As we step into the winter months, ear infections, typically due to inflammation in the eardrum caused by bacteria or viruses, also increase. Though ear infections are much more frequent in children, they can also occur among adults. Inflammation in the inner ear is most commonly caused by a throat infection, cough, flu, allergy symptoms, or other infection of the respiratory ailment — all of which are more common in the colder months. The infection progresses to the middle ear, causing fluid to accumulate behind the eardrum. Once your middle ear becomes clogged and air cannot get through, wet breeding habitat for germs develops.
The symptoms can include:
- Earache or discomfort in the ear
- Hearing loss in the afflicted ear
- Hearing loss due to ear fullness
- Feeling unwell
You may take precautions to lower your risk of illness, particularly during the winter months when they become more prevalent:
Cold prevention should be practised
The more colds you get, the higher the probability of you getting an ear infection. So, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly, especially before touching your mouth or eating and stay away from ill individuals.
Clean your nasal way
The best preventative strategy is probably daily saline nasal irrigation to eliminate allergens and pollutants from the nasopharynx, the bottom of the nose where its Eustachian tube opens.
Get a flu shot
Alongside cold prevention, you need also to take precautions to avoid the flu. A reduced risk of getting influenza implies decreased chance of germs travelling to your ears when you’re unwell.
Take care of allergy symptoms
Allergies may create havoc in the winter, but having them under control helps protect your ear canals from swelling. Oghalai suggests anti-allergy nasal sprays like Flonase or Nasonex.
Maintain a clean and dry environment for your ears
Proper cleanliness can also aid in the health of your ears. Using your finger and tissue after bathing can help. While trying to dry your hair, you could even use a blow-dryer.