircular canals. The cochlea is involved in transmitting sounds to the brain. The semicircular canals send information to the brain about the head’s position and how it is moving. The brain uses this information to maintain balance. Labyrinthitis is caused by the inflammation of the labyrinth. Its most frequent symptom is vertigo ( dizziness ), because the information that the semicircular canals send to the brain about the position of the head is affected.
click & see the pictures
The labyrinth is a system of narrow fluid-filled channels in the inner ear, which is involved in the detection of body movement, helping to control balance and posture.

Labyrinthitis can cause balance disorders.

In addition to balance control problems, a labyrinthitis patient may encounter hearing loss and tinnitus. Labyrinthitis is usually caused by a virus, but it can also arise from bacterial infection, head injury, extreme stress, an allergy or as a reaction to a particular medication. Both bacterial and viral labyrinthitis can cause permanent hearing loss, although this is rare.

Labyrinthitis often follows an upper respiratory tract infection (URI).

Labyrinthitis is rare and is more likely to occur after middle ear infections, meningitis , or upper respiratory infection. It may also occur after trauma, because of a tumor, or after the ingesting of toxic substances. It is thought to be more common in females than in males.

Symptoms:
•The most common symptoms

*Vertigo

*Nausea

*Vomiting

*Loss of balance

Other possible symptoms are:

*A mild headache

*Tinnitus (a ringing or rushing noise)

*Hearing loss

•These symptoms often are provoked or made worse by moving your head, sitting up, rolling over, or looking upward.

•Symptoms may last for days or even weeks depending on the cause and severity.

*Symptoms may come back, so be careful about driving, working at heights, or operating heavy machinery for at least 1 week from the time the symptoms end.

*Rarely, the condition may last all your life, as with Meniere’s disease. This condition usually involves tinnitus and hearing loss with the vertigo. In rare cases it can be debilitating.

Causes:
Many times, you cannot determine the cause of labyrinthitis. Often, the condition follows a viral illness such as a cold or the flu. Viruses, or your body’s immune response to them, may cause inflammation that results in labyrinthitis.

Other potential causes are these:

•Trauma or injury to your head or ear

•Bacterial infections: If found in nearby structures such as your middle ear, such infections may cause the following:

*Fluid to collect in the labyrinth (serous labyrinthitis)

*Fluid to directly invade the labyrinth, causing pus-producing (suppurative) labyrinthitis

•Allergies

•Alcohol abuse

•A benign tumor of the middle ear

•Certain medications taken in high doses

*Furosemide (Lasix)

*Aspirin

*Some IV antibiotics

*Phenytoin (Dilantin) at toxic levels

•Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: With this condition, small stones, or calcified particles, break off within the vestibule and bounce around. The particles trigger nerve impulses that the brain interprets as movement.

•More serious causes of vertigo can mimic labyrinthitis, but these occur rarely.

*Tumors at the base of the brain

*Strokes or insufficient blood supply to the brainstem or the nerves surrounding the labyrinth

Diagnosis
Diagnosis of labyrinthitis is based on a combination of the individual’s symptoms and history, especially a history of a recent upper respiratory infection. The doctor will test the child’s hearing and order a laboratory culture to identify the organism if the patient has a discharge.

If there is no history of a recent infection, the doctor will order tests such as a commuted topography (CT) scan or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to help rule out other possible causes of vertigo, such as tumors. If it is believed a bacterium is causing the labyrinthitis, blood tests may be done, or any fluid draining from the ear may be analyzed to help determine what type of bacteria is present.

Labyrinthitis, or inner ear infection, causes the labyrinth area of the ear to become inflamed.
(Illustration by GGS Information Services.)
Recovery:
Recovery from acute labyrinthine inflammation generally takes from one to six weeks; however, it is not uncommon for residual symptoms (dysequilibrium and/or dizziness) to last for many months or even years[5] if permanent damage occurs.

Recovery from a permanently damaged inner ear typically follows three phases:

1.An acute period, which may include severe vertigo and vomiting
2.approximately two weeks of sub-acute symptoms and rapid recovery
3.finally a period of chronic compensation[clarification needed] which may last for months or years.

Labyrinthitis and anxiety:
Chronic anxiety is a common side effect of labyrinthitis which can produce tremors, heart palpitations, panic attacks, derealization and depression. Often a panic attack is one of the first symptoms to occur as labyrinthitis begins. While dizziness can occur from extreme anxiety, labyrinthitis itself can precipitate a panic disorder. Three models have been proposed to explain the relationship between vestibular dysfunction and panic disorder:

*Psychosomatic model: vestibular dysfunction which occurs as a result of anxiety.

*Somatopsychic model: panic disorder triggered by misinterpreted internal stimuli (e.g., stimuli from vestibular dysfunction), that are interpreted as signifying imminent physical danger. Heightened sensitivity to vestibular sensations leads to increased anxiety and, through conditioning, drives the development of panic disorder.

*Network alarm theory: panic which involves noradrenergic, serotonergic, and other connected neuronal systems. According to this theory, panic can be triggered by stimuli that set off a false alarm via afferents to the locus ceruleus, which then triggers the neuronal network. This network is thought to mediate anxiety and includes limbic, midbrain and prefrontal areas. Vestibular dysfunction in the setting of increased locus ceruleus sensitivity may be a potential trigger.
Treatment:
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a highly effective way to substantially reduce or eliminate residual dizziness from labyrinthitis. VRT works by causing the brain to use already existing neural mechanisms for adaptation, plasticity, and compensation.

Rehabilitation strategies most commonly used are:
*Gaze stability exercises – moving the head from side to side while fixated on a stationary object (aimed to restore the Vestibulo-ocular reflex) An advanced progression of this exercise would be walking in a straight line while looking side to side by turning the head.

*Habituation exercises – movements designed to provoke symptoms and subsequently reduce the negative vestibular response upon repetition. Examples of these include Brandt-Daroff exercises.

*Functional retraining – including postural control, relaxation, and balance training.
These exercises function by challenging the vestibular system. Progression occurs by increasing the amplitude of the head or focal point movements, increasing the speed of movement, and combining movements such as walking and head turning.

One study found that patients who believed their illness was out of their control showed the slowest progression to full recovery, long after the initial vestibular injury had healed.  The study revealed that the patient who compensated well was one who, at the psychological level, was not afraid of the symptoms and had some positive control over them. Notably, a reduction in negative beliefs over time was greater in those patients treated with rehabilitation than in those untreated. “Of utmost importance, baseline beliefs were the only significant predictor of change in handicap at 6 months followup.”

Prochlorperazine is commonly prescribed to help alleviate the symptoms of vertigo and nausea.

Because anxiety interferes with the balance compensation process, it is important to treat an anxiety disorder and/or depression as soon as possible to allow the brain to compensate for any vestibular damage. Acute anxiety can be treated in the short term with benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium); however, long-term use is not recommended because of the addictive nature of benzodiazepines and the interference they may cause with vestibular compensation and adaptive plasticity.  Benzodiazepines and any other form of mind or mood altering addictive drug should not be used on patients with addictive history.

Prognosis :
Most people who have labyrinthitis recover completely, although it often takes five to six weeks for the vertigo to disappear entirely and the individual’s hearing to return to normal. In a few cases, the hearing loss may be permanent. Permanent hearing loss is more common in cases of labyrinthitis that are caused by bacteria. For some individuals, episodes of dizziness may still occur months after the main episode is over.

Prevention :
The most effective preventive strategy includes prompt treatment of middle ear infections, as well as monitoring of patients with mumps, measles, influenza, or colds for signs of dizziness or hearing problems.

Parental concerns:
Labyrinthitis generally resolves by itself; however, in some cases permanent hearing loss can result. Labyrinthitis may cause repeated episodes of vertigo even after the main symptoms have gone away. If the episodes occur when the head is moved suddenly, this can make it difficult for a child to engage in some physical activities or sports .

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose
Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/labyrinthitis.shtml
http://www.healthofchildren.com/L/Labyrinthitis.html
http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com/disorders/unilat/vneurit.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labyrinthitis

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Ears Popping when Flying

Introduction:
The ear consists of three chambers:

English: The middle ear : 1)Eardrum 2)Ossicles...

English: The middle ear : 1)Eardrum 2)Ossicles 3)Eustachian tube 4)Tensor tympani Français : Oreille moyenne : 1)Tympan 2)Chaine ossiculaire 3)Trompe d’Eustache 4)Muscle du marteau (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 – skull
2 – ear canal
3 – pinna
4 – tympanum
5 – fenestra ovalis
6 – malleus
7 – incus
8 – stapes
9 – labyrinth
10 – cochlea
11 – auditory nerve
12 – eustachian tube

CLICK TO SEE

•The outer ear canal which leads up to the ear drum.
•The middle ear chamber behind the drum which is filled with air.
•The very specialised inner ear.

The air in the middle ear is constantly being absorbed by the membranes that line the cavity, so the internal pressure can easily drop, putting tension on the tissues there. Fortunately, air is frequently resupplied to the middle ear during the process of swallowing.

Usually when you swallow, a small bubble of air passes from your throat or back of your nose, through a narrow tube known as the Eustachian tube which is usually closed, into your middle ear. As it does this, it makes a tiny click or popping sound.

This action keeps the air pressure on both sides of the eardrum about equal. If the air pressure isn’t equal, for example if the Eustachian tube isn’t working efficiently or if pressures suddenly change, the ear feels blocked or uncomfortable.

The pocket of air in the middle ear is particularly vulnerable to the changes in air pressure as you go up in a plane.

Click to see picture

The higher the plane, the lower the air pressure around you, although inside the cabin you’re protected, to some extent, from these pressure changes. Pressure in the middle ear remains higher until the Eustachian tube opens up to allow the pressure to equalise. Until this happens the relatively lower pressure outside the middle ear pulls the ear drum and tissues of the middle ear outwards, making them feel very uncomfortable.

The eardrum is stretched and can’t vibrate properly, so sounds become muffled. When the Eustachian tube opens, air travels out from the middle ear, making a popping noise as pressure equalises.

During the descent in a plane, the opposite happens as pressure builds up outside the ear, pushing the eardrum inwards.

Abnormal pressure can develop in the middle ear, pulling in or stretching the ear drum, when the Eustachian tube is blocked for other reasons – as the result of a bad cold, for example, or a nasal allergy – or because it’s narrow as a result of childhood ear infections.

Treatment and recovery:
Flyers often experience what is referred to as ear barotrauma or airplane ear. This condition is caused by the change in pressure between the inside and outside of the eardrum that causes the eustachian tubes inside the ear to swell. The popping noise in your ear is the sound of the eustachian tube opening. There are some simple tips that can be used to pop your ears in an effort to ease the pain and discomfort associated with airplane ear.
The following can help to relieve the problem:

•Swallowing activates the muscle that opens the Eustachian tube, and you swallow more often when chewing gum or sucking sweets so try this just before and during descent.
•Yawning is an even stronger activator of the muscles.
•Avoid sleeping during descent, because you may not be swallowing often enough to keep up with the pressure changes.

The most forceful way to unblock your ears is to pinch your nostrils, take in a mouthful of air and use your cheek and throat muscles to force the air into the back of your nose, as if you were trying to blow your thumb and fingers off your nostrils. You may have to repeat this several times before your ears pop.

Decongestants shrink internal membranes and make your ears pop more easily. Ask your pharmacist for advice. However, you should avoid making a habit of using nasal sprays, because after a few days they may cause more congestion than they relieve.

Few more Tips to releave :

Eat Candy or Chew Gum
One of the easiest ways to pop your ears is to chew a piece of gum or suck on a piece of hard candy. This forces your ears to pop on purpose by allowing the muscles around your eustachian tube to open. The movement of the jaw equalizes the pressure between the inside and outside of the eardrum upon the opening of the eustachian tube.

Ear Plugs
Purchase earplugs that are specifically designed for flying. The earplugs restrict the flow of air into your inner ear, allowing it more time to keep up with the rapid change in pressure. Earplugs can be purchased at your local pharmacy or drug store.

Breathing
There is a special way you can breathe to release the pressure in your ears while flying. Inhale, and then gently exhale while holding the nostrils closed and the mouth shut. Repeat several times, especially during descent, to equalize the pressure between your ears and the airplane cabin.

Use A Decongestant
Purchase an oral or nasal spray decongestant. A decongestant can be used before, during, or after the flight to relieve any built-up nasal congestion, and to open the eustachian tube. For best results, use a spray decongestant 30 minutes prior to landing. If is best to take an oral decongestant 30 minutes to an hour prior to your plane taking off.

Tips For Babies
The best way to control the change in pressure between the inside and outside of a baby’s eardrum is to have the child suck on a bottle or pacifier during take off and landing. It is also important to make sure that a baby does not sleep during descent.

To learn few more Tips You may click to see :How to Keep My Ears From Popping While Flying

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/earspopping.shtml
http://www.eustachian-tube.net/EUSTACHIAN-TUBE.html
http://www.ehow.com/list_6821346_tips-pop-ears-flying.html

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ear-anatomy.png

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Ear Health

Waxy ears:
One of the most common complaints seen by GPs is a blocked ear, usually caused by wax that has been pushed into the ear by a cotton bud.
click to see the picture
As well as the blocked sensation, waxy ears can reduce hearing, cause a ringing sound (tinnitus) and, occasionally, pain.
click to see
There’s no need to clean your ears with a cotton bud. The ear has its own internal cleaning mechanism. Fats and oils in the ear canal trap any particles and transport them out of the ear as wax. This falls out of the ear without us noticing.

When we try to clean the ear, this wax gets pushed back and compacted. There’s also no need to dry ears with a towel, cotton buds or tissue paper. Let them dry naturally or gently use a hair-drier on low heat.

Olive oil can help to soften the wax and enable it to come out. Apply two drops in each ear twice a day. Wax-softening drops can also be bought from a pharmacist.

Sometimes, the wax needs to be syringed out by a GP or practice nurse.

Itchy ears:-
These can be irritating, and when ears are affected with eczema or psoriasis they can cause constant discomfort. But scratching or poking damages the ear’s sensitive lining, allowing infection in, called otitis externa.

click to see the picture

The immune system normally responds to harmful substances such as bacteria, viruses and toxins by producing symptoms such as runny nose and congestion, post-nasal drip and sore throat, and itchy ears and eyes. An allergic reaction can produce the same symptoms in response to substances that are generally harmless, like dust, dander or pollen. The sensitized immune system produces antibodies to these allergens, which cause chemicals called histamines to be released into the bloodstream, causing itching, swelling of affected tissues, mucus production, hives, rashes, and other symptoms. Symptoms vary in severity from person to person.

This can also happen when ears gets waterlogged through swimming. The ear canal swells, becoming narrow and painful. Hearing becomes a problem and discharge often appears.

Treatment requires antibiotic drops and strong painkillers. In severe cases, the ear needs to be cleaned by an ear specialist.

Piercing:-
Anything that damages the skin can allow infection in. This is often the case with ear piercing, especially when the skin isn’t cared for properly during or after the piercing. Follow care advice carefully.
click to see the picture
Many people are allergic to certain inexpensive metals, such as nickel, which can make the outside of the ear swell and feel uncomfortable.

Sunburn:-
The tops of the ears are exposed to the sun and sensitive to its harmful UV rays. Skin cancer affects ears, too.

Make sure you apply suncream and wear a hat that keeps your ears in the shade.

You may click to see :Herbal Remedies For Ear Infections

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/ears1.shtml
http://www.qualityhealth.com/health-encyclopedia/multimedia/foreign-object-ear
http://www.urgentcarect.com/Services.aspx
http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2007/08/01/health/adam/19316Allergysymptoms.html
http://thebeautybrains.com/2009/11/15/what-should-i-do-about-my-ear-infection/

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