Pizza is a fascinating thing. You can switch the toppings, sauces, even the cheeses on it, but as long as it satisfies a few basic factors, it’s still a pizza. Hearing loss is a lot like that. But as long as you have a hard time hearing sound, it’s still hearing loss regardless of whether it’s caused by genetic factors, age, blockages, or exposure to loud noise.
Normally, when you’re facing hearing loss (no matter the variety), the first thing you should do is attempt to minimize the damage. There are, after all, some basic steps you can take to safeguard your hearing and limit further hearing loss.
Tip 1: Clean your ears
When you were younger, you most likely were taught that you need to clean behind your ears. When it comes to hearing health, we’re not concerned with the areas behind your ears, but rather your inner ears.
Keeping your ears clear of wax buildup can help your hearing in a variety of different ways:
- When wax accumulation becomes significant, it can stop soundwaves from reaching your inner ear. When this occurs you won’t be able to hear as well.
- If you use a hearing aid, earwax can also impact that. This may make it seem as though your hearing is getting worse.
- Unclean ears increase your risk of developing an ear infection, which causes swelling that when severe enough, disrupts your ability to hear. Your hearing will normally go back to normal after the infection clears.
A cotton swab is definitely not the correct 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 worsen the situation. Instead, use over-the-counter ear drops.
Tip 2: Avoid loud sounds that could cause hearing loss
This one is so intuitive it practically shouldn’t be on the list. But what precisely constitutes a “loud sound”? For example, highway travel can be loud enough to damage your ears over a long period of time. The engine on your lawnmower can be very taxing on your ears, also. As you can tell, it isn’t just blasting speakers or raucous rock concerts that harm your ears.
Some practical ways to stay away from harmful noises include:
- Using an app on your phone to let you know when volumes reach dangerous levels.
- When you’re listening to tunes or viewing videos, keep your headphone volume at safe levels. Most phones include built-in warnings when you’re nearing a damaging threshold.
- Using ear protection when noisy environments are unavoidable. Are you working on a noisy industrial floor? Do you really want to go to that rock concert? That’s awesome. But you need to use the correct ear protection. Contemporary earmuffs and earplugs supply ample protection.
There’s a gradual development to hearing loss that’s a result of loud sound. So, even if your hearing “feels” okay after a noisy event, that doesn’t mean it is. We can only help you figure out if you have hearing loss if you call for an appointment.
Tip 3: If you have any hearing loss, deal with it
In most instances, hearing loss accumulates gradually over a long time period. You’ll be in a better position to prevent additional damage if you recognize your hearing loss early on. In terms of hearing loss, that’s why treatment is so significant. Effective treatments (on which you follow through) will leave your hearing in the best possible situation.
Treatment works like this:
- When you come in for a consultation we will provide individualized instructions and advice to help you steer clear of additional damage to your ears.
- Hearing aids prevent the brain strain and social isolation that worsen hearing loss-related health conditions.
- Some, but not all damage can be prevented by wearing hearing aids. For example, hearing aids will stop you from cranking your television volume up so loud it becomes harmful. Because hearing aids counter this damage, they can also stop further impairment of your hearing.
In the long run, you will be helped by wearing hearing aids
While it’s true that hearing loss can’t be cured, hearing specialists are focused on limiting further damage to your hearing. Treatment of hearing loss is usually one of the best approaches to that. The right treatment will help you preserve your current level of hearing and stop it from getting worse.
You’re taking the correct steps to prevent 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.