Five things your ears can reveal about your health

They may be small, but your ears are vitally important. Not only do they provide you with a world full of sound but they can reveal some other things about your health too. Below, Specsavers’ Bradley Stoke audiology director Nathan Cannon explains how your ears can be unusual health indicators.

Earache  While having an earache could potentially be a sign of an ear infection it could also be the result of another health condition such as teeth grinding or an abscess on a tooth. Earache should usually go after a couple of days, but if it doesn’t and the pain persists make sure you see your GP or audiologist to take a better look at the problem.

Unusual ear shape If your ears are an unusual shape – or even if you spot a simple skin tag – it could be a sign that there is a problem with your kidneys and the way they’re functioning. That’s because your ears and your kidneys develop at the same time in the womb. For those who have a newborn with unusually shaped ears, ask your doctor to carry out a kidney test or an ultrasound to get a closer look to make sure they are working properly.

Ringing While an irritating ringing noise in the ear is usually down to being around loud noises it can also be a sign of excessive build-up of wax, head or neck injuries or high blood pressure.  This is known as tinnitus and while for most the ringing, buzzing, humming or whizzing sound is temporary, for others it can be permanent. For those suffering from persistent tinnitus it is advised they visit their Specsavers audiologist to see what may be behind the noise and talk about ways to manage the sound.

Pale in colour If your ears are looking a bit pale – and are consistently this colour – it could mean you have a deficiency of important vitamins such as vitamin C or vitamin D. However, pale coloured ears could also be a sign of dehydration too, so top up your water intake.

Earlobe crease Having a crease in your earlobe (also known as Frank’s Sign) could be an indicator of heart disease. It is not known what causes this feature and not everyone who has a crease has heart disease. However, it is advisable that those with an earlobe crease visit their GP to get it checked out.

Specsavers recommends that those over the age of 55 should have their hearing checked every two years, and if you are concerned about your hearing make an appointment to see your Specsavers audiologist.

To book a hearing examination at Specsavers Bradley Stoke, visit Unit MU4, The Willow Brook Centre, Bradley Stoke, Bristol, BS32 8EF, T: 01454-275 020, W:

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