Did you hear? Facts about your ears

May 14, 2012|By AMY DULEBOHN |
  • Get to know your ears.
Get to know your ears.

Regardless of the weather, ear health is ongoing concern for many parents. While ear infections might be more common in the winter months, they can also occur in warmer weather, or residual issues might cause problems throughout the year.

Swimmer's ear is a common problem that can occur at any age.

 Dr. Kirby J. Scott of Central ENT Consultants, P.C. in Hagerstown offered the following information about ear issues and treatments.

Swimmer's ear, or otitis externa, occurs in hotter months

Requires three things to happen:

* presence of skin and debris

* warmth

 * moisture

The chances of developing swimmer's ear can be reduced

* by the use of a hairdryer to dry the ears after swimming

* Careful cleaning with the use of cotton swabs

If swimmer's ear does happen, it can be treated with ear drops provided by a prescription

Diseases of the ear:

  •  Acute otitis media, the most common ear infection (earache). Parts of the middle ear are infected and swollen and fluid is trapped behind the eardrum. This causes pain in the ear.
  •  Otitis media with effusion sometimes happens after an ear infection has run its course and fluid stays trapped behind the eardrum.
  •  Chronic otitis media with effusion happens when fluid remains in the middle ear for a long time or returns over and over again, even though there is no infection.

Presence of a foreign body or sensation

This is most common when objects get stuck in the ears. Scott noted carpet fibers or sofa fabric, pencil erasers, Styrofoam. Just about anything that can be inserted into the ear might be. These foreign objects need to be removed in order to prevent infection.

Both recurrent acute otitis and chronic otitis can cause hearing loss

* Recurrent means the issue can be completely resolved with treatment

* Chronic means fluid is present for three or more months
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