Dr.Himanshu Thakkar

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You should never try to clean your ears. Your ear canal makes earwax to protect the ear.
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Nose is a 7 cm long narrow vertical tube containing three swellings on either side called turbinates.
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Early diagnosis of cancer is very important for the pre cancerous conditions in the oral cavity.
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How often should I clean my ears?
You should never try to clean your ears. Your ear canal makes earwax to protect the ear. There is a natural way by which the ear canal is kept clean all the time throughout our life. There's an old saying that you shouldn't put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. The dead skin of the ear canal migrates in the outward direction away from the ear drum bringing the wax to the exterior which eventually falls off. An attempt to remove wax by putting ear buds inside the ear can push the wax deep inside the ear or may cause ear drum perforation. The wax which is accumulated near the drum can give rise to discomfort, pain or deafness. Regular cleaning of the ears can cause chronic irritation or infection of the ear canal leading to constant itching or pain in the ear. If you see wax in the ear which is hard put wax dissolving ear drops and approach an ENT specialist to get the wax removed. Just by putting ear drops wax does not come out on its own.

What will happen if I put oil in my ears?
When we apply oil to our body we wash it thoroughly with plenty of soap and water. Just imagine what will happen if you don’t wash. Dirt will accumulate on the body allowing bacteria to grow giving bad smell and itching. The same can happen in your ears. Ear infection can be dangerous. Never put oil in the ear when you have ear pain. Oil can enter the middle ear through the perforation in the ear drum causing pain and discharge which may be difficult to treat.

What precautions should I take when I catch cold?
Never blow your nose with force as this may push infection from the nose into the middle ear through the Eustachian tube causing severe pain and discharge from the ear. It is safer to suck nasal secretions into the throat rather than nose blowing. Do not put ear drops if you get ear pain. Instead nose drops and painkillers can give relief taken along with Anticold medicines.

Can Ear drops help me in ear pain?
NO. Pain killers should be taken for ear pain. Ear drops should never be put in to the ears unless advised by an ENT specialist.

Which ear drops should be used regularly to keep my ear healthy?
Ear drops should never be used unless prescribed by your ENT specialist. There are ear drops which dissolve wax in the ear. These ear drops should never be used if you are diagnosed ear drum perforation or fungal infection in your ear. They can be harmful to your ears. Ear drops that contain steroids should not be used in case of fungal infection of the ear. They worsen the condition resulting in ear drum perforation. Ear drops are mainly used to treat bacterial or fungal infections of the ear canal or to dissolve hard and impacted ear wax before its removal. Ear drops should never be used in case of any kind of ear injury or head injury as they carry infection into the otherwise sterile middle ear. 

What I should do if live insect gets into my ear?
 Insects like cockroach, ants, Mosquitoes etc can enter your ear causing great discomfort. Do not try to remove them. They must be killed first by putting water, oil or ear drops into the ears. Once the insect is killed you are relived of the discomfort. Then you must see ENT specialist who will remove it using specialized instruments. He will also examine your ear drum to see any perforation.

What precautions should be taken following trauma to ear or ear drum perforation?

A slap or a blow on the ear can cause ear drum perforation. Similarly a sudden loud sound either due to cracker blast or train whistles near your ear can cause ear drum rupture. Never put water, oil or even any kind of EAR DROPS in the ear, even if they are prescribed by your GP. All of these allow the infection to enter the middle ear which otherwise is bacteria free. You may feel severe pain or even get an attack of vertigo following putting ear drops in the ear. 
Ear drops should never be used when there is perforation in the ear drum and the ear is not discharging.
Just close the ear canal with sterile cotton and take pain killers if required and consult an ENT specialist as soon as possible.

Is it necessary to undergo surgery for ear drum perforation? What is the danger if I say NO?
If the hole in the eardrum has only just occurred, no treatment may be required. The eardrum may simply heal by itself. If an infection is present you may need antibiotics. You should avoid getting water in the ear.
Perforation can be called safe or dangerous depending on its location.

Safe Perforation: A safe perforation is situated in the lower major portion of the ear drum called pars Tensa. This if not treated surgically can cause repeated discharge from the ear and hearing loss. The operation is called a “Myringoplasty”. Repairing the eardrum alone leads to improvement of hearing and stops further progress of the disease.

Dangerous Perforation:In this dangerous type the perforation is either in the upper part of the ear drum called attic or in the posterior part of the ear drum, eroding the canal bone. In this dangerous type the skin from outer ear canal grows inside the middle ear and mastoid causing infection and destruction of the surrounding bone. Erosion of the balance organ called labyrinth results in Vertigo, a sensation of rotation followed by nausea and vomiting. Destruction of bone over facial nerve can cause paralysis of this nerve. The human face is an animated structure, and when it becomes paralyzed, the animation is lost. The face droops and appears grotesque. The eye can no longer close and may dry. The resultant corneal ulcerations cause blindness. Saliva drools from the corner of the sagging mouth. Many aspects of an individual's social life are seriously compromised. Destruction of the bone between ear and brain can spread infection to the brain resulting in deadly complications like meningitis or brain abscess. Infection of the inner ear can cause Vertigo, Tinnitus or dead ear. The surgery for this type of perforation is intended to open out the disease area that is mastoid part of the ear to facilitate drainage of pus and to keep the area safe by regular cleaning. Surgery does not completely improve the hearing loss because the Ossicles in the middle ear are either destroyed or removed because of infection of the bone.