Did you know that your ears can reveal a lot about your health? If you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort in your ears, or have noticed any changes in your ears or your hearing health, it’s important that you pay close attention. These changes could be pointing to a serious health problem you weren’t aware of.
Do you have any ringing or buzzing in your ears that bothers you when everything around you is quiet? This is called tinnitus, and is often an early warning sign of hearing loss. It’s estimated that 50 million Americans have some tinnitus. However, tinnitus may be pointing to something other than hearing loss, and could be a sign of an ear infection, be the result of certain medications that are damaging your ears, or even signal a different health problem, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or hormonal changes.
Do you feel the need to scratch your ears? Do they still feel itchy even after you’ve scratched them? Itchy ears often point to a serious problem in your ear canal or with your ear drum, such as a fungus growing in your ears, or an attack of eczema. If you have itchy ears, visit your doctor right away! Other signs that your ears aren’t healthy include a buildup of a white, sticky substance in the ear canal, redness in or around the ear, or white flakes of dry skin in the ear canal. Not only does this debris signal that something isn’t right, but if left untreated, the debris can build up in the ear, impact the ear drum, damage the ears, and even lead to hearing loss!
When was the last time you looked closely at your ears? Take a minute to examine your ears and look for creases on the earlobes. A diagonal crease on the front or back of the earlobe could be pointing to a serious problem. Called Frank’s sign, this crease could indicate a coronary artery disease, or other problems with your heart. The crease is caused by a breakdown in the elastic tissue around the small blood vessels. The cells that are the first to be affected are the cells in your ears and in your heart, so watching your ears could save your heart.
Never ignore an earache! Earaches aren’t normal, and can reveal a lot about your health. If you have an earache, you could have an ear infection, an allergic reaction, or impacted ear wax that’s putting a lot of pressure on your ears. Earaches can also point to health problems outside of your ears. This kind of earache is called a “referred pain” and having an earache could actually be the result of a toothache, a sore jaw, referential pain from an infected piercing or a nasty sore throat.
Hearing Loss in One Ear
Any sudden change in your hearing health could be pointing to a serious problem. It’s possible that you’ve sudden experienced hearing loss due to exposure to one incredibly loud noise, or an evening at a deafening rock concert. However, sudden changes in your hearing abilities, especially if the hearing loss is only in one ear, could be a sign of an ear infection, illness, injury, buildup of fluid, or even tumor growth.
Hearing Loss in Both Ears
If you’ve experienced hearing loss in both ears, don’t ignore it, because hearing loss can have severe consequences to your overall health and well-being. Those with hearing loss experience more rapid cognitive decline, and struggle to communicate and maintain close relationships. Hearing loss is linked to memory problems, difficulty focusing on tasks, and extreme fatigue. You’re also risking social isolation, anxiety, and even increased rates of depression if you leave your hearing loss untreated.
Pacific Hearing Center
If you’re not hearing as well as you used to, or have noticed anything unusual about your ears, visit us today at Pacific Hearing Center to look after your ears and your hearing health. Our team of hearing specialists will help you discover what’s wrong with your ears. A quality pair of hearing devices will change the way you interact with the world, and allow you to get back to doing the things you love, so don’t wait another day, but call us to book your appointment as soon as possible.