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Winter might bring that much-needed respite and chill to have that cozy coffee time, but, this isn't all. Along with the chill, it brings with it a host of infections and diseases as well. If not taken care of on time, then it might lead to serious health issues.
Firstly, let us understand why ear infections increase during winters.
Well, this is because the sensitivity in the ears is really high, when it's exposed to cold and wind. This increases irritation and the trapped moisture or bacteria result in the painful condition known as otitis media (an inflammatory disease of the middle ear).
So what happens is that, the infected material blocks the Eustachian tube and starts developing behind the eardrum, leading to a lot of pain and infection, opined Dr. Sreenivasa Murthy TM, Consultant, ENT, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur.
If not taken care of on time, then it might lead to hearing loss as well. Children are among the worst affected, as their Eustachian tube is shorter and horizontal as compared to adults.
Severe ear pain, hearing difficulty, yellow or bloody discharge from the ears, ringing in the ear, fever and decreased appetite are a few of the major ear-related infections that people develop during the winters.
Listed here are a few of the best ways to prevent an ear infection during the winters. Take a look.
1. Keep The Ears Warm & Dry:
Make it a point to cover your ears, especially when you are out. It is always advisable to keep the ears warm and dry during the chilly winters as the moisture and bacteria when trapped in the ears can cause irritation and result in pain.
2. Avoid Smoking:
Smoking is injurious to health, more so during the cold winter season. Smoking can cause inflammation to the Eustachian tube and this can affect your hearing. If not taken care of on time, then it might lead to a permanent hearing loss as well.
3. Healthy Diet:
Having a healthy diet is very essential, especially when the cold season is around. This helps in building up the immunity and prevents the body from a host of infections. A healthy diet ensures a steady blood circulation and keeps you away from infections.
4. Regular Exercise:
Along with a healthy diet, regular exercise is a must, especially during the winter season. This helps in providing a good blood circulation and keeps you healthy. Exercise does not just mean hitting the gym, even walking, jogging, cycling for about 30 minutes every day helps in keeping one healthy.
5. Personal Hygiene:
Maintaining a personal hygiene is a must if you want to stay healthy and avoid infections. Washing your hands before eating helps in preventing cold and allergies. Due to the cold and allergies, the fluids are likely to get collected and trapped in the ear and cause ear infections. This can lead to pain in the ear and cause trouble in hearing.
6. Good Sleep:
In addition to a healthy diet, a good sleep is also equally important in order to build your immune system and prevent infections. It is highly important to keep cold, cough, allergies and flu away in order to prevent any kind of irritation to the ears and infections.
7. Avoid Going Around People Who Are Sick:
Flu is contagious, so it is always advisable to stay away from people who are suffering from cold and other viral infections, as there are chances for you to contract the flu, which in turn can cause ear infections as well.
8. Consult A Doctor:
If the pain and irritation in the ears continues for long, then it is better to consult a doctor and take the required medical intervention. If it is left unchecked, then it might lead to other serious ear problems and cause hearing loss as well.