Why Does My Ear Hurt?


♪♪Intro♪♪ [Squeaks sneezes] Oh no, Squeaks! I hope you’re not getting sick! I know we all try and take good care of ourselves
during cold and flu season, but sometimes it happens—we just get sick. [Squeaks squeaks sadly] And sometimes our stuffy heads and runny noses
come with something else, too. An earache. If you’ve ever had an earache, you know
just how much that can make your ears hurt! There are a few different things that can
cause earaches. So it’s not surprising that they’re pretty
common! Most kids have had at least one by their second
birthday, which means you’ve probably had one too, even if you don’t remember it. A lot of earaches are caused by the same kinds
of germs that can make you sick in other ways — the ones that give you that stuffy nose
or sore throat. When these germs make one or both of your
ears hurt, that’s what’s called an ear infection. When your ear gets invaded by germs during
an ear infection, special parts of your body go to work. A whole army of tiny little things called
white blood cells surround and try to kill the germs that are causing the infection. That might sound like it should be pretty
painful, but it’s not. White blood cells kill tons of germs in our
bodies every day, and we never notice it. Our ears hurt during an ear infection for
another reason. If we could look deep inside of our ears,
we’d see that they look kind of like a tube that ends in a whole bunch of different parts. You can divide the ear into three main parts—the
outer, the middle, and the inner. It’s usually the middle part of the ear
that gets an ear infection. The part of the ear that separates that outer
tube from the middle of the ear is called the eardrum. It’s the part of your ear that picks up
on the sounds in the air to help you hear. Normally, the space right behind the eardrum
is full of air. An ear infection starts when some germs get
into that space, and your body sends white blood cells to fight the germs. It’s quite a battle! Because of the white blood cells fighting
the germs, a bunch of liquid, dead white blood cells, and dead germs all starts to build
up behind the eardrum. All of this stuff pushes on the eardrum, and
can make your ear feel weird. Most people say that it kind of feels like
their ear is full. And sometimes the stuff in there pushes on
the eardrum enough that it stretches it. [Squeaks squeaks] Yeah, Squeaks! It’s almost like how a balloon stretches
when you fill it up with air. But your eardrum isn’t meant to stretch
like a balloon. So this stretching hurts! And that’s why an earache is painful. If you do get an ear infection, it’s best
to go see the doctor. They’ll probably use a tool called an otoscope
to look inside of your ear. It’s actually a very simple tool. It has a bright light on it, and a part that
magnifies the inside of your ear, making it look bigger so it’s easier for the doctor
to see. The doctor will put the smaller end inside
your ear and look at your eardrum to see how bad the ear infection is. The eardrum might look red and kind of puffy
or swollen, because it’s stretched by the stuff that’s inside the ear. Then, once the doctor has a good look inside
of your ear, they can decide how to help your ear infection get better. Sometimes they might give you medicine to
kill the germs faster, or they might say that you should just rest. Either way, you should feel better soon! And if you’ve ever had an ear infection…I’m
sure you know how good that sounds! Thanks for joining us! If you want to keep learning and having fun
with Squeaks and me, hit the subscribe button, and we’ll see you next time here at the
Fort!

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