Can Independence Day celebrations ever be complete without the incredible fireworks ? And while you must go and see them, make sure you protect your ears from getting damaged by their loud sounds.
Fireworks produce a sound of 150 decibels, way more than the maximum tolerance limit of 85 decibels. Exposure to such noise could not only damage your ears, but is also bad for the heart.
Allergens such as pollen and dust acquired during a trip to the woods could also trigger an ear infection leading to an earache. Other causes can be a drop in air pressure at high altitudes while camping in the mountains or in flights—so you need to be careful while traveling, too.
Earaches, though more common in children, can affect adults too, and can be equally distressing. They can be triggered by an infection, injury or irritation in the ear.
Referred pain, which is pain that takes place in a different part of the body and not at the site of infection, could also cause ear pain. Here are a few tips to prevent an earache.
- Use earplugs to block out loud noises from fireworks or heavy machinery.
- Dry the ears immediately after taking a bath or swim.
- Avoid allergens such as dust and pollen. If a foreign object enters the ear, show it to a doctor.
- Avoid smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke as it may increase your risk of infections.
The Common Causes
A loud noise is just one of the many causes of an earache. The other causes are:
- buildup of ear wax
- changes in ear pressure
- ear infection
- infection of the sinuses
- sore throat
- improper use of cotton swabs to clean the ear
- a foreign object in the ear
- residual shampoo or water in the ear
- infection of the gums or teeth
- skin infection (such as eczema) in the ear canal
- arthritis of the jaw
- chronic facial nerve pain (trigeminal neuralgia)
- fluid buildup inside the ear drum (glue ear)
- a boil in the ear canal
- jaw pain (temporomandibular joint or TMJ syndrome)
How To Find Relief
However, if you still end up getting an ear infection, here are a few natural ways to treat it.
- Prevent water from entering the ear.
- Sit upright to relieve ear pressure, or chew a gum or candy.
- Take a cold compress (or a cold washcloth) and place it near the ear to numb out the pain.
- Tea tree oil is effective in curtailing the growth of a number of microorganisms causing ear infections. Mix 1tbsp of warm olive oil with eight to 10 drops of tea tree oil in a bowl. Put two to three drops of this mixture into the affected ear using a sterile dropper. Use it twice a day to clear ear infection.
- Garlic is a strong antibiotic and analgesic, that not only fends off infections, but also alleviates pain. Mince three to four garlic pods and heat them in 1tbsp sesame oil. Strain when cool. Put two to three drops of this oil in the affected ear using a sterile dropper twice a day.
When To Visit The Doctor?
An earache that lasts for more than two days should be shown to an ENT specialist. If it is accompanied by dizziness, a bad headache, drooping of the facial muscles, pus or blood draining from the ear and fever that is 1040F or higher, it needs immediate medical attention.