Ear Health is Imperative When it Comes to Hearing

By: Betty Vosters-Kemp

Numerous medical conditions can cause issues when it comes to your hearing. Treating those issues can often restore and improve your hearing ability. If a condition is left untreated, you might end up with a hearing impairment or deafness that cannot be reversed. Anytime you believe that you or your loved one is dealing with a hearing problem, you can ensure optimal hearing health by visiting a qualified medical professional, promptly.


Tinnitus is referred to as a ringing in the ears or head which can range from roaring to a loud clicking to a humming or buzzing. Most of the time this condition results because of damage to the miniscule nerve endings within the inner ear. The leading cause of tinnitus is prolonged exposure to loud noise. Maintaining the proper health of these nerve endings is essential for good hearing, so an injury to them may cause permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. As an individual ages, there is typically an increase in damage to the hearing nerves, which can cause tinnitus. People with tinnitus may find relief with medical treatment and/or assistive listening devices.

Swimmer’s Ear

When water becomes trapped inside the ear canal, it can become infected due to bacteria. Since the ear canal environment is usually moist and warm, the bacteria may continue to multiply, leading to an infection and irritation of the ear canal. Although this condition normally occurs in people who are swimmers, showering and regular bathing can also contribute to swimmer’s ear. In severe cases, the ear canal can actually swell shut, causing a temporary loss of hearing. This can make it extremely difficult to administer medication. Therefore, when a soreness or severe itching occurs, it is best to seek medical treatment, immediately.


Specialized glands within the outer part of the ear produce earwax. The purpose of earwax is to trap dust and dirt inside the ear canal, preventing them from making their way to the eardrum. Its acidic nature also maintains the proper pH balance in the ear canal, reducing the likeliness of infections. Usually earwax accumulates, dries up and then, falls out of the ear or gets wiped away when bathing. One of the easiest ways to treat a small degree of hearing loss is to remove any accumulated wax in the ear. Using cotton swabs may only end up pushing the earwax deeper into the canal. This, in turn, increases the buildup and causes a temporary hearing loss due to blockage in the ear canal. Chronic earwax buildup needs to be removed by a professional.

Perforated Eardrums

This occurs when there is a hole in the eardrum or a rupture has occured. Normally, a perforated eardrum is associated with a decrease in hearing, but it can also result in a discharge from the ear and overall pain. The level of hearing loss that the person experiences will depend largely upon the size of the hole as well as the location of the perforation. There are times when the eardrum will heal on its own. However, there are instances where surgery may be required. If any water or bacteria enters into the middle ear cavity through that hole, serious complications may occur. Therefore, it is important to keep water out of an ear with a perforated eardrum. The use of a custom made earplug is the safest way to do this. Physicians can help advise you on how to protect your ear from any water or bacterium entering until the hole has been healed.

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Betty Vosters-Kemp is co-owner and co-founder (with my husband, Michael Kemp) of Avalon Hearing Aid Centers. We combined Michael’s medical experience with my retail experience to create what we call a hybrid hearing care practice. I guess you might say that we’re not your average, ordinary hearing aid company. But then, we didn’t get rated #1 in the nation for customer service, being average or ordinary.

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