Published: 10/01/2014 - Updated: 05/18/2018
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
The ears are a part of the body that should be cared for just like the skin, the eyes, and the rest of the body. A lot of people believe that over time, the ears lose their ability to hear and yet, we can maintain them in the most optimum of conditions for out entire lives if we just give them the necessary care. There are African tribes in which people reach or pass 70 years of age and still have sensitive and very acute hearing. Some researchers say that this unusual hearing ability is due primarily to the fact that these people live in noiseless environments, and their vegetarian diet might even influence this as well. This proves that the ability to hear well is not lost with age, but by certain factors and life habits that over time, deteriorate our hearing.
General care for hearing
- Diet: follow a responsible and quality diet by eating food at certain times. This is an essential factor.
- Avoid noisy places: you must try to avoid noisy or bustling areas. If you can’t avoid them and must be exposed to them, you should use ear plugs, especially if the noises are intense, like living near an airport, for example.
- Avoid inserting hooks or other hard instruments in your ears to clean them. Ears should only be cleaned with a soft cotton cloth, around the external part of the ear. This should be done immediately after showering so that the water vapor can remove superficial impurities. This exercise should be done with the index finger, softly cleaning wherever the finger can fit. Cleaning in any other way, with hard instruments or hooks, causes the wax or cerumen that naturally leaves the ear towards the outside to begin to back up, forced that way by the force of instruments. Sooner or later this could turn into a dirty plug that would block your ability to hear, and could cause ear infections. Inserting these types of products into the ear also causes frequent injuries to the auditory mucosa as well as damages or perforations to the eardrum.
- Stress can also deteriorate the ears’s functions.
- Avoid excessive medications or medication abuse. Remember that health is the result of balanced mental and physical habits.
- Healthy lifestyle habits, like not smoking or drinking too much alcohol, and sleeping appropriate hours.
- Avoid listening to headphones or music at a loud volume because this could cause acoustic trauma to the ear. Young kids are very exposed to this type of auditory trauma, which is why you should not hesitate in preventing this and teaching them about correct headphone use, and a proper volume for music listening.
- Give your ears a soft and healing bath by listening to silence and/or nature. Although you might not believe it, the ears are nourished and strengthened by tranquil and calm environments, or where nature’s noises are heard, like water, the wind, etc. Sit for a while every day and pay attention to far off noises. If possible, lock yourself up in an area where you can’t hear any noise, and enjoy the soft silence.
Ear infections could be caused by several reasons:
- Failing to follow through with any of the previous points.
- From a virus like the flu, for example.
- Accumulation of bacteria that reach the middle ear.
- Inefficient immune system.
- Frequently getting angry by what others tell us or by what we hear throughout the day is an emotional cause that predisposes people to ear problems.
- Sharp pain in the ears and/or head, accompanied by dizziness and fever.
- In addition to following the indicated general care, you must take a natural antibiotic to help reduce the inflammation and eliminate the infection. Eating one raw clove of garlic in the morning before breakfast would be a potent natural antibiotic for fighting ear infections. Also eliminate processed foods, animal fats and refined sugars for at least 3 months, as these foster the incubation of germs and bacteria. Drink fresh vegetable juices during the day, including carrots and a bit of raw onion.
Acoustic trauma is the slow loss of the ability to hear due to damage in the cochlea and the organ of Corti.
- This type of trauma is primarily caused by overuse of headphones and cellular devices. Youth are more exposed to this type of auditory risk.
- Frequent and prolonged cell phone calls, which cause a sensation of tickling, numbness or heat in the ear.
Remedies and prevention:
- Along with the general care, avoid overuse of headphones, even if you listen to them at low volumes. It is advisable to limit use to two hours a day, and do not turn the volume up past 50% of the headphone’s ability.
- Avoid listening to music at loud volumes for prolonged periods of time.
- Do not buy cheap headphones or those that do no comply with basic safety regulations.
- Avoid exercising with headphones, like running, going to the gym with them, etc. This is inadvisable because when doing exercise your body temperature rises and the headphones become plugs that prevent proper ventilation and breathing for the ears. The increase in heat fosters germ incubation and an overproduction of cerumen. This not only damages the ear’s organs, but it increases the risk of suffering from ear inflammation and severe infections, like otitis.
Plugged ears, atmospheric pressure and otitis
Having plugged ears during a change in pressure is normal. You shouldn’t worry about it when you travel or board a plane if your ears get plugged or if you lose a bit of hearing. However, these symptoms should go away after a while. If this does not happen, or if you have an intense pain in your ears because of this, you will need to resort to the follow remedies as you may be suffering from otitis.
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- Intense ear pain due to pressure, generally in a plane, that does not go away. This is due to an accumulation of mucus and toxic substances present in the nose and ears due to either the flu or a cold while travelling or flying.
Remedies and prevention
- You need to follow a cleansing diet for two or three days to eliminate the toxic substances that have accumulated in your body. Take a look at the diet and recommendations for ear infections.
- It is urgent that you rest and try to sleep for a few hours.
- Reduce your stress levels as this weakens the body’s defenses and promotes an accumulation of toxins, viruses and bacteria.
- If you have a cold and you are going to travel, use a spray to reduce the amount of mucus in your nose.
- If the pain continues, do not hesitate in consulting a specialist so that the infection does not develop complications.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 05/18/2018
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