Isn’t pizza cool? You can switch up the toppings, sauces, even the cheeses involved, but as long as it meets a few basic criteria, it’s still a pizza. Hearing loss is also like this. Symptoms and manifestations are a consequence of many different issues – loud noises, genetic factors, age, ear blockages – but as long as you have difficulty detecting sounds, it’s still hearing loss.
Typically, when you first notice hearing loss (regardless of the type), the first thing you need to do is attempt to limit the damage. There are, after all, some simple steps you can take to safeguard your ears and limit further hearing loss.
Tip 1: Keep your ears clean
Did you clean behind your ears? It’s one of those early hygiene instructions you learn (or should have learned), right? When it comes to hearing health, we aren’t worried about the space behind your ears, but rather your inner ears.
Your hearing can be benefited in a number of ways by keeping your ears clear of earwax:
- When wax buildup becomes substantial, it can stop sound waves from reaching your inner ear. As a result, your ability to hear becomes weakened.
- After a while, neglected hearing loss affects your brain and your ability to decipher sounds.
- Your ability to hear can be hampered by inflammation which is caused by profound ear infection as a result of dirty ears. When your ear infection clears up, your normal hearing will typically come back.
- Earwax accumulation also disrupts the functioning of your hearing aid if you have one. This may make it seem as though your hearing is getting worse.
You should not ever attempt 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. You can buy earwax removal drops over-the-counter at your local pharmacy which work better and are safer than swabs.
Tip 2: Try to avoid loud noises that could cause hearing loss
This one is so instinctive it almost doesn’t need to be on this list. But identifying what comprises “loud sound” is not very easy for most people. There are many hazards to your hearing in everyday life including things as common as driving on a loud highway every day over long periods. The motor on your lawnmower can be very straining on your ears as well. And, be mindful to protect your hearing during those 4th of July fireworks!
Some useful ways to avoid harmful noises include:
- Using an app on your phone to let you know when decibel levels reach hazardous levels.
- Using hearing protection when noisy environments are unavoidable. Do you work on a noisy factory floor? Do you really want to attend that rock concert? That’s cool. Just use the correct hearing protection. Modern earmuffs and earplugs give ample protection.
- When you’re watching movies or listening to tunes, watch your headphone volume. Most cellphones feature built-in warnings when you’re approaching a dangerous threshold.
The damage to your ears from loud sounds will build up slowly. So, even if your hearing “feels” fine after a noisy event, that doesn’t mean it is. Only a hearing specialist can let you know if you have hearing loss.
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 avoid further damage. So in terms of hearing loss, this is why getting it treated is so significant. Effective treatments (on which you follow through) will leave your hearing in the best possible condition.
Here’s how treatments work:
- Hearing aids prevent the mental strain and social isolation that worsen hearing loss-related health issues.
- We will provide individualized instructions and advice to help you avoid further damage to your ears.
- Hearing aids can prevent some, but not all, damage. With a hearing aid, you’re unlikely to turn up the tv to dangerous volumes. Hearing can stop further deterioration of your hearing by preventing this kind of damage.
In the long run you will be benefited by using hearing aids
While it’s true that there’s no cure for hearing loss, in many instances, hearing loss treatment is one of the main ways to prevent it. The correct treatment will help you maintain your current level of hearing and prevent it from getting worse.
When you use hearing protection, practice good hygiene, and pursue hearing loss treatment with a hearing specialist, you’re taking the proper measures to control hearing loss while also giving yourself the best chance for healthy hearing in the years to come!