During the colder months of the year, especially in January, cases of influenza and other respiratory infections rise dramatically, causing primary care centers to collapse. So much so that the Ministry of Health recommended increasing prevention measures to avoid infection. The main symptoms of the flu or common cold are cough, fever, nasal congestion, and pain in the muscles, throat, or head, as well as general discomfort. But, in addition, according to a team of audiologists fromOticonPeople with influenza may experience temporary or permanent hearing loss.
When a person has the flu or cold, fluid can build up in the middle ear, preventing sound from reaching the eardrum. “The Eustachian tube, which runs from the middle ear to the nasal cavity, can become blocked by fluid buildup, which can cause inflammation. For these reasons, hearing loss can occur, and in this case it is temporary, which is what we call conductive hearing loss, and it is similar to what happens when traveling by plane, as the Eustachian tube is also responsible for regulating air pressure in the ear. half It is a closed box that opens to the outside through the trunk of the car. It is normal to notice clogged ears with a feeling of ear fullness and abnormal perception of sound. This hearing loss can be up to 24 decibels, which is the equivalent level you have when using earplugs, and ends up disappearing once the cold goes away and fluid buildup decreases.
On the other hand, respiratory infections that occur at the nasal level can turn into ear infections, which can lead to hearing problems, such as noticing that sounds sound muffled. Most simple ear infections do not cause long-term complications. However, when repeated frequently, it can lead to permanent hearing loss in some cases. Those with chronic ear problems should consult an otolaryngologist who specializes in the ear, nose, and throat.
How to take care of your hearing during flu season?
- Protect yourself from sudden temperature changes: Try to protect your throat, nose and ears to avoid cold and drafts. Covering it makes it difficult for viruses and bacteria to easily enter the body and cause infections.
- Clean your ears properly: It is important to dry the ears well after bathing or showering to avoid moisture and thus the accumulation of bacteria. It will not be used under any circumstances Sticks Or any other things to clean the ears, because they may introduce wax inside and cause hearing difficulties. You can tilt your head hat The outer side so that the water comes out and wipe it with a soft towel without having to insert anything into the ear canal. If you notice a blockage or buildup of wax, it will be necessary to visit a specialist to perform a more thorough cleaning of the ears using appropriate techniques.
- Try to get yourself an ultrasound appropriately in: It is important to keep the nose clean of mucus that is generated during the flu or cold, but it will be necessary to avoid blowing sharply and loudly because it can cause fluid to move from the nasal cavity to the ear cavity. In the case of children, they tend to absorb fluids, so they penetrate deeper into the nose instead of expelling them into the tissues.
- Strengthening the immune system: Follow a diet rich in vitamins and minerals that keep the immune system strong to deal with viruses and bacteria, thus protecting hearing health at the same time. In addition, there are a number of nutrients that can aid in healthy hearing, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins D, E, and C, antioxidants, and folic acid.
- Maintain good hand hygiene: Hand hygiene is one of the most important preventive measures to avoid the spread of viruses, such as influenza or the common cold. For this reason, it is important to wash them often, especially before and after meals and after going to the bathroom.
- Review your hearing periodically: One of the most important prevention measures is periodic review of the hearing by a specialized specialist. It is recommended, at least once a year, whenever you notice signs, for example after the flu or a cold, to visit a specialist doctor so that he can evaluate your hearing ability and detect possible losses in an early way to prevent their development. .
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