Isn’t pizza interesting? As long as a few criteria are met, you can switch 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 due to genetic factors, age, obstructions, or exposure to loud noise.
Limiting the damage is the first step you should take when confronted with hearing loss of any variety. You can, after all, take some basic steps to limit further damage and safeguard your ears.
Tip 1: Keep your ears clean
When you were younger, you probably were taught that you need to wash behind your ears. When it comes to hearing health, we’re not worried about the parts behind your ears, but rather inside of your ears.
There are various ways that earwax buildup can impact your hearing:
- When wax buildup becomes significant, it can block soundwaves from reaching your inner ear. When this occurs you won’t be capable of hearing as well.
- Unkempt ears raise your chances of getting an ear infection, which creates swelling that when significant enough, interferes with your hearing. When your ear infection clears up, your regular hearing will normally return (but that’s something you should consult a doctor about).
- If you use a hearing aid, earwax can also impact that. This might make it seem as if your hearing is worsening.
A cotton swab is definitely not the right tool to use to clear any earwax that you may have noticed out and is strongly discouraged. Cotton swabs can cause damage and will usually worsen the situation. Over-the-counter ear drops are recommended instead.
Tip 2: Steer clear of loud sounds that could cause hearing loss
This one is so instinctive it almost shouldn’t be on the list. The problem is that most people are hard-pressed to characterize what a “loud noise” actually is. For instance, highway travel can be loud enough to damage your ears over a long period of time. Your ears can also be damaged by frequent usage of your lawn mower. As you can see, it isn’t just blasting speakers or loud rock concerts that damage your ears.
Some practical ways to avoid harmful noises include:
- When decibel levels become dangerously loud, you can utilize an app on your phone to alert you.
- When you have to be in a noisy setting, use hearing protection. Are you working on the floor of a noisy factory? Do you really want to attend that rock concert? That’s cool. But you need to use the correct hearing protection. Modern earmuffs and earplugs provide sufficient protection.
- When you’re listening to music or watching videos, keep your headphone volume at safe levels. The majority of phones feature built-in alerts when you’re nearing a dangerous threshold.
There’s a gradual development to hearing loss that’s a result of loud sound. So don’t just assume that your hearing is fine after a loud event, even if it feels fine. Only if you come in for a hearing exam can we give your ears a clean bill of health.
Tip 3: If you have any hearing loss, deal with it
Generally speaking, hearing loss is cumulative. So, the sooner you recognize the damage, the better you’ll be able to stop additional damage. When it comes to hearing loss, that’s why treatment is so crucial. Practical treatments (on which you follow through) will put your hearing in the best possible condition.
Here’s how treatments work:
- Hearing aids can stop some, but not all, damage. For example, hearing aids will prevent you from cranking the volume of your television up so loud it becomes harmful. This will counter further noise-related damage.
- Hearing aids prevent the brain strain and social isolation that worsen hearing loss-related health conditions.
- We will help you avoid additional damage to your ears by supplying you with personalized instructions when you come in for an assessment.
Limit hearing loss – it will benefit you in the long run
While it’s true that hearing loss has no cure, hearing specialists are working hard to limit further damage to your ears. In many instances, hearing loss treatment is one of the main ways to accomplish that. The correct treatment will help you preserve your current level of hearing and prevent it from worsening.
You’re taking the proper 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.