What to Do about the 5 Most Common Ear Problems

Oct 1, 2021

Your primary care physician can cover many things, and one of them includes problems that might be plaguing your ears. These ear problems can range from being uncomfortable to downright painful. That’s why it’s crucial that consulting your primary care physician is the first thing you must do if you experience any discomfort or unusual pain in your body.
It’s also good practice to inform yourself of the basic knowledge of the five most common ear problems affecting children and adults. Here’s what you need to know:


Usually, we don’t need to think twice regarding the situation of our earwax. It can work itself out of our ears without much interference from us. The only time it becomes a problem is when your ears fail to do their part, and the wax builds up.

It can cause pain in your ears, itchiness, dizziness, difficulty hearing, ear infections, and it can cause you to hear high-pitched tones coming from inside the ears. When this happens, it’s often advised not to use fingers or cotton buds to remove it. Instead, obtain direct primary care from a physician immediately.

Foreign Objects

Believe it or not, foreign objects in the ear are a common predicament among people. In children, these usually come from small pieces of food, toys, and other everyday objects like buttons, crayons, or even stones. In other cases, it’s not surprising for a stray bug to accidentally make its way into your ear.

If left unchecked, foreign objects stuck in a person’s ear can lead to pain, infection, or possible hearing loss. If you or a child complains of any discomfort, pain, or even buzzing sounds, it’s best to seek medical help right away.

Ear Congestion

Ear congestion, otherwise known as ears popping, is often a result of other conditions such as the cold or flu, wherein the Eustachian tube can experience clogging. It often shows itself through feeling pressure in the ear, pain, or muffled hearing. Other causes can also include allergies, sinusitis, or tobacco smoke,

Glue Ear

Otherwise known as otitis media with effusion, glue ear is mostly found in children between the ages of one and six. It occurs when the middle part of the ear fills with glue-like fluid.

This fluid build-up can keep the bones in the ear from carrying sound vibrations and lead to hearing loss. If a child struggles with regulating the volume of their voices or if they find difficulty hearing their surroundings, it can be reason enough to see a doctor for an ear checkup.

Ear Infections

Ear infection has two types, and each commonly affects two separate age groups. The first type of ear infection is otitis media and usually affects children, but sometimes adults. It often impacts the eustachian tube, which is smaller and more level in children than in adults, causing the area to become more prone to infection through colds and the flu.

Another ear infection is otitis externa, affecting adults around the age of forty-five to seventy-five. It is sometimes called “swimmer’s ear”. It happens in the ear canal and is usually from a bacterial or fungal infection in the canal’s skin. It can be triggered by wearing earplugs or a hearing aid and most commonly flares up in people who regularly swim or those who already suffer from eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis.

Hearing Loss

Sudden hearing loss can be due to many causes, including acute viral infections, ear wax build up, stroke or even tumor. Because this could be a more serious issue that would require urgent medications to improve overall outcome, please see your doctor right away if SUDDEN hearing loss occurs.
Slow, chronically progressive hearing loss can be due to repeated exposures to loud sounds or noise. For this reason, wearing ear protection while around loud machinery, music or other noise is important. Oftentimes doubling up with ear plugs and over-ear protection is advised. Also, decreasing the volume on headphones and ear buds is also recommended.


While most of these ear problems are not immediate causes to worry, it’s still advisable to seek the help of your primary care physician as soon as you notice something unusual. A doctor’s visit is the only way to know how to care for any ear problems you may be experiencing properly.

HealthSprings Direct offers high-quality direct primary care within the Executive Suites at Millbrook. Please see the list of healthcare services we can provide you with on our website.