Pizza is a fascinating thing. As long as a few factors are met, you can change toppings, cheese, and sauce, and it’s still a pizza. That’s a lot like hearing loss. But as long as you have difficulty hearing sound, it’s still hearing loss regardless of whether it’s due to genetic factors, age, obstructions, or exposure to loud noise.
Normally, when you’re confronted with hearing loss (no matter the variety), the first thing you need to do is attempt to minimize the damage. You can, after all, take some basic steps to limit additional damage and protect your ears.
Tip 1: Clean your ears
Did you clean behind your ears? It’s one of those childhood hygiene lessons you learn, or should have learned, right? But it’s your inner ears that we’re concerned with here, in terms of hearing health, not behind your ears.
There are various ways that earwax accumulation can affect your hearing:
- Unkempt ears increase your chances of developing an ear infection, which creates swelling that when severe enough, interferes with your ability to hear. When your ear infection clears up, your regular hearing will normally return (but that’s something you should consult a doctor about).
- Sound waves going to your ears can be blocked when a significant amount of earwax builds up. As a result, your ability to hear becomes reduced.
- Earwax buildup also interferes with the functionality of your hearing aid if you have one. This might make it seem as though your hearing is worsening.
A cotton swab is absolutely not the best tool to use to clear any earwax that you may have noticed out and is strongly discouraged. Cotton swabs can cause damage and will almost always worsen the situation. As an alternative, use over-the-counter ear drops.
Tip 2: Stay away from loud noises that could contribute to hearing loss
This is so obvious that it kind of goes without saying. But what exactly constitutes a “loud sound”? For example, highway travel can be loud enough to harm your ears over a long period of time. The engine on your lawnmower can be pretty taxing on your ears, as well. As you can tell, it isn’t only blaring speakers or loud rock concerts that harm your ears.
Here are a number of ways to steer clear of loud, harmful noises.:
- When you’re listening to tunes or viewing videos, keep your headphone volume at safe levels. The majority of phones offer built-in warnings when you’re nearing a hazardous threshold.
- When you need to be in a noisy setting, use hearing protection. Do you work on a loud industrial floor? It’s fine if you want to attend that rock concert. But you need to use the correct hearing protection. You can get plenty of protection with modern earmuffs and earplugs.
- When decibel levels get to a dangerous volume, you can use an app on your phone to alert you.
The damage to your ears from loud sounds will progress slowly. So, even if your hearing “feels” okay after a noisy event, that doesn’t mean it is. Only if you come in and see us can we give your ears a clean bill of health.
Tip 3: If you have any hearing loss, deal with it
In most cases, hearing loss develops gradually over a long time period. So, the sooner you recognize the damage, the better you’ll be able to avoid additional damage. That’s why treatment is tremendously important when it comes to minimizing hearing loss. Effective treatments (on which you follow through) will put your hearing in the best possible condition.
Here’s how treatments work:
- Hearing aids prevent the brain strain and social isolation that worsen hearing loss-related health conditions.
- Some, but not all damage can be stopped by wearing hearing aids. If you’re wearing hearing aids, for example, you won’t always need to turn volumes up to harmful levels. This will prevent further noise-related damage.
- We will help you avoid additional damage to your ears by providing you with individualized guidance when you come in for a consultation.
In the long run, you will be benefited by wearing hearing aids
While it’s true that hearing loss has no cure, hearing specialists are working hard to limit additional harm to your hearing. In many circumstances, hearing loss treatment is one of the best ways to achieve that. The right treatment will help you maintain your current level of hearing and stop it from getting worse.
When you use ear protection, practice good hygiene, and pursue hearing loss treatment with us, you’re taking the correct steps to prevent hearing loss while also giving yourself the best opportunity for healthy hearing in the future.