Have you ever wondered what your ears, their structure, and their functionality can tell about your general physical and mental well-being? According to research, our ears can tell us a lot about our internal organs and crucial bodily processes.
It may be a sign of a problem in a different organ of your body if your ears seem unusually different, start ringing nonstop, experience intense episodes of itching, or hurt in certain places. You might never even consider how significantly an organ is connected to the ears.
We’ve picked out some of the most common ear-related impairments and how they correlate with several common ailments. Here, take a look:
1. Earlobe Crease
The earlobe crease, also referred to as the Frank’s sign after the doctor who first identified this ailment, is basically a diagonal crease within the earlobe, and it is often regarded as a sign of heart disease. Researchers aren’t sure how this crease emerges and what is the underlying cause behind it, but research suggest that not everyone who has developed the earlobe crease will have heart disease. However, if you notice the appearance of this crease, be sure to consult your doctor immediately.
2. Missing External Ear
A missing external ear can be regarded as an indication of anotia, which is a condition that occurs at birth. Researchers and medical experts aren’t yet aware of the underlying cause behind this condition, but research suggest the harmful elements within our environment and certain medications administered during pregnancy can be seen as a possible reason for its emergence. It can occur by itself or even accompany another genetic ailment. In the majority of the cases reported, doctors can create an outside ear using plastic surgery.
3. Low-Set Ears
Low-set ears are most commonly associated with conditions like the Turner and Down syndromes, and both these ailments are caused due to chromosome impairments. However, patients suffering with Down syndrome tend to have several other physical and development problems.
Turner syndrome tends to cause disruptions with the formation of the neck and head, along with problems related to growth and puberty. Low-set ears can also be caused by Jacobsen and Shprintzen-Goldberg syndromes, which also lead to several problems affecting development and growth.
4. Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome
Often, babies can be born with certain conditions that tend to have adverse effects on their development and growth. The Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome is one of the most common birth defects, and it basically causes the emergence of tiny holes and creases around the year. The baby can be larger than normal, have low blood sugar levels and an unusually big tongue.
Research suggest that this syndrome doesn’t lead to any chronic or major health ailments for individuals who are born with it.
However, as the baby begins to grow, one side of his/her body is likely to be bigger than the other, and he/she will be at a greater risk to develop certain tumors.
5. Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus)
Tinnitus, which is identified as a loud ringing noise within the ears, is commonly believed to have been caused by an ailment that directly affects your ears, for instance being excessively exposed to loud noises or a build-up of wax within your ears.
Research reveals that tinnitus can also be regarded as an indication of an ailment related with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is basically the joint that connects your jawbone to the skull.
It can also be an indication of an injury to your head or neck, amongst several other reasons. If you experience buzzing, hissing, roaring, clicking or ringing sounds in your ears, be sure to consult a doctor right away and get to the bottom of the situation.
6. Unusual Ear Shape
Unusual ear shape, which could even be as minor as a tiny skin tag on the ear, is regarded as an indication of an underlying problem disrupting the functioning of your kidneys.
Research explains that since a baby’s kidneys tend to develop alongside their ears, if a new born has an unusual ear shape, it is likely that there is also an impairment in his/her kidneys. Therefore, if you notice something as unusual as a skin tag, be sure to get an ultrasound to obtain a detailed look at the kidneys of your little one.
7. Itchy Ears
Itchiness in ears is usually considered an indication of the presence of a fungal infection, amongst other reasons. Psoriasis is also seen to be a common cause of itchy ears, and it occurs when the immune system begins to attack the skin mistakenly. Itchy ears can be extremely painful because the skin around the ears is extremely thin.
The itchiness can occur on both, the inside and outside of your ear, eventually leading to a build-up of dead skin, which can also make it difficult for you to hear appropriately. If you have developed psoriasis, keep in mind that while it cannot be completely eliminated, your dermatologist can help you control and effectively manage the symptoms.
Severe pangs of earache can indicate several underlying medical ailments, such as a build-up of fluid in the ears, throat infection, accumulation of earwax, ear infection, excessive teeth grinding or even an abscessed tooth.
If you or any of your family members is suffering from an earache that doesn’t seem to get better within a day or two, and accompanies symptoms like discharge from the ear, ear swelling, throat ache, fever and vomiting, be sure to consult your doctor right away.
If your child is younger than 6 months and you suspect he’s complaining of earache, waste no time in consulting your paediatrician and finding the underlying ailment causing it.