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Why do a person get a earache?

• Within the normal ear, the ear drum completely blocks the auditory meatus.
• Not even air can move through it.
• Behind the ear drum we have airspace.
• There needs to be air in the eardrum to flex as it’s difficult to compress a liquid or perhaps a solid.
• Through these, are placed the 3 ossicles.

The ossicles, from left to right are the:
– Malleus
– Incus
– Stapes
• These include the smallest bones systems.
• They transmit the vibrations of sound in the air efficiently on the cochlea.
• The cochlea is actually a fluid-filled organ.
• This converts sound into nerve impulses.
• These in turn transfer to the eighth cranial nerve.
• They are also interpreted as hearing by the brain.
• The gap in between ear space is absorbed on a regular basis by the rich blood flow that surrounds it.
• It must be replenished by the surface air.
• This takes place over the Eustachian tube which runs through the tympanum towards the back of the nose.
• It is right near the adenoid glands.
• Whenever we swallow, the Eustachian tube opens.
• They are pulled upon by the muscles on the back in the throat.
• This allows the outer air to equalize pressure in the middle ear cavity.
• It’s usually with a gentle popping sound.

What goes wrong to cause earache?

• In the event the Eustachian tube becomes blocked due to swelling in the tube or due to adenoids, or with mucus, the middle ear space is isolated in the surface air.
• Due to which a vacuum starts to form.
• This occurs quite quickly.
• Observe how your ears feel if you do not swallow for a couple of minutes.
• The outdoors air starts to press upon the eardrum.
• It stretches in and prevents the ossicles from moving freely.
• This hurts a great deal and reduces hearing.
• Eventually, the eardrum is unable to move in any way.
• This is like the safety button over a jar of jam prior to being opened the first time.
• The eardrum, being flexible and stretchy does make an effort to come back to its proper position.
• The process applies suction towards the bloodstream in the middle ear space.
• This leads to leak of fluid.
• This leads to fluid filling the center ear space.
• The fluid secretion continues till the pressure in between ear is balanced with the pressure applied by the eardrum.
• Occasionally, this leads to the eardrum to bulge and stretch.
• All this is quite painful.
• Once the pressure has equalized, the pain stops.
• The ear functions poorly.
• This is till the normal function of Eustachian tube is restored.
• This is usually in a month or so.
• Earache is frequently worsened by prone.
• This is because the stress inside veins of the ear is increased.
• This causes a little more stretching in the ear structures.
• Even this soon passes off with time.

How does it affect children in excess of adults?

• In children the Eustachian tube is extremely small and not fully developed which means even mild inflammation can produce a blockage.
• The adenoid glands may also be relatively large.
• This will bring the blocking in the tube.
• It’s not all children get earache.
• Not all children that have congested ears will complain of these symptoms.
• Adults have additional area surrounding their adenoid glands.
• They have larger eustachian tubes.
• This may lead to earache being only an intermittent problem for the majority of adults.
• This is often while swimming or flying or an extremely nasty cold.

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