The first thing to do, when you start to recognize that you have hearing loss, is to prevent further damage. There are, in fact, some simple measures you can take to safeguard your hearing and minimize further hearing loss.
Step 1: Clean Your Ears
Remember learning to make sure you clean behind your ears when you learned basic hygiene (or at least should have learned). But it’s actually the inner ear we’re concerned with keeping clean when it comes to hearing health, not behind the ears.
Keeping your ears free of wax accumulation can help your hearing in several different ways:
- In the long run, neglected hearing loss can impact your brain and your ability to interpret sounds.
- Earwax buildup also inhibits the operation of your hearing aid if you have one. This could make it seem as though your hearing is getting worse.
- Your hearing can also be interfered with if you get a severe ear infection which can also be a result of dirty ears. Your hearing will return to normal after the ear infection clears.
- When wax buildup becomes significant, it can prevent sound from reaching your inner ear. As a result, your hearing becomes diminished.
You never turn to the use of a cotton swab to attempt to dig out excess earwax. Further damage can be caused by cotton swabs and they will often worsen your ability to hear. Alternatively, use over-the-counter ear drops.
Step 2: Avoid Loud Noises
This one should almost be left off the list it’s so intuitive. The problem is that most people are hard-pressed to define what a “loud noise” actually is. For example, freeway driving can be loud enough to damage your ears over an extended time period. Also, surprisingly, your lawn mower can take a toll on your ears. Obviously, it’s more than rock concerts or high volume speakers that cause hearing damage.
Here are a few ways to avoid damaging noise:
- Using ear protection when noisy environments can’t be avoided. Do you work on a noisy factory floor? Do you really want to go to that rock concert? That’s cool. But be certain to use the appropriate protection for your hearing. A perfect illustration would be earmuffs and earplugs.
- Utilizing an app on your phone to warn you when decibel levels reach hazardous thresholds.
- When you’re listening to music or watching videos keep your headphone volume at a manageable level. When dangerous levels are being reached, most phones feature a built in warning.
Damage to the ears from noise doesn’t happen abruptly, it progresses slowly. So, even if your hearing “seems” okay after a loud event, it may not be. You can only get a clean bill of health for your ears by a hearing professional.
Step #3: Address Any Hearing Impairment You Might Have
Generally speaking, hearing loss is cumulative. So, the earlier you catch the damage, the better you’ll be able to prevent further damage. So when it comes to slowing down hearing loss, treatment is so important. Your hearing will be at the greatest advantage if you find and follow through on practical treatment.
Here’s how treatments work:
- We can provide individualized guidelines and advice to help you prevent further damage to your ears.
- Hearing aids can prevent some, but not all, damage. For instance, hearing aids will prevent you from cranking your television volume up so loud it damages your ears. Hearing aids will prevent additional deterioration of your hearing by preventing this damage.
- The chance of developing hearing loss related health problems is diminished by using hearing aids because they minimize social isolation and brain strain.
Limiting Hearing Impairment Will Benefit You in The Future
Although we don’t have a cure for hearing loss, further damage can be prevented with treatment. One of the primary ways to do that, in many instances, is hearing aids. The correct treatment will help you preserve your present level of hearing and stop it from getting worse.
Your giving yourself the best chance for healthy hearing into the future by using ear protection, getting the appropriate treatment, and exercising good hearing hygiene.