Health and MedicineHealthy tipsHow to protect the eardrum

How to protect the eardrum

Caring for and protecting the eardrum is essential to maintain good health in our ears, but how can we make it possible? Here are some tips that will help you a lot.


The eardrum consists of an elastic membrane, with a conical shape and a semi-transparent appearance that connects the external auditory canal with the middle ear, sealing this cavity to protect it. It measures about 9 to 10 mm. in diameter, so it tends to be very fine. In fact, it is covered by very thin skin on its external face, while on its internal face it is covered by the mucosa of the ear itself. In turn, it has a concavity towards the external auditory canal. It has a color between pearl white and light gray.

We could say that the eardrum is the main responsible for the auditory process, allowing hearing by perceiving the different and different sound stimuli belonging to the external salt that arrive through the external conduit. At those moments the eardrum is capable of vibrating like a drum, so that from that vibration the conversion of sound waves into nerve impulses begins, which then reach the brain through the different organs of the inner ear. Therefore, any type of deterioration in the eardrum affects our own ability to hear.

But its functions do not end there, since it also fulfills a very important protective function, protecting our inner ear by presenting a form of membrane that acts as a barrier to prevent the passage of foreign elements (mainly dust), and prevent their introduction into the ear. Both medium and internal bacteria. Hence, when the tympanic membrane has been perforated (for example by the incorrect use of ear sticks), it is exposed to the formation of infections.

Tips to protect the eardrum and tympanic membrane

Avoid ear sticks

As we explained to you on a previous occasion, if we introduce the ear stick too much, we run the risk of perforating or damaging the eardrum, even breaking it. While it is true that these damages tend to heal on their own, in severe cases surgery may be necessary. In fact, serious or severe eardrum perforations can cause facial paralysis, dizziness and hearing loss.

For this reason, it is very important to avoid ear swabs to clean the inside of the ear, being more appropriate to leave it only and exclusively to clean the outside, removing any possible wax that remains and that could not be eliminated naturally, as well as impurities. And the remaining powder.

Do not use headphones and earplugs for a long time

Excessive use of headphones or earplugs, especially for long periods of time, can be a risk to the health of your ear and especially to the tympanic membrane, since it can cause excess moisture and influence the appearance of possible infections. Not surprisingly, you can do a test: put a plug in your ear and leave it for a while. When you remove it, don’t you notice the moister ear, with a somewhat annoying sensation? Imagine now if you leave it like that for long hours.

The key, as we can see, is to try to use headphones or music headphones for a few minutes, or an hour at most. We must do the same with the use of plugs.

Avoid listening to music at a high volume

There is nothing more dangerous for our eardrums than listening to music with headphones and also doing it at a tremendously high volume. If we take into account that the eardrum is what makes hearing possible, if it tends to vibrate too much due to very loud music, we can run the risk of hearing loss, which will be unrecoverable.  The same thing happens when you go to a disco or a party with tremendously loud music.

The main culprit this time around is pressure waves, as the ears simply don’t have enough time to adjust to the variation in sound. For this reason, listening to music that is too loud can even pose a health risk, because the fluid can accumulate behind the eardrum and if the pressure rises too high or is forceful enough, the eardrum can literally “explode”.

How many times have you not experienced the feeling that when you are at a concert or in a nightclub it seems that as the minutes go by you has a harder time perceiving low-level sounds? The reason is that the ear tends to become less sensitive. Luckily, it is enough to rest for a few minutes so that the muscle that stiffens the auditory chain of the middle ear relaxes, recovering normal sensitivity.

Protect your ears when you dive into the pool water

Medically known by the name of external otitis, and popularly by the name of  swimmer’s otitis, we are faced with an infection of the ear canal that affects the channel that transports sound from outside to the eardrum, which can be caused by fungi or by bacteria. Its main cause? The existence of a lot of moisture in the ear, which can become irritated, open the skin of the canal and allow the entry of these microorganisms.

To prevent it, it is enough to use earplugs when swimming, and then carefully dry our ears using a towel, in addition to tilting our heads to both sides to help the water drain from our ears.


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