ear defects

7 Major Causes of Ear Defects and How to Prevent Them.

The Mechanism of Hearing

Many of us take for granted our ability to hear audible sound efficiently until we are confronted with a serious ear defects.


The human ear is one of the greatest masterpieces of God’s creation. The different sounds you hear at different times of the day help you in making an informed decision about your environment and happiness in general.


Your sense of hearing is one beautiful gift that must be guided jealously with utmost care.


Your ability to discern different sounds in your environment helps you to make sound decisions and judgments.


About your health, security, and your safety. Your ability to learn, understand, listen, relax and even enjoy good music are all dependent on the sound good healthy ear.


ear defects



One of the remarkable of all the delicate structures of the inner ear is the cochlea, a small organ shaped somewhat like a snail.


A lot of delicate nerve endings are contained within this tin shell-like organ, and they are all closely connected with the centers of hearing.


At these Centres of hearing the sound waves are changed into electrical impulses and transmitted to the brain. Any sounds entering the outer ear will first cause the eardrum to vibrate.


These movements are instantly transmitted along the delicate chain of ossicles, or ear bones, to the oval window of the inner ear.


Thus any motion of the drum is bound to reach all the delicate structures of the inner ear.


The thick bones of the side of the head, are meant to protect our delicate hearing organs located deep within.


But we should never forget that they can be seriously damaged when exposed to various accidents and injuries, leading to serious ear defects.


It is therefore our responsibility to guide and protect all the structures that are associated with our hearing system.


The following are possible causes of ear defects:


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1#. Ear Defects Generated From Blows

A lot of children have been accidentally rendered deaf or partially deaf as a result of slaps and blows they have received on the side of the head.


These blows may be accidental during playtime at the playground or intentional by some bullies or abusive parents or guiding. These blows can easily damage the delicate hearing mechanism.


Always put in mind that you could cause harm and damage to a child’s vital organs when punishing him physically.


There are other ways of punishing a child and letting him know his mistakes without physically assaulting him.


If you must punish a child, don’t box his ears. You may rupture the eardrum and perhaps impair his hearing for the rest of his life.


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hearing aid


2#. Completely Avoid the Use of Foreign Objects


Many of us a guilty at one time or the other of using foreign objects to scratch or attempt to clean our ears.


The use of foreign objects such as cotton buds, chicken feathers, match sticks, etc. to clean or scratch the ears should be completely avoided.


The ear itself has a natural way of self-cleaning itself by the use of earwax, wax helps in preventing dust, tiny insects, and particles from getting into the ear.


Inserting cotton buds, soft tissues, or any foreign objects into the ear can lead to serious ear complications, if care is not taking can damage your eardrum completely.


Again we all know that children love to experiment. This is how they learn. Sometimes they will stuff some foreign object into the ear canal and then forget all about it.


After a few days, the child may complain of earache and there may be a foul discharge.


In an attempt to help the child remove the foreign objects, try to avoid pushing them any farther into the ear. If you can see the object, gently remove it with a pair of tweezers.


If it is stuck tight and cannot be reached easily, it is advisable to take the child to your doctor for proper treatment.


Remember, clumsy handling may damage the skin of the ear canal and cause further trouble in the middle ear.


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3#. In Your Quest to Remove Wax in Your Ears, These May Result In-Ear Defects

Wax is nature’s way of protecting the ear canal from infection and injury; usually, it is wise to leave it alone.


But when too much wax is present and you feel very uncomfortable, it should be gently removed, preferably by irrigating the ear canal.


All ear issues are best treated and handled by an ear specialist otolaryngologists/ENT.


Do not attempt to dig the wax out yourself. You may puncture the drum and produce a middle ear infection which might lead to permanent loss of hearing.


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4#. Ear defects May Arise As A Result of Childhood Infections

Childhood diseases such as measles, chickenpox, mumps, or the common cold. Chronic tonsillitis and other infections.


If not properly treated may result in an ear infection and consequently ear defects.


5#. Otosclerosis

Otosclerosis another leading cause of ear defects. It is a chronic, gradually increasing form of conduction deafness that often begins in early adolescence. Its true cause is not known.


In this condition, the little stapes bone extending from the middle ear becomes fixed and can no longer move freely within the oval window of the inner ear.


The spongy bone grows around the opening, preventing all motion, and causing a gradual loss of hearing.  Often the first sign of trouble is ringing in the ears.


6#. Nerve Deafness

The trouble majorly affects some processes involving either the inner ear, the auditory nerve, or perhaps the hearing center of the brain.


Most of these conditions come on later in life, but occasionally a child is born with partial or complete nerve deafness. Such children should always be given special training in lip reading and speech therapy.


Older people with nerve deafness often complain of ringing in the ear. This may be more or less continuous.


Nerve deafness in older people sometimes arises from the hardening of the arteries, especially those leading to the ears.


As the condition progresses, ear defects become obvious as the patient may not be able to distinguish between such common sounds as the ringing of the doorbell or a car horning.




7#. Accidents or Injury 

Nerve deafness may also arise from serious accidents or injury involving fractures in the skull following falls and traffic accidents, especially if these involve the auditory, or hearing, nerve, or the blood vessels leading to the inner ear.


Unfortunately, little can be done when these nerves or blood vessels are damaged or destroyed. A heavy explosion may injure the eardrum and perhaps the cochlea as well leading to severe ear defects.


For this reason, men who have to work in noisy areas should always wear earplugs or muffs to protect their ears, for constant noise will eventually damage or destroy the nerves of hearing.


How to Prevent Ear Trouble

  • Swimming or bathing make sure your ears are properly cleaned and dry.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Ensure that all your children are vaccinated against all childhood diseases, which may lead to ear defects, and infections.
  • Excessive loud noise should be avoided when listening to music with your earpiece to ensure the volume is reasonably normal. Avoid keeping the volume high.
  • Use earplugs or earmuffs for protection against ear defects.
  • Don’t get too close to any sound system, your TV and radio volume should be within acceptable manufacturing defect settings.
  • Never use cotton buds to clean your ears, if you feel tingling or want to scratch your ear, just the tips of your clean fingers will do it. An ear specialist should be responsible for draining and cleaning your ears.
  • Take life easy, avoid stressful conditions.
  • Regular exercise such as walking, running, or cycling keeps the blood pumping these includes blood to the ears, which will help in avoiding ear defects.



Most ear infections may go on their own, but others require antibiotics, which are to be prescribed by an ear specialist.


Other chronic ear defects that may require surgery are best treated in the hospital and the decision should be made by an ear specialist.


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