Have you noticed any changes in the appearance of your ears? Has something started to bother you, or have you been feeling any pain or discomfort? You might not realize it, but your ears can actually tell you a lot about your health, and could reveal that something isn’t quite right in your body. Pay attention to your ears, and see what they have to tell you about your health.
Have you noticed any changes to the physical appearance of your ears? Have they changed color, or do you have any strange creases running diagonally across your earlobes? Creased earlobes could be an early warning sign of heart problems, so if you notice any changes to your earlobes, visit your doctor right away! The creases on your earlobes are called Frank’s sign, and it could reveal cardiovascular disease, or diabetes. The crease usually appears due to a breakdown in the elastic tissue in the small blood vessels in your ear, and this sign on your ears shows that the same breakdown could be happening in other cells in your body, causing a lot of problems for your heart.
Do you struggle with earaches? Sometimes an earache can be due to a cold, allergies, or an ear infection. A buildup of earwax, called cerumen, can cause pain in the ear. An earache could also be a sign of something outside of the ear, and this type of earache is called a “referred pain”. You can experience referred pain in your ears from a toothache or jaw ache, or from an infected piercing. Even a very bad sore throat or blocked nose can cause an earache. If you’ve had an aching ear for a day or two, visit your doctor as soon as possible to discover the source of the pain.
Have you felt like scratching your ears? Does the itch stay even after a good scratching? Itchy ears are often a sign of an attack of fungus, or of eczema in your ears, and this needs to be dealt with right away before it leads to damage to your ears, or hearing loss. A sign of a fungal growth is a buildup of white gunk in the ear canal, and if you have eczema you will notice white flaky skin in and around the ear, as well as redness and dry skin. This debris can build up in the ear canal and lead to even more problems.
Tinnitus, that annoying ringing or buzzing in your ears you’ll notice in when everything around you is quiet, is often an early warning sign of hearing loss, and can be caused by exposure to loud noises. However, tinnitus can also be a sign of an ear infection or illness, and could point to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or changes in your hormone levels. There are certain medications that sometimes cause tinnitus or hearing loss, so be sure to check in with your doctor to find out what’s wrong with your ears.
Experiencing Hearing Loss
Have you had a sudden change in your hearing abilities? This is a clear sign that something is wrong with your ears! You can experience sudden hearing loss from exposure to an extremely loud sound, but more often than not, sudden changes to your hearing health point to a bigger problem. You might have an ear infection, injury, fluid buildup, or even a tumor.
Hearing loss has a huge affect on your life, and if you’re living with untreated hearing loss, you’ll soon start to notice other health problems such as difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and rapid cognitive decline. Hearing loss also leads to reduced mobility, social isolation, and a lower quality of life.
Scheduling a Hearing Test
Have there been any recent changes in your ears, or with your hearing? These changes could reveal a lot about your health, and paying attention to your ears can help you stay healthy. Call us today at Pacific Northwest Audiology for a hearing test. As well as testing your hearing, we’ll perform a visual exam to check on the health of your ears, and look for signs of earwax buildup, illness, injury, or infection. If you have hearing loss, we’ll recommend the perfect devices that will help you hear in every situation.