Isn’t pizza interesting? You can switch the toppings, sauces, even the cheeses on it, but as long as it meets a few basic factors, it’s still a pizza. That’s a lot like hearing loss. Symptoms and presentations are caused by many different problems, loud noises, genetic factors, age, or ear blockages, but as long as you have difficulty hearing sounds, it’s still hearing loss.
Limiting the damage is the first step you should take when facing hearing loss of any type. There are, after all, some simple measures you can take to protect your ears and minimize added hearing loss.
Tip 1: Clean your ears
Did you wash behind your ears? It’s one of those childhood hygiene lessons you learn, or should have learned, right? But it’s inside of your ears that we’re worried about here, regarding hearing health, not the back of your ears.
Keeping your ears free of wax buildup can help your hearing in a number of different ways:
- Sound waves going to your ears can be blocked when a substantial amount of earwax builds up. Because of this, your ability to hear becomes diminished.
- Earwax buildup also interferes with the operation of your hearing aid if you use one. This might give you the impression that your hearing is starting to fail.
- Your chance of developing an ear infection is elevated if your ears aren’t kept clean and that can cause inflammation which will interfere with your hearing. When your ear infection clears up, your normal hearing will usually return (but that’s something you should talk to a doctor about).
If you find earwax buildup, it’s absolutely not suggested that you dig around in there with a cotton swab. In most circumstances, a cotton swab will worsen the problem or cause additional harm. Instead, use over-the-counter ear drops.
Tip 2: Really loud sounds should be averted
This one is so instinctive it almost 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. Your ears can also be harmed by frequent 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:
- When you need to be in a loud setting, use hearing protection. Do you work on a loud factory floor? Do you really want to attend that rock concert? That’s cool. Just wear the required hearing protection. You can get enough protection with modern earmuffs and earplugs.
- When decibel levels become dangerously loud, you can use an app on your phone to alert you.
- When you’re listening to music or watching videos, keep the volume of your headphones at safe levels. When approaching dangerous levels, most headphones have a built-in warning.
There’s a gradual progression to hearing loss that’s due to loud sound. So, even if your hearing “feels” fine after a loud event, that doesn’t mean it is. Only if you come in for a hearing exam can we give your ears a clean bill of health.
Tip 3: Address any hearing loss you might have
In general, hearing loss is cumulative. You’ll be in a better position to stop further damage if you identify your hearing loss early. That’s why treatment is tremendously important when it comes to minimizing hearing loss. Your hearing will be in the best position if you get treatment and implement it.
Treatment works like this:
- Hearing aids reduce the brain strain and social isolation that exacerbate hearing loss-related health conditions.
- When you come in and see us we will give you individualized instructions and advice to help you steer clear of additional damage to your ears.
- Hearing aids can stop some, but not all, damage. If you’re using hearing aids, for example, you won’t always need to turn volumes up to damaging levels. Because hearing aids counter this damage, they can also prevent further impairment of your hearing.
Limit hearing loss – it will benefit you in the long run
Although we’re not able to cure hearing loss, we are putting in hard work to help you prevent further damage. Treatment of hearing loss is usually one of the best approaches to 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 correct steps to minimize 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.