Isn’t pizza great? As long as it meets a few basic criteria (crust, sauce, cheese, etc.) regardless of the toppings, it’s still pizza. Hearing loss is similar. Symptoms and presentations are caused by many different issues – loud noises, genetics, age, ear blockages – but as long as you have trouble hearing sounds, it’s still hearing loss.
Typically, when you’re confronted with hearing loss (regardless of the type), the first thing you need to do is try to stop the damage. This is only one simple measure you can take to safeguard your hearing from further harm.
Tip 1: Clean your Ears
Remember when your mom used to constantly ask “did you wash behind your ears”? When it comes to hearing health, we’re not worried about the areas behind your ears, but instead your inner ears.
Your hearing can be helped in numerous ways by keeping your ears clear of earwax:
- Over time, neglected hearing loss affects your brain and your ability to interpret sounds.
- When wax buildup becomes substantial, it can block sound waves from reaching your inner ear. Because of this, your ability to hear becomes weakened.
- Unkempt ears boost your chances of getting an ear infection, which causes swelling that, when significant enough, interferes with your ability to hear. Your functional hearing will typically return when then the infection clears.
- If you wear hearing aids, earwax will also interfere with their operation. If this happens you might think that your hearing is getting even worse.
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 added damage. You can buy earwax removal drops over-the-counter at your local pharmacy which work better and are safer than swabs.
Tip 2: Avoid loud noises that could cause hearing loss
This one is so intuitive it almost doesn’t need to be on the list. The problem is that most people are hard-pressed to define what a “loud noise” really is. There are lots of dangers to your hearing in day-to-day life and that includes things as common as driving on a loud highway every day over long periods. The motor on your lawnmower can be pretty straining on your ears as well. And when you’re out celebrating the 4th of July, be careful to protect your hearing!
Here are some practical ways to eliminate noise damage:
- When decibel levels get too loud, you can use an app on your phone to alert you.
- When you can’t avoid being in a loud environment, use hearing protection. If you want to go to a loud rock concert or if you work in a noisy factory that’s fine but remember your hearing protection. You can get plenty of protection from contemporary earplugs and earmuffs.
- When you’re watching movies or listening to music, keep the headphone volume down. Most cellphones have built-in alerts when you’re approaching a hazardous threshold.
So if you go to a loud event and your hearing seems fine after, that doesn’t mean it is, because hearing loss is often a gradual progression. Only a hearing specialist can let you know if you have hearing loss.
Tip 3: If you have any hearing loss, get it treated
Generally speaking, hearing loss is cumulative. So, the earlier you catch the damage, the better you’ll be able to stop further damage. That’s why treatment is extremely 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 lay out for you.
Here’s how treatments work:
- Hearing aids can prevent some, but not all, damage. For example, hearing aids will stop you from cranking your television volume up so loud it harms your ears. Because hearing aids prevent this damage, they can also prevent further deterioration of your hearing.
- We will provide personalized instructions and guidance to help you avoid further damage to your ears.
- Hearing aids prevent the mental strain and social separation that worsen hearing loss-related health problems.
Limit hearing loss – it will benefit you in the long run
While it’s true that there’s no cure for hearing loss, in many circumstances, hearing loss treatment is one of the main ways to prevent it. Treating your hearing loss appropriately will stop further damage while maintaining your present degree of hearing.
In the years to come you will be giving yourself the best chance for healthy hearing if you get hearing loss treatment from us, use hearing protection, and practice quality hygiene!