Pizza is an interesting thing. As long as a few criteria are met, you can switch toppings, cheese, and sauce, and it’s still a pizza. Hearing loss is a lot like that. Symptoms and manifestations are caused by many different issues, loud noises, genetics, age, or ear obstructions, but as long as you have difficulty detecting sounds, it’s still hearing loss.
Normally, when you’re facing hearing loss (no matter the variety), the first thing you should do is try to minimize the damage. You can, after all, take some basic measures to limit additional damage and protect your ears.
Tip 1: Keep your ears clean
When you were a kid, you most likely learned that you need to clean behind your ears. But it’s your inner ears that we’re worried about here, regarding hearing health, not behind your ears.
There are a number of ways that earwax buildup can impact your hearing:
- If you use a hearing aid, earwax can also impact that. This may give you the impression that your hearing is going.
- When wax accumulation becomes substantial, it can stop soundwaves from reaching your inner ear. Consequently, your ability to hear becomes reduced.
- Unkempt ears raise your risk of getting an ear infection, which creates inflammation that when severe enough, disrupts your ability to hear. When your ear infection goes away, your regular hearing will usually return (but that’s something you should consult a doctor about).
If you notice earwax accumulation, it’s absolutely not recommended that you poke around in there with a cotton swab. In most cases, a cotton swab will make things worse or cause added damage. Alternatively, use over-the-counter ear drops.
Tip 2: Very loud sounds should be averted
This one is so instinctive it practically shouldn’t be on this list. The problem is that the majority of individuals are hard-pressed to determine what a “loud noise” really is. For instance, freeway driving can be loud enough to damage your ears over a long period of time. Your ears can also be damaged by frequent use of your lawn mower. Clearly, other things besides rock concerts or blaring speakers can damage your ears.
Some practical ways to stay away from harmful noises include:
- Using an app on your phone to let you know when decibel levels reach dangerous levels.
- When you need to be in a noisy environment, use hearing protection. Are you working on a noisy factory floor? It’s okay if you want to go to that rock concert. But wear the required hearing protection. You can get plenty of protection with modern earmuffs and earplugs.
- Refraining from turning up the volume on your headphones when you’re viewing videos or listening to tunes. When approaching dangerous levels, most headphones have a built-in warning.
The damage to your ears from loud noises will accumulate slowly. So don’t just assume that your hearing is fine after a loud event, even if it feels fine. We can only help you figure out if you have hearing loss if you call for an appointment.
Tip 3: If you have any hearing loss, deal with it
In most instances, hearing loss develops gradually over an extended period of time. You’ll be in a better position to prevent additional damage if you identify your hearing loss early on. That’s why treatment is tremendously important when it comes to minimizing hearing loss. Practical treatments (on which you follow through) will put your hearing in the best possible condition.
Here’s how treatments work:
- We will help you avoid further damage to your ears by supplying you with individualized guidance when you come in for a consultation.
- Hearing aids can prevent some, but not all, damage. If you’re using hearing aids, for example, you won’t always need to turn volumes up to harmful levels. Because hearing aids prevent this damage, they can also prevent further deterioration of your hearing.
- Hearing aids reduce the brain strain and social isolation that worsen hearing loss-related health problems.
Limit hearing loss – it will benefit you in the long run
While it’s true that hearing loss can’t be cured, hearing specialists are focused on limiting additional harm to your hearing. In many circumstances, hearing loss treatment is one of the primary ways to accomplish that. Your current level of hearing will be preserved and hearing loss will be prevented from getting worse with the proper treatment.
You’re taking the proper steps to limit hearing loss and put yourself in the best position to continue to have healthy hearing if you practice good hygiene, use ear protection, and come see us for regular hearing tests.