Ear Problems and Injuries, Age 12 and Older
You may be able to prevent ear
- Teach your children to blow their noses gently.
Remember to do this yourself also.
- Keep soap and shampoo out of the
ear canal. These products can cause itching, which can be mistaken for an ear
infection because of the need to scratch or pull at the ears.
not put cotton swabs, bobby pins, or other objects (especially if they are
sharp) in the ear canal.
- Limit your contact with others who have
colds, when possible.
- Protect your ears from sunburn and frostbite.
- Apply sunscreen to your ears and wear a hat
that shades the ears in the summer.
- Wear a hat that covers the ears
in the winter.
- Limit or avoid exposure to loud noises such as
music, power tools, gunshots, and industrial machinery.
protective earplugs or earmuffs if you can't avoid loud noises.
- Avoid the prolonged use of earplugs. They
can cause irritation, itching, and can plug the ear with wax.
not use wadded-up tissue or cotton balls. These do not protect adequately
against loud noises (especially the more dangerous high frequencies) and they
may become lodged in the ear canal.
- Avoid exposing children to cigarette smoke, which
is linked with more frequent ear infections. If you smoke and are unable to
stop, smoke outside, away from children.
- Stop smoking. Smoking
irritates the mucous membranes that line the nose, sinuses, and lungs, and it
may contribute to inflammation or infection of the ear. See the topic
- If ear pain appears to
be related to a problem with your jaw, see the topic
Temporomandibular (TM) Disorders for tips on relaxing
the muscles in this area.
- Take good care of your teeth. Daily
brushing and flossing, along with regular dental checkups, helps prevent tooth
decay, infections, and other dental problems that can lead to referred ear
- If you wear hearing aids, be sure to follow the
manufacturer's recommendations carefully for cleaning and storing
- For tips on how to prevent swimmer's ear, see the topic
Ear Canal Problems (Swimmer's Ear).
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
January 30, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this
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Ear Problems and Injuries, Age 12 and Older Topics