Readers recently learned that external ear wounds and cuts have the potential to create hearing loss due to infections. Continue on in our series by following along today. This blog segment will lay out the next steps for treating external ear wounds and cuts and protecting your hearing.

Next steps in tending to external ear wounds:

After checking on the wound daily, it is important to avoid blowing on the affected area. This may cause germs to grow. Remember that the cut or wound should be tended to by a medical professional if it is more than a superficial cut- this is especially true for those on the cartilage area.

The ENT will decide what further treatment is needed. An ice pack can reduce pain and swelling if there are any blisters, bruises, or swollen areas. Do so every one to two hours for ten to fifteen minutes for the first twenty four hours.

For those that do not have medical ice packs, make your own. Use a little bag, put ice cubes in it or a bag of frozen veggies. Wrap this in a clean thin cloth or paper towel. Always avoid putting ice directly on the skin as it may actually increase scarring and “burn” the top layer of the skin.

Always contact your doctor if there was a direct blow to the ear. An immediate examination will help a patient of any age proceed on the right track. When there is a large collection of blood under the skin, a hematoma, immediate medical attention is also necessary.

Another thing to look out for is the bruising of the cartilage area. If this goes overlooked a condition called perichondral hematoma can develop. In high school or on sports channels, you may have noticed wrestlers developing a “cauliflower ear”.

That issue is caused by letting a hematoma go untreated. The hematoma must be drained to reduced the likelihood of a cauliflower ear. Remember to never ignore your ears when applying sunscreen this summer.

Preventing hearing loss at a young age:

If you have young children, always teach them ear safety. Especially when around small objects, children may be curious to see what happens when they put small objects inside of the ear canal. Always teach your children and family members to avoid using cotton swabs or hygiene products close to the ear.

Pencils and crayons are other examples of objects that children often stick into their ear potentially harming their hearing. Take out your child’s earrings before bed. Teach children to wear helmets when engaging in active sports.

Protecting your hearing:

Ear guards should be worn in contact sports such as wrestling and football to prevent lifelong hearing damage. Many parents are concerned about preventing broken bones but the ears are often overlooked yet are much harder to heal. Lastly, avoid ear piercings to avoid injury to the eardrum.

With summer beach and lakes days increasing due to social distancing enforced to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there is surely an upcoming spike in ear infections amongst Floridians. Take proper care of your ears after swimming. Contact Orlando ENT Hearing Center today to discuss what your options are for improving the quality of what you hear every day!

Stop by next time for more useful ear and hearing health news.

Staff Writer

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