What are some common ear problems? Earwax, damage, sticking things in our ears, Otitis Media, Swimmers Ear, and more!

Let's take a look at what causes some common ear problems...

Ears are amazing parts of our body but sometimes your ears can play up and not behave the way they should.

We can become hard of hearing, lose hearing entirely, get ear-ache, and hear lots of annoying noises that nobody else can…

Luckily, a lot of these problems are very common and very treatable. We can avoid these problems by taking care of our ears.

Let’s take a look now…


Earwax is the ear’s way of cleaning itself! Dead skin is drawn out of the ear by the wax, which also offers protection against water and other things, such as bugs.

What’s more, it can help protect the body from germs.

When wax becomes stuck in the ear canal, it acts like an ear plug, blocking sounds from hitting the eardrum.

If there’s too much wax, it can be softened with wax-softening drops and flushed out or removed by a doctor or nurse.


A common cause of ear problems is that something has been poked into the ear canal…

Even cotton bugs can cause damage to the delicate skin and can push the earwax into a big sticky lump. Gross!

Poking things into your ears is also a good way for germs to get stuck in your ear.

We can avoid damage to our ears by just keep pointy things out of them. As a general rule, you shouldn’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear, unless you’re a trained professional!

Foreign Objects

We all love French croissants and the Statue of Liberty, but they’re not the type of foreign objects we’re talking about!

It just means something that isn’t normally found there.

Foreign objects are small objects, such as beads and food, which can block sound or poke the eardrum and cause a hole.

It’s a common ear complaint in young children who poke all sorts in their ears!

Otitis Media

Otitis Media is an ear infection that happens in your middle ear, and is the most common cause of hearing loss in children.

If you’ve ever had an earache – you’ve probably had Otitis Media. More than 85% of all children will get this at some point…

Germs from the throat and other areas can build up and obstruct the narrow canals inside the ear, causing pain, and hearing loss.

It sounds nasty but is very curable! Antibiotics, a special type of medicine, are sometimes used – or it clears up on its own.

Swimmers Ear

Swimmers ear is a painful infection occurs when the ear canal remains wet after bathing or swimming.

It can cause the ear canal to swell shut, causing a temporary hearing loss… Maybe this is what Professor Hallux has?

Hallux’s Hearing Helpdesk is now open and is answering all of your hearing questions!

Professor Hallux: The Human Body Podcast for Kids

Learn about the human body in this podcast - from brains and bones to ears and eyes!


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Hallux’s Hearing Helpdesk, with support from Phonak


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