Isn’t pizza interesting? You can change the toppings, sauces, even the cheeses on it, but as long as it meets a few basic criteria, it’s still a pizza. Hearing loss is a lot like that. Symptoms and presentations are caused by numerous different problems, loud noises, genetics, age, or ear blockages, but as long as you have a hard time hearing sounds, it’s still hearing loss.
Normally, when you’re confronted with hearing loss (regardless of the variety), the first thing you need to do is try to limit the damage. There are, after all, some simple measures you can take to safeguard your ears and minimize additional hearing loss.
Tip 1: Clean your ears
Did you clean behind your ears? It’s one of those childhood 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 behind your ears.
There are various ways that earwax buildup can affect your hearing:
- Your risk of getting an ear infection is increased if your ears aren’t kept clean and that can result in swelling which will impede your hearing. When your ear infection goes away, your regular hearing will normally return (but that’s something you should talk to a doctor about).
- When wax buildup becomes substantial, it can block soundwaves from getting into your inner ear. Consequently, your ability to hear becomes diminished.
- If you use a hearing aid, earwax can also interfere with that. This might make it seem as though your hearing is getting worse.
A cotton swab is definitely not the best tool to use to get any earwax that you may have noticed out and is strongly discouraged. Cotton swabs can cause damage and will almost always make the problem worse. Over-the-counter ear drops are recommended as an alternative.
Tip 2: Really loud noises should be avoided
This one is so instinctive it almost shouldn’t be on this list. The problem is that most individuals are hard-pressed to characterize what a “loud noise” really is. A freeway, for instance, can be loud enough that over an extended period of time, it can damage your ears. Your ears can also be damaged by regular usage of your lawn mower. Clearly, other things besides rock concerts or blaring speakers can damage your ears.
Some practical ways to avoid harmful noises include:
- Using an app on your phone to alert you when volumes get to hazardous thresholds.
- 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.
- When you need to be in a noisy setting, use hearing protection. Do you work on the floor of a loud factory? Do you really want to attend that rock concert? That’s awesome. But you need to use the appropriate ear protection. Modern earmuffs and earplugs provide ample protection.
There’s a gradual advancement to hearing loss that’s due to loud sound. So don’t just assume that your hearing is fine after a loud event, even if it feels fine. We can only help you determine if you have hearing loss if you call for an appointment.
Tip 3: If you have any hearing loss, get it treated
In general, hearing loss is progressive. So, the earlier you recognize the damage, the better you’ll be able to prevent additional damage. That’s why treatment is tremendously important in terms of minimizing hearing loss. Your hearing will be in the best situation if you get treatment and implement it.
Here’s how treatments work:
- Hearing loss-related health conditions that are worsened by social solitude and brain strain can be avoided by wearing hearing aids.
- Some, but not all damage can be stopped by wearing hearing aids. For example, hearing aids will stop you from cranking the volume of your television up so loud it harms your ears. This will counter further noise-related damage.
- We will help you stay clear of further damage to your ears by supplying you with personalized instructions when you come in for an assessment.
In the long run, you will be helped by wearing hearing aids
While we know that hearing loss can’t be cured, hearing specialists are focused on limiting further harm to your ears. Treatment of hearing loss is typically one of the best approaches to that. The appropriate treatment will help you preserve your current level of hearing and prevent it from getting worse.
You’re taking the appropriate 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 tests.