Pizza is a fascinating thing. You can switch the toppings, sauces, even the cheeses on it, but as long as it meets a few basic factors, it’s still a pizza. Hearing loss is a lot like that. But as long as you have difficulty hearing sound, it’s still hearing loss whether it’s due to genetic factors, age, blockages, or exposure to loud noise.
Minimizing the damage is the first thing you should do when facing hearing loss of any type. You can, after all, take some simple steps to limit further damage and protect your ears.
Tip 1: Clean your ears
Did you wash behind your ears? It’s one of those childhood hygiene lessons you learn, or should have learned, right? With regards to hearing health, we aren’t concerned with the parts behind your ears, but rather your inner ears.
There are various ways that earwax accumulation can affect your hearing:
- When wax accumulation becomes substantial, it can stop soundwaves from reaching your inner ear. As a result, your ability to hear becomes decreased.
- If you use a hearing aid, earwax can also interfere with that. This could make it seem as though your hearing is getting worse.
- Unclean ears raise your risk of developing an ear infection, which causes swelling that when significant enough, impedes your ability to hear. When your ear infection clears, your regular hearing will usually return (but that’s something you should consult a doctor about).
A cotton swab is definitely not the right tool to use to clear any earwax that you may have noticed out and is strongly discouraged. In most cases, a cotton swab will worsen the problem or cause added harm. Alternatively, use over-the-counter ear drops.
Tip 2: Really loud noises should be averted
This one is so intuitive it almost shouldn’t be on this list. But what exactly constitutes a “loud sound”? For example, highway travel can be loud enough to damage your ears over a long period of time. The motor on your lawnmower can be very taxing on your ears, also. As you can see, it isn’t just blasting speakers or raucous rock concerts that harm your ears.
Here are a few ways to avoid loud, harmful noises.:
- When you need to be in a noisy setting, use hearing protection. Are you working on a noisy factory floor? Do you really want to attend that rock concert? That’s awesome. But you should use the correct ear protection. Contemporary earmuffs and earplugs provide sufficient protection.
- Using an app on your phone to let you know when decibel levels reach hazardous levels.
- When you’re listening to music or watching videos, keep the volume of your headphones at safe levels. When approaching dangerous levels, most headphones have a built-in warning.
There’s a gradual advancement to hearing loss that’s a result of loud sound. So, even if your hearing “feels” okay after a loud 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
Generally speaking, hearing loss is cumulative. You’ll be in a better position to avoid additional damage if you recognize your hearing loss early. That’s why treatment is extremely important when it comes to limiting hearing loss. Practical treatments (on which you follow through) will leave your hearing in the best possible condition.
Treatment works like this:
- We will help you avoid additional damage to your ears by providing you with personalized guidance when you come in for an assessment.
- Hearing aids can stop some, but not all, damage. If you’re using hearing aids, for example, you won’t always need to turn volumes up to damaging levels. Because hearing aids prevent this damage, they can also prevent further deterioration of your hearing.
- Hearing aids prevent the brain strain and social isolation that worsen hearing loss-related health conditions.
In the long run, you will be helped by using hearing aids
While it’s true that hearing loss can’t be cured, hearing specialists are working hard to limit additional damage to your ears. Treatment of hearing loss is typically one of the primary approaches to that. The correct treatment will help you protect your current level of hearing and prevent it from worsening.
You’re taking the appropriate measures to minimize hearing loss and put yourself in the best situation to continue to have healthy hearing if you practice good hygiene, utilize ear protection, and come see us for regular hearing exams.