Ear, nose and throat problems can occur in a number of different ways. The ear, nose and throat are inter-connected so the problems in one area can often affect the other, such as ear pain can be a symptom of a build-up of fluid or infection that extends from the throat. Here are some tips to prevent ENT problems.
- Avoid contact with infected people (that is who have cough, cold or flu like symptoms). Most of the sore throats, cold and flu are viral infections which are transmitted from one person to another.
- Wash hand frequently and thoroughly with soap and water as this helps to destroy viruses that are acquired from touching contaminated surfaces. If you don’t have access to soap and water alcohol based hand sanitizers can be used.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth as germs often spread from hands (hands get contaminated when you touch something that is contaminated and then when you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth you get infected).
- Adopt healthy lifestyle such as quit smoking and learn stress management. Avoid smoking and people who smoke, as smoke not only irritates the mucus membrane that lines the lungs, sinuses and nose, but can cause inflammation around the ear and infect the ear.
- Blow your nose gently as blowing hard to clean the nose and sinuses can damage the eardrums and affect your hearing.
- Be careful to avoid soap and shampoo from entering your ears while taking a bath or shower as these products can cause irritation and make the ear itch.
- Use cotton swabs or ear buds to clean around the ear, gently. Avoid inserting it inside the ear canal.
- If you are exposed to loud noises wear protective earplugs. for example, a person who works in a place where there is loud music or a person who works on the airport should use earplugs to prevent hearing and other ear problems.
- Do not insert objects into the ear, to clean as they do not to clean the ear but push the wax and other foreign bodies deeper into the ear, thus causing further irritation infection.
- If you develop otitis after swimming, wear ear plugs and dry the ear by using an ear dryer after swimming. Avoid swimming in polluted swimming pools.
- In dry climate, avoid dryness in the nose or maintain hydration of the nasal passages using a humidifier inside your home and office to increase environmental humidity.
- Apply petroleum jelly to the outside of your nostrils if it is dry or before going out in cold, but do not overuse it. Using excess petroleum jelly for this purpose for prolonged periods can cause lipoid pneumonia due to inhalation of petroleum jelly. Lipoid pneumonia can cause symptoms such as chest pain, cough and breathing problems, and it is a potentially serious condition. Saline nose sprays can also help to keep the nasal passage well moisturised.
These are some ways to prevent ENT problems. If you have any ENT problem consult an ENT specialist to learn ways to prevent it.
Read more articles on Ear Infection Prevention.