Care of Your Ears


Another Great Gift

Grandfather’s Watch:

Grandfather had a very beautiful watch. The outside was of shining gold. Sometimes Grandfather opened the back of the watch and let Betty and Bobby look at the tiny wheels and springs that made the watch go.

He would not let them get too close nor look too long. “It is very delicate,” he would say. “A little dust might get into the works. Then the watch would not keep good time and it would have to be fixed.”

“You see,” said grandfather, “the works that make the watch run are so fine and so delicate that they are kept in a big hard case to protect them from injury. It is something like the inside part of your ear.

“The part of your ear that does the hearing is inside the head. It is very delicate, like the works of a watch, but it is much more valuable. Good hearing helps to protect you from injury by hearing warning sounds. By it we can enjoy beautiful music and understand what is said to us. These things would not be possible without the delicate parts of the ear that are inside the head.”

How to Protect Your Ears

The Ear Is Delicate:

Pulling the ears, or striking (“boxing”) the ears, is a dangerous thing to do. It may cause serious damage to the hearing.

Loud noises too near the ear, such as an explosion of fireworks, the firing of a gun, or explosion of a paper bag filled with air, may cause injury to the delicate parts of the ear inside the head.

Keep Things Out of the Ear:

You have noticed that a brownish-colored wax is formed in the little canal, or opening, which leads into the ear. This wax has a useful purpose in keeping out dust and insects which might crawl into the ear. In cleaning the ear, use a washcloth over the end of a finger. Never use a hard or pointed object to remove the wax. Be careful to keep dirt or sand out of the ears.

Be Careful When You Have a Cold:

There is a small tube which leads from the throat into the ear. When you have a cold, the nose “runs” and “waste” matter forms in the nose and throat. If some of this matter gets up the canal that leads into the ear, it is likely to cause an “infection” there. This causes earache, and may also result in more painful ear trouble. Never neglect a cold. Serious trouble may result from it. Blow the nose gently. By blowing the nose gently, you will avoid the danger of forcing matter from the nose and throat up the canal that leads into the ear.

Go to a Doctor for “Earache”:

If you have a pain in your ear or just behind it, or a “discharging” ear, you should go at once to a doctor. Do not attempt to cure ear troubles without the advice of a doctor. Improper treatment of the ears may result in deafness.

Hearing May Be Improved:

You should be able to hear a low voice or whisper about two feet away in a quiet room. Sit sideways, testing first one ear, then turn and test the other ear. If you think your hearing is poor, have it tested by a doctor. Sometimes hearing can be very much improved.

Learn By Doing

Remember—Try to Practice:

  1. Keep things out of the ear.
  2. Protect the ears from blows.
  3. Avoid loud noises.
  4. Get rid of colds quickly.
  5. Blow the nose gently.
  6. Consult a doctor for earache.

Some Problems to Think About:

  1. Why is a cold dangerous to the ear?
  2. Which is the most important part of the ear, the outer part that you see, or the inner part that you cannot see?

Activities for Workers:

  1. Draw a picture that will show a good rule for the care of the ear.
  2. Find out what “mastoiditis” is. What is it like? What causes it? Is it dangerous?

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William E. Burkard

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William E. Burkard