Isn’t pizza fascinating? As long as a few factors are met, you can switch toppings, cheese, and sauce, and it’s still a pizza. That’s similar to hearing loss. But as long as you have difficulty hearing sound, it’s still hearing loss regardless of whether it’s caused by genetic factors, age, blockages, or exposure to loud noise.
Usually, when you’re facing hearing loss (regardless of the variety), the first thing you need to do is attempt to limit the damage. There are, after all, some basic measures you can take to protect your hearing and limit additional hearing loss.
Tip 1: Keep your ears clean
When you were younger, you likely were taught that you need to clean behind your ears. But it’s your inner ears that we’re worried about here, in terms of hearing health, not the back of your ears.
There are a number of ways that earwax accumulation can affect your hearing:
- Earwax accumulation also interferes with the operation of your hearing aid if you use one. This might make you think that your hearing is going.
- Sound waves going to your ears can be blocked when a substantial amount of earwax accumulates. When this takes place you won’t be capable of hearing as well.
- Unkempt ears increase your chances of getting an ear infection, which creates inflammation that when severe enough, interferes with your ability to hear. When your ear infection clears up, 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 get any earwax that you may have noticed out and is strongly discouraged. In most situations, a cotton swab will make things worse or cause additional damage. As an alternative, use over-the-counter ear drops.
Tip 2: Really loud noises should be averted
This is so evident that it kind of goes without saying. But what exactly comprises a “loud sound”? For instance, highway driving can be loud enough to harm your ears over a long period of time. The motor on your lawnmower can be very straining on your ears, as well. As you can tell, it’s not only blasting speakers or loud rock concerts that harm your ears.
Some practical ways to prevent damaging noises include:
- Using hearing protection when noisy environments are unavoidable. Do you work on a loud factory floor? Do you really want to attend that rock concert? That’s cool. But you need to use the correct hearing protection. Contemporary earmuffs and earplugs provide sufficient protection.
- Refraining from turning the volume up on your headphones when you’re watching videos or listening to tunes. When approaching dangerous levels, most headphones have a built-in alert.
- Using an app on your phone to let you know when volumes get to dangerous thresholds.
The damage to your ears from loud sounds will accumulate gradually. So don’t just presume that your hearing is okay after a noisy event, even if it feels fine. Only if you come in and see us can we give your ears a clean bill of health.
Tip 3: Treat any hearing loss you might have
In most situations, hearing loss develops gradually over a long time period. You’ll be in a better position to stop further damage if you recognize your hearing loss early. That’s why treatment is extremely important when it comes to limiting hearing loss. Effective treatments (on which you follow through) will put your hearing in the best possible situation.
Here’s how treatments work:
- Some, but not all damage can be avoided by using hearing aids. For instance, hearing aids will stop you from turning your television volume up so loud it harms your ears. This will counter further noise-related damage.
- Hearing aids reduce the brain strain and social isolation that worsen hearing loss-related health conditions.
- When you come in and see us we will provide individualized guidance and advice to help you steer clear of further damage to your ears.
In the long run, you will be helped by using hearing aids
While we know that hearing loss has no cure, hearing specialists are focused on limiting further harm to your hearing. In many circumstances, hearing loss treatment is one of the main ways to achieve that. Your current level of hearing will be maintained and hearing loss will be prevented from getting worse with the correct treatment.
You’re taking the proper measures to limit hearing loss and put yourself in the best situation to continue to have healthy hearing if you practice good hygiene, use ear protection, and come see us for regular hearing exams.