Deafness: Specialist recommends regular check on ears
Dr Ikwu Owoicho, an Otolaryngologist, also known as Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist, at the National Hospital, Abuja, has advised Nigerians to always go for routine medical check-up of their ears, to avoid deafness.
Owoicho told Newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja that regular check-up could also prevent an ear ailment symptom known as tinnitus.
Otolaryngologists diagnose, manage and treat disorders of the head and neck, including the ears, nose, throat, sinuses, voice box (larynx) and other structures.
Owoicho, however, said that tinnitus is usually characterised by the perception of noise in which a person hears a cricket-like ringing or noise on one or both ears.
He further described tinnitus as the perception of noise or ringing in the ears, adding that it is a common thing to people in the country.
He said though it was not an ailment itself, but a symptom of an underlying ear problem.
The ENT specialist said that such symptomatic signs and other ear infections, especially those caused by noise pollution, could be detected early in the course of medical check-up.
“This sound may be on one or both ears and it is usually accompanied by pain in the ear, which cuts across age but occurs mostly in adults and as one progress in age.
“It is caused by accumulated ear wax, infections, continuous exposure to loud noise and age-related hearing loss,” Owoicho said.
He warned against removing earwax frequently, noting that the wax protects the ear canal by trapping dirt and slowing the growth of bacteria.
He said when earwax accumulated for long, it could become hard to wash away naturally, and later result in tinnitus.
Owoicho also identified other factors which, he said, had lately caused increase in the number of patients visiting hospitals, as noise exposure from places of worship and industrial machines.
Other factors leading to ear problems, according to him, are noise from generating sets, loud music and continuous use of head phones.
He also advised sufferers who had visited ear specialists to adhere strictly to the therapies and medications given to them.
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