Safeguarding Your Sense of Hearing: 4 Tactics to Protect Your Ears

person having hearing issues concept.

Our ears are frequently what carry the load of unintentional harm from neglect in our hectic daily lives. There are some common but dangerous practices, including utilizing cotton swabs and ear candling, that will put your hearing health at risk. Below, we explore four essential strategies to safeguard your sense of hearing and keep your ears healthy.

Say good by to ear candling

In spite of the total lack of scientific merit, the ancient practice of trying to remove earwax has recently achieved some popularity. The process involves inserting a hollow candle inside of the ear canal and igniting the opposite end, with the idea that a vacuum is created, drawing out impurities. This practice, however, has been proven in several studies to not only be ineffective, but also very risky.

Not only does ear candling fail to remove earwax efficiently, but it also poses significant risks. Burns to the sensitive ear structures, perforated eardrums, and aggravation of existing issues can all be consequences of this practice. Normally, if you notice any wax after ear candling, it will be from the candle itself rather than your ears.

Medical professionals always warn against ear candling because of these findings. There are safer ways to clean your ears than cotton swabs and the FDA and the Academy of Otolaryngology (AAO) advise against using them.

No more cotton swabs

It’s true that lots of people turn to these apparently innocuous tools to clean earwax out of their ears. But there are more dangers than benefits to inserting a cotton swab into your ear canal. Instead of effectively eliminating earwax, swabs can unintentionally jam wax deeper into the ear canal, leading to impaction and possible injury.

The delicate nature of the eardrum makes it vulnerable to damage from foreign objects, including cotton swabs. Injuries, like perforations or abrasions can occur, creating pain, infection, and hearing impairment. To avoid these complications, it is advisable to refrain from inserting any objects into the ear canal and instead rely on the ear’s self-cleaning mechanisms or seek professional assistance if needed.

Mind the volume: safeguard against loud noise

In a progressively noisy world, our ears are continuously bombarded by sounds of varying intensities. Exposure to loud sound is inevitable, from going to sporting events and concerts to walking down busy city streets to mowing your lawn. However, sustained or excessive exposure can have detrimental effects on auditory health, leading to noise-induced hearing loss or tinnitus.

To decrease the risk of hearing damage, it is essential to be aware of noise levels and take proactive steps to safeguard your ears. This includes wearing hearing protection, such as earmuffs or earplugs, in loud settings and limiting exposure to loud noises whenever you can.

Additionally, when using personal audio devices, like headphones or earbuds, maintaining a moderate volume and taking regular breaks can help maintain hearing health.

If you notice any symptoms, act quickly

Taking fast action when your ears begin to tell you that you’re starting to encounter some degree of hearing loss is crucial to protect your ears from harm. If you wait to get your hearing loss treated you will probably exacerbate the problem.

If you have symptoms like ringing in the ears, difficulty understanding speech, or pain or pressure in your ears, it’s important that you recognize it. If any of these symptoms are experienced, seek assessment from a qualified hearing specialist or otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) immediately. Early diagnosis and intervention can substantially improve outcomes and enhance your quality of life.

Your ability to effectively navigate the landscape of your life is dependent on you keeping your hearing as healthy as you can. We can preserve our healthy hearing by avoiding cotton swabs and ear candles, protecting our ears against loud noise, and identifying early warning signs.

Call us today for an assessment if you are suffering from ear damage or hearing loss.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.