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Looking after your ears

Ears not only let us hear, but they also play a role in maintaining our balance, which is vital to our ability to function in daily life. We take for granted what they do for us day in and day out until we notice something's wrong, such as when an earache strikes or when we start having to ask people to repeat what they say.

 Protecting your ears

  • Keep your ears clean by washing them when you wash your face.
  • Don't poke anything into your ear canal - not even a cotton bud.
  • Loud noise can damage your hearing. Any noise that makes your ears ring or feel dull is too loud.
  • See your doctor if your ears hurt or they keep feeling blocked up.
  • Use sun-screen and a hat to protect the outside and top of your ears when you are outside in the sun


Earache can be a worrying, but it's usually only caused by a minor infection and will often get better in a few days without treatment. However, if you are at all concerned or the earache persists please make an appointment with your GP.


Earwax doesn't usually cause problems, but earwax build up can lead to a blocked and painful ear or hearing loss.

Ear infections

A middle ear infection is called otitis media, germs like bacteria and viruses can get into your body and they can go inside the middle ear. Your ear starts to feel like it is really full and wants to pop. An infection of the outer ear is called otitis externa  and is often referred to as "swimmer's ear" because repeated exposure to water can make the ear canal more vulnerable to inflammation. You should see your GP if you think you may have otitis externa.

Deafness and Hearing Loss  

  • If you have any concerns about your ear health, please make an appointment with your GP.
  • Further information on hearing impairment can also be found in the Sensory impairment section of this website.
  • Hearing loss is a common problem that often develops with age or is caused by repeated exposure to loud noises. You can find information on hearing loss and hearing problems on the NHS website.

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