Introduction: Ear as an organ is necessary for the perception of sound and body balance. Ear infection, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and excessive use of mobile phone for listening to music at high volume all can reduce hearing. No earlier study was available in the costal Karnataka population, regarding the practice of ear care. The study objective was to ascertain the level of knowledge of the community regarding ear care, to find out whether some of the common conditions affecting hearing are known and to find out the common practices involved in maintaining ear hygiene. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 500 subjects in two tertiary care hospitals by convenient sampling, using self-administered questionnaire. Knowledge, Attitude and Practice across the age groups, religion & education background were studied. Results: Across different education groups, 66.7%-90% did not know that ‘cold’ can cause ear infection and 46.7%-75.0% did not know that diabetes and hypertension can reduce hearing. When there is ear pain or discharge, people put ear drops available at home in 48.3%-75.0% across 3 age groups; 58.5%-61.5% across 3 religions and 44.8%-67.9% across 5 education groups. No statistically significant difference was found in the practice of pouring oil into ears across religions. A total of 58.6%-100% daily clean inside the ear and 70-100% use cotton buds. Conclusion: General perception of the people is that ear is necessary only for hearing. Majority did not know that nasal infection can affect the ear and that DM and hypertension can cause hearing loss. When there is ear pain and discharge, most of the adults put drops that are available at home. Pouring oil into the ears and cleaning inside the ear canals is routinely practiced in costal Karnataka.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry