Isn’t pizza interesting? As long as a few criteria are met, you can alter toppings, cheese, and sauce, and it’s still a pizza. Hearing loss is similar. But as long as you have difficulty hearing sound, it’s still hearing loss whether it’s caused by genetic factors, age, blockages, or exposure to loud noise.
Usually, when you’re confronted with hearing loss (regardless of the variety), the first thing you should do is try to limit the damage. You can, after all, take some basic steps to limit additional damage and protect your ears.
Tip 1: Clean your ears
Did you clean behind your ears? It’s one of those early hygiene lessons you learn, or should have learned, right? But it’s your inner ears that we’re worried about here, when it comes to hearing health, not the back of your ears.
Keeping your ears free of wax accumulation can help your hearing in several different ways:
- If you have a hearing aid, earwax can also impact that. This might make it seem as if your hearing is worsening.
- Unkempt ears increase your risk of developing an ear infection, which creates swelling that when significant enough, impedes your ability to hear. When your ear infection clears, your normal hearing will usually come back (but that’s something you should talk to a doctor about).
- When wax buildup becomes significant, it can stop soundwaves from getting into your inner ear. Consequently, your ability to hear becomes diminished.
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. Cotton swabs can lead to damage and will usually make the problem worse. Alternatively, use over-the-counter ear drops.
Tip 2: Avoid loud noises that could contribute to hearing loss
This is so evident that it sort of goes without saying. The problem is that the majority of people are hard-pressed to characterize what a “loud noise” actually is. A highway, for instance, can be noisy enough that over a long time period, it can harm your ears. Your ears can also be harmed by regular usage of your lawn mower. As you can tell, it isn’t only blaring speakers or raucous rock concerts that damage your ears.
Some useful ways to avoid damaging noises include:
- When you have to be in a noisy setting, utilize hearing protection. Do you work on a loud factory floor? It’s fine if you want to go to that rock concert. But wear the required hearing protection. You can get plenty of protection with modern earmuffs and earplugs.
- When you’re listening to music or viewing videos, keep your headphone volume at safe levels. When approaching dangerous levels, most headphones have a built-in alert.
- When decibel levels become dangerously loud, you can make use of an app on your phone to alert you.
There’s a gradual development 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. Only if you come in and see us can we give your ears a clean bill of health.
Tip 3: If you have any hearing loss, deal with it
In general, hearing loss is progressive. You’ll be in a better position to avoid further damage if you identify your hearing loss early on. That’s why treatment is incredibly important in terms of limiting hearing loss. Your hearing will be in the best situation if you get treatment and follow through with it.
Here’s how treatments work:
- Hearing loss-related health problems that are worsened by social solitude and brain strain can be prevented by wearing hearing aids.
- When you come in for a consultation we will provide personalized instructions and advice to help you steer clear of further damage to your ears.
- Hearing aids can stop some, but not all, damage. If you’re wearing hearing aids, for example, you won’t always need to turn volumes up to damaging levels. Because hearing aids prevent this damage, they can also prevent further deterioration of your hearing.
Limit hearing loss – it will benefit you over the long haul
While it’s true that hearing loss has no cure, hearing specialists are focused on limiting additional harm to your ears. In many cases, hearing loss treatment is one of the main ways to achieve that. Your current level of hearing will be preserved 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, utilize ear protection, and come see us for regular hearing exams.