Pizza is an interesting thing. You can switch the toppings, sauces, even the cheeses on it, but as long as it meets a few general criteria, it’s still a pizza. That’s a lot like hearing loss. Symptoms and presentations are caused by numerous different problems, loud noises, genetics, age, or ear blockages, but as long as you have a hard time hearing sounds, it’s still hearing loss.
Minimizing the damage is the first thing you should do when confronted with hearing loss of any variety. There are, after all, some basic steps you can take to protect your ears 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. When it comes to hearing health, we’re not worried about the places behind your ears, but rather inside of your ears.
There are various ways that earwax accumulation can impact your hearing:
- Earwax accumulation also impedes the operation of your hearing aid if you have one. This might make it seem as though your hearing is diminishing.
- Unclean ears raise your chances of getting an ear infection, which causes inflammation that when severe enough, disrupts your ability to hear. Your hearing will usually return to normal when the infection clears.
- When wax accumulation becomes significant, it can block soundwaves from reaching your inner ear. When this occurs you won’t be able to hear as well.
A cotton swab is definitely not the best tool to use to clear any earwax that you may have noticed out and is strongly discouraged. Cotton swabs can lead to damage and will typically make the problem worse. As an alternative, use over-the-counter ear drops.
Tip 2: Really loud sounds should be avoided
This one is so intuitive it almost shouldn’t be on this list. But what precisely comprises a “loud sound”? A freeway, for instance, can be noisy enough that over an extended time period, it can damage your ears. Your ears can also be harmed by regular use of your lawn mower. Clearly, other things besides rock concerts or blaring speakers can damage your ears.
Some practical ways to stay away from harmful noises include:
- Abstaining from turning up the volume on your headphones when you’re viewing videos or listening to music. When approaching dangerous levels, most headphones have a built-in warning.
- Using an app on your phone to alert you when volumes reach unsafe thresholds.
- Using ear protection when noisy settings are unavoidable. Are you working on a loud factory floor? Do you really want to attend that rock concert? That’s awesome. But you need to use the appropriate hearing protection. Contemporary earmuffs and earplugs offer adequate protection.
There’s a gradual progression to hearing loss that’s caused by loud sound. So don’t just assume that your hearing is fine after a noisy event, even if it feels fine. We can only help you determine if you have hearing loss if you call for an appointment.
Tip 3: Treat any hearing loss you may have
In general, hearing loss is progressive. So, the earlier you recognize the damage, the better you’ll be able to stop further damage. In terms of hearing loss, that’s why treatment is so important. Effective treatments (on which you follow through) will leave your hearing in the best possible condition.
Treatment works like this:
- We will help you stay clear of additional damage to your ears by supplying you with individualized instructions when you come in for a consultation.
- Hearing loss-related health problems that are exacerbated by social solitude and brain strain can be prevented by wearing hearing aids.
- Some, but not all damage can be prevented by wearing hearing aids. If you’re using hearing aids, for instance, you won’t always have to turn volumes up to harmful levels. This will counter further noise-related damage.
Limit hearing loss – it will help you in the long run
While we know that hearing loss has no cure, hearing specialists are working hard to limit additional damage to your hearing. In many cases, hearing loss treatment is one of the best ways to accomplish that. The right treatment will help you maintain your current level of hearing and stop it from worsening.
You’re taking the appropriate steps to limit hearing loss and put yourself in the best position to continue to have healthy hearing if you practice good hygiene, use ear protection, and come see us for regular hearing tests.