Listening to loud music can damage your ears in: 30 minutes
. “Loud” is 105-110 decibels — the level of a rock concert or the maximum volume of a typical portable music device. But you can damage your ears at 85 decibels — about the level of a hair dryer — if you’re exposed over and over for a few hours at a time. So keep the volume down and try not to listen for too long.
You should clean your ears with a: Washcloth. Never stick anything into your ear canal. Ever. Wash only the outer part of your ear with soap and water. And don’t worry too much about earwax — it’s a healthy part of your body’s natural defenses, not a sign that anything is wrong. If you have pain or itchiness, talk to your doctor.
Ear “candling” is a good way to remove earwax.: False. The idea is to put the bottom of a hollow candle into your ear and light the other end. It’s supposed to pull out the wax, but don’t do it. It’s not a useful treatment for … well, anything. And it can push earwax deeper in, get candle wax inside your ear, put a hole in your eardrum, or burn your ear canal, face, or scalp. See your doctor if you think you have a problem with earwax.
If you don’t want “swimmer’s ear,” you should:
Moisture makes an ideal place for bacteria. You can let them in — and cause an infection — if you cut or scrape the thin skin that lines your ear canal with your fingernail or a cotton swab. It usually isn’t serious. Early treatment with ear drops can help keep it from getting worse.
For older kids, doctors usually recommend this for mild ear infect A wait-and-see approach. This sends more children to the doctor than anything else. Adults don’t get them as often, because the angle of the tube that connects your middle ear to the back of your throat changes after your teens, making it more difficult for infection to take hold.
Symptoms usually get better after a couple of days, and most infections clear up on their own. But if your child is younger than 2 or has severe pain or a high fever, the doctor probably will prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection.
This can help you avoid “airplane ear”: Yawn, swallow, or chew gum. It happens when you go up or down quickly — as in a plane or tall elevator. The pressure in your middle ear is thrown out of balance with the air pressure outside. Sound may be muffled, and you may have mild pain and feel a fullness in your ears. A yawn or swallow can help open the tubes that connect your ear and nose, which can relieve the pressure. It usually goes away, but if you get dizzy or have pain for more than a few hours, see a doctor.
Use this to care for newly pierced ears: Rubbing alcohol. Soak a cotton ball in it and put it on either side of your piercing twice a day to prevent infection. A few more tips to keep your pierced ears healthy: Wash your hands before you touch them; twist your earrings a few times a day; wash your ears with soap and water at least once a day; and leave the same earrings in for at least 6 weeks after you get them pierced — even at night.
Tinnitus — ringing in your ears — may never go away.: True. If it’s caused by medication, too much earwax, or problems with your blood flow, your doctor may be able to treat it. But it also can be a sign of permanent damage to your ears from noise — steady noise (as from a racecar) or sudden (as from an explosion). To prevent damage to your hearing, wear earplugs when you know you’re going to be in a loud place.
Many wrestlers and boxers wear equipment to protect their ears.: True. Repeated hits to your ear can cause cuts and bruises. This can damage the structure of the outside of your ear and make it look lumpy. Any athlete in a contact sport is at risk, like those who play rugby or practice judo. And it changes more than just your look: People who have it are more likely to have ear infections and hearing loss.