Have you ever tried cleaning your ear with a Q-tip or something pointed, and then realizing your ear is suddenly blocked, and you can’t hear anything? This is a very common no-no ear cleaning method that people seemed to love doing, although medical professionals advised against that, as the pointed tip may injure the ear canal or ear drum.
Essentially, the ear comprises 3 parts – the outer, middle and inner ear. Based on the following events, this is how we hear:
- OUTER EAR: Sound waves enter the outer ear. It travels through the passageway known as the ear canal to the ear drum.
- MIDDLE EAR: Due to the sound waves, the ear drum vibrates. The vibrations are transmitted to 3 tiny bones in the middle ear (malleus, incus and stapes). The sounds are amplified and forwarded to the cochlea (located in the inner ear).
- INNER EAR: The fluid inside the cochlea vibrates and stimulates the hair cells to movement, changing that mechanical action into electrical stimulus. Next, the auditory nerve carries the signal to the brain to be translated into a recognition that we know and understand.
Ear wax is something that many people may be familiar with. It is produced in the outer ear, by the ear canal glands. Ear wax is believed to occur so that it can trap micro particles like dust, so that they do not infect or damage the ear drum or the inner workings. Usually, it will just dry up and fall out of the ear.
If you suffer from excessive ear wax, or experience discomfort, do consult a medical professional about it. You may be recommended a wax softening ear drop which can help soften and partially dissolve the wax so that it is easier to be removed. The doctor may also flush your ear with warm water.
In the meantime you should also protect your ears as much as possible:
Refrain from listening to music through the ear phones or buds at extremely high volume.
Wear ear plugs if your work involves exposure to extremely loud noise levels such as drilling or other power tools.
Meanwhile, several new developments have popped up in the ear recently. For instance, a British doctor is using 3D technology to create accurate models, and later implants, for children suffering from microtia. The latter is one congenital condition where the external ear is unusually small, and affecting normal hearing. At the time of writing, we also see celebrities Gigi Hadid, Miranda Kerr and others who are starting to wear the ear suspender. Yes, there’s such a new fashion trend!
At the end of the day, hearing is a part of our senses we cannot do without. Care for your ear well, and you would be able to lend your ear to anyone who needs it.
© LOOMI Group 2016
This article is first published on loomigroup.com
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