Isn’t pizza interesting? As long as a few factors are met, you can alter toppings, cheese, and sauce, and it’s still a pizza. That’s a lot like hearing loss. But as long as you have a hard time hearing sound, it’s still hearing loss whether it’s due to genetic factors, age, blockages, or exposure to loud noise.
Limiting the damage is the first thing you should do when facing hearing loss of any type. There are, after all, some basic steps you can take to protect your ears and limit further hearing loss.
Tip 1: Keep your ears clean
When you were a kid, you likely learned that you need to wash behind your ears. In terms of hearing health, we’re not concerned with the places behind your ears, but rather your inner ears.
Keeping your ears clear of wax buildup can improve your hearing in a number of different ways:
- Sound waves going to your ears can be impeded when a substantial amount of earwax accumulates. When this happens you won’t be capable of hearing as well.
- Your chance of developing an ear infection is elevated if your ears aren’t kept clean and that can result in inflammation which will interfere with your hearing. When your ear infection clears up, your normal hearing will usually come back (but that’s something you should consult a doctor about).
- If you use a hearing aid, earwax can also impact that. This might give you the impression that your hearing is starting to fail.
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. In most circumstances, a cotton swab will make things worse or cause added damage. Over-the-counter ear drops are recommended as an alternative.
Tip 2: Avoid loud noises that could cause hearing loss
This one is so intuitive it almost shouldn’t be on the list. The issue is that the majority of individuals are hard-pressed to determine what a “loud noise” really is. For instance, highway travel can be loud enough to harm your ears over a long amount of time. The engine on your lawnmower can be very straining on your ears, as well. Clearly, other things besides rock concerts or blaring speakers can damage your ears.
Here are a few ways to steer clear of loud, harmful noises.:
- When decibel levels get to a dangerous volume, you can use an app on your phone to alert you.
- Using ear protection when loud environments are necessary. Do you work on the floor of a noisy factory? It’s okay if you want to go to that rock concert. But you need to use the appropriate ear protection. You can get adequate protection with modern earmuffs and earplugs.
- Abstaining from turning up the volume on your headphones when you’re watching videos or listening to tunes. When approaching dangerous levels, most headphones have a built-in warning.
The damage to your ears from loud noises will progress gradually. So, even if your hearing “feels” fine 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: Address any hearing loss you may have
In most instances, hearing loss accumulates gradually over an extended time period. You’ll be in a better position to protect against further damage if you identify your hearing loss early. That’s why treatment is tremendously important when it comes to minimizing hearing loss. Practical treatments (on which you follow through) will put your hearing in the best possible situation.
Here’s how treatments work:
- When you come in and see us we will provide personalized instructions and advice to help you avoid additional damage to your ears.
- Some, but not all damage can be avoided by using hearing aids. For example, hearing aids will prevent you from turning your television volume up so loud it harms your ears. Because hearing aids prevent this damage, they can also prevent further impairment of your hearing.
- Hearing aids prevent the brain strain and social isolation that exacerbate hearing loss-related health problems.
Minimize hearing loss – it will benefit you over the long haul
While it’s true that hearing loss has no cure, hearing specialists are working hard to limit further damage to your ears. Treatment of hearing loss is typically one of the best approaches to that. The right treatment will help you protect your current level of hearing and stop it from getting worse.
When you wear ear protection, practice good hygiene, and get 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.