Isn’t pizza great? You can change the toppings, sauces, even the cheeses involved, but as long as it meets some basic criteria, it’s still a pizza. Hearing loss is similar. Symptoms and manifestations are caused by many different issues – loud noises, genetic factors, age, ear blockages – but as long as you have difficulty detecting sounds, it’s still hearing loss.
Stopping the damage is normally the first step to take when you start to notice hearing loss. There are, after all, some easy steps you can take to safeguard your ears and minimize further hearing loss.
Tip 1: Clean your Ears
Did you clean behind your ears? It’s one of those original hygiene instructions you learn (or should have learned), right? In terms of hearing health, we’re not concerned with the space behind your ears, but rather your inner ears.
Keeping your ears clear of wax buildups can help your hearing in a few different ways:
- After a while, untreated hearing loss impacts your brain and your ability to decipher sounds.
- If you wear hearing aids, earwax will also interfere with their operation. This may make it seem like your hearing is getting worse.
- When wax accumulation becomes significant, it can block sound waves from getting into your inner ear. Because of this, your ability to hear becomes diminished.
- Untidy ears boost your chances of developing an ear infection, which causes swelling that, when severe enough, interferes with your ability to hear. Your normal hearing will typically return when then the infection clears.
You should never try to use a cotton swab to dig out earwax. Cotton swabs can jam the earwax further up into the ear canal and can cause even more damage. Instead, use over-the-counter ear drops.
Tip 2: Try to avoid loud noises that could lead to hearing loss
This one should be fairly obvious. The challenge is that most individuals are hard-pressed to define what a “loud noise” actually is. It’s not just blaring speakers or loud rock concerts that harm your ears, highway driving can be loud enough to damage your ears over a long period of time. The motor on your lawnmower can be pretty straining on your ears as well. And, be mindful to safeguard your hearing during those 4th of July fireworks!
Here are some useful ways to eliminate noise damage:
- Refrain from cranking the volume up on your headphones when you’re streaming videos or listening to music. When you’re listening at harmful levels, most phones have built-in alerts.
- Wearing ear protection when noisy conditions are unavoidable. Do you work on a noisy factory floor? Do you really want to go to that rock concert? That’s cool. Just wear the necessary ear protection. Modern earmuffs and earplugs offer ample protection.
- Using an app on your phone to alert you when the volume reaches hazardous levels.
The damage to your ears from loud noises will build up gradually. So, even if your hearing “seems” fine after a loud event, that doesn’t mean it is. Your hearing can only get a clean bill of health by a hearing specialist.
Tip 3: Treat any hearing loss you might have
In general, hearing loss is cumulative. So, the sooner you catch the damage, the better you’ll be able to prevent further damage. That’s why treatment is incredibly crucial when it comes to controlling hearing loss. Effective treatments (on which you follow through) will put your hearing in the best possible condition.
Here’s how treatments work:
- Hearing aids prevent the mental strain and social isolation that exacerbate hearing loss-related health issues.
- Hearing aids can prevent some, but not all, damage. For example, hearing aids will prevent you from turning your television volume up so loud it harms your ears. Because hearing aids stop this damage, they can also prevent further degeneration of your hearing.
- We will provide customized instructions and advice to help you avoid further damage to your hearing.
Minimize hearing loss – it will benefit you in the long run
While it’s true that hearing loss can’t be cured, in many situations, hearing loss treatment is one of the primary ways to prevent it. Treating your hearing loss properly will prevent further damage while maintaining your current level of hearing.
In the years to come you will be giving yourself the best chance for healthy hearing if you get hearing loss treatment from us, use hearing protection, and practice good hygiene!