Tag Archives: ear health

Criteria for hearing screening of new born babies

First three years of life are critical for a child to develop speech and language skill. For effective language and communication skill development child need to hear normally. If any hearing impairment is there it should be managed at the earliest.

With modern technologies like Brain-stem evoked response audiometry it is possible to identify hearing-loss within days of birth.

There are certain criteria which needs to pay attention and newborn should be subjected to hearing evaluation:–

1. Parental concern about hearing levels or speech delay in their child

2. Family history of hearing loss

3. History of in-utero (cytomegalovirus, rubella or syphilis) or post natal infections (meningitis)

4. Low birth weight babies

5. Hyper Bilirubinemia

6. Cranio facial deformities or certain syndromes

7. Head injury

8. Recurrent or Persistent otitis media with effusion

9. Exposure to ototoxic drugs

General Ear-health

z-earcare

General care:

·     Outer ear can be wiped with a wash cloth or soft towel. If water goes in after head shower or swimming mere dabbing with towel with head turned to side, cleans water.

·     You can use ready made preparation of alcohol based to dry the ear if you are sure that you don’t have ear infection.

·     Do not put anything in the ear, remember it is not only for pins; it is for ear buds and q-tips as well, believed to be safe and made for ear-cleaning( even most intellectual people think so).

·     Ear is not a cooking-range, does not require oil, garlic and so on.

 

 

 

 Ear-wax:

·     Ear wax is not a disease, rather a protective secretion which comes out by its own where it can be wiped out.

·     Excess wax causing obstruction is to be removed by your clinician.

 

 

 

 Air-travelling:

·     During ascent and descent while air-travelling, swallow frequently to keep Eustachian tube open, infant can be put to bottle feeding.

·     Avoid air-travel during cold/sinusitis, but if not avoidable use nasal/oral decongestant before ascent and decent. 

 

 

 

Cold/sinusitis/Eustachian tube and ear:

·     Do not blow nose forcefully during cold, it forces secretion towards middle ear via Eustachian-tube.

·     Take care of upper respiratory tract infection/sinusitis to reduce risk of ear infection.

·     During infant feeding, keep his head high to avoid milk/fluid entering middle ear via Eustachian tube as infants have short and horizontal tube.

 

 

 

 Noise and ear:

·     Turn down volume of MP3 player/television.

·     While working in noisy area, rock concerts wear ear protection devices.

 

 

 

 Visit your doctor:

If you have excess itching,  pain in the ear, blocked ear, ringing in the ear, drainage from ear, impairment in hearing, dizziness, uncontrolled URI/sinusitis, visit a doctor.

Happy new year and “safe ear”- protect ear from noise

Noise-induced Hearing loss

  • Noise level goes up with new year celebrations, social gatherings, party, music, rock-concert and fire works, and so does people visiting E.N.T. and audiology clinics with hearing problems or ringing in the ear(tinnitus).

· Children and teens listening to loud music are also more prone to develop hearing loss later in life.

· People with occupations involving exposure to noise above 85 decibel over an 8 hour period daily are also at risk. These includes indusries like mining, construction, drilling and agriculture.

  • And now people who love to play golf using latest titanium drivers are at risk of reduced hearing because of noice generated when it strikes the ball. (ref-British medical journal)

How noise causes hearing loss?

Too loud noise damages sensitive nerve endings in inner ear (delicate cells called cillia) and cause sensorineural loss. Sensitivity to sound is different for each person.

Sudden exposure to loud noise may cause temporary sensorineural hearing loss which usually recovers over 24 to 48 hours.

But if sound is too loud, or loud sound is too close or loud sound is exposed over a long period of time(more than 85 db), permanent sensorineural hearing loss can occur.

And 85 decibels is not as loud as you will think. Sound from an ipod shuffle is usually 115 db, and with fireworks it goes at 150 db.

Tinnitus may be presenting complaint for some person.

Protection from noise

Photograph taken from www.visualdictionaryonline.com
Photograph taken from http://www.visualdictionaryonline.com
  • Person working in noise above 85 db should use noise protection devices-ear plugs and ear muffs. It is as simple a concept as using goggles to protect your eyes from UV rays of sun. It is for Musicians also.
  • · People with occupations involving noise exposure should undergo periodic hearing screening(audiometry test).

    · On earliest sign of noise trauma like irritability, buzzing sound in ear or difficulty in hearing visit your physician.

· Turn down the volume of television and MP3 players.

  • Do not stand directly near to the source of noise.

Unfortunately physician can not do much in sensorineural hearing loss except prescribing a hearing aid. So primary aim is prevention and early detection.