Isn’t pizza great? As long as it meets a few standard criteria (crust, sauce, cheese, etc.) regardless of the toppings, it’s still pizza. Hearing loss is similar. Symptoms and manifestations are due to many different problems – loud noises, genetics, age, ear obstructions – but as long as you have trouble detecting sounds, it’s still hearing loss.
Typically, when you first notice hearing loss (no matter the variety), the first thing you should do is attempt to limit the damage. This is just one simple step you can take to safeguard your hearing from further damage.
Tip 1: Keep your ears clean
Did you clean behind your ears? It’s one of those original hygiene instructions you learn (or should have learned), right? But in terms of the health of your hearing, it’s the inner ear, not behind the ears, that we’re concerned with.
Keeping your ears clear of wax buildups can help your hearing in a number of different ways:
- When wax accumulation becomes significant, it can block sound waves from getting into your inner ear. As a result, your ability to hear becomes reduced.
- Earwax accumulation also disrupts the operation of your hearing aid if you have one. This may make it seem as though your hearing is worsening.
- After a while, neglected hearing loss impacts your brain and your ability to interpret sounds.
- Your ability to hear can be obstructed by swelling which is caused by severe ear infection as a result of dirty ears. When your ear infection clears, your normal hearing will usually come back.
You should never try to use a cotton swab to dig out earwax. In most instances, a cotton swab will make things even worse or cause additional damage. Instead, use over-the-counter ear drops.
Tip 2: Avoid loud noises that could lead to hearing loss
This one is so instinctive it almost shouldn’t be on this list. But identifying what constitutes “loud sound” isn’t very easy for most people. There are lots of hazards to your hearing in everyday life including things as common as driving on a loud freeway every day over long periods. Your ears can also be damaged by things like the motor of your lawn mower. And, be careful to protect your hearing during those 4th of July fireworks!
Some useful ways to avoid harmful noises include:
- Avoid cranking the volume up on your headphones when you’re streaming videos or listening to tunes. When you’re listening at hazardous levels, most phones have built-in alerts.
- Using an app on your phone to let you know when decibel levels reach hazardous thresholds.
- When you can’t prevent being in a loud setting, wear hearing protection. If you want to attend a loud rock concert or if you work in a loud factory that’s okay but don’t forget your ear protection. Modern earmuffs and earplugs provide ample protection.
The damage to your ears from loud noises will build up slowly. So, even if your hearing “feels” fine after a loud event, that doesn’t mean it is. Your hearing can only be properly assessed by a hearing specialist.
Tip 3: If you have any hearing loss, have it treated
In general, hearing loss is cumulative. So, the earlier you catch the damage, the better you’ll be able to prevent further damage. That’s why treatment is incredibly essential when it comes to restricting hearing loss. Your hearing will be in the best possible condition when you stick to the treatment plan we will provide for you.
Here’s how treatments work:
- Hearing aids can stop some, but not all, damage. For instance, hearing aids will stop you from turning your television volume up so loud it damages your ears. Because hearing aids stop this damage, they can also prevent further deterioration of your hearing.
- We will provide personalized instructions and advice to help you avoid further damage to your hearing.
- Hearing aids prevent the brain strain and social isolation that worsen hearing loss-related health problems.
In the long run you will be benefited by using hearing aids
While it’s true that hearing loss can’t be cured, in many circumstances, hearing loss treatment is one of the main ways to prevent it. The appropriate treatment will help you maintain your present level of hearing and prevent it from becoming worse.
When you wear hearing protection, practice quality hygiene, and engage in hearing loss treatment with a hearing specialist, you’re taking the proper measures to control hearing loss while also giving yourself the best opportunity for healthy hearing in the years to come!