Isn’t pizza interesting? You can switch the toppings, sauces, even the cheeses on it, but as long as it meets a few basic criteria, it’s still a pizza. That’s a lot like hearing loss. But as long as you have difficulty hearing sound, it’s still hearing loss regardless of whether it’s caused by genetic factors, age, blockages, or exposure to loud noise.
Frequently, 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 steps you can take to safeguard your ears and limit additional hearing loss.
Tip 1: Keep your ears clean
Did you wash behind your ears? It’s one of those early hygiene lessons you learn, or should have learned, right? In terms of hearing health, we aren’t concerned with the parts behind your ears, but rather your inner ears.
Keeping your ears free of wax accumulation can help your hearing in a variety of different ways:
- If you have a hearing aid, earwax can also impact that. This could give you the impression that your hearing is going.
- Your chance of getting an ear infection is elevated if your ears aren’t kept clean and that can cause swelling which will interfere with your hearing. When your ear infection clears, your regular hearing will usually return (but that’s something you should talk to a doctor about).
- Sound waves going to your ears can be blocked when a substantial amount of earwax accumulates. When this takes place you won’t be capable of hearing as well.
A cotton swab is definitely not the correct tool to use to clear any earwax that you may have noticed out and is strongly discouraged. In most situations, a cotton swab will worsen the problem or cause additional damage. Over-the-counter ear drops are recommended instead.
Tip 2: Steer clear of loud sounds that could contribute to hearing loss
This one is so intuitive it almost shouldn’t be on this list. But what exactly comprises a “loud sound”? A freeway, for example, can be loud enough that over a long time period, it can harm your ears. Your ears can also be harmed by frequent usage of your lawn mower. Clearly, other things besides rock concerts or blaring speakers can damage your ears.
Here are a number of ways to avoid loud, damaging noises.:
- When you need to be in a noisy environment, use hearing protection. Do you work on the floor of a loud factory? Do you really want to go to that rock concert? That’s cool. Just wear the necessary ear protection. You can get enough protection with modern earmuffs and earplugs.
- When you’re listening to tunes or watching videos, keep your headphone volume at safe levels. When approaching dangerous levels, most headphones have a built-in alert.
- Using an app on your phone to let you know when decibel levels reach unsafe thresholds.
There’s a gradual development to hearing loss that’s a result of loud sound. So don’t just assume that your hearing is okay after a loud event, even if it feels fine. Only if you come in and see us can we give your ears a clean bill of health.
Tip 3: If you have any hearing loss, get it treated
In most situations, hearing loss develops gradually over an extended time period. You’ll be in a better position to stop additional damage if you recognize your hearing loss early on. In terms of hearing loss, that’s why treatment is so significant. Practical treatments (on which you follow through) will put your hearing in the best possible condition.
Here’s how treatments work:
- When you come in for a consultation we will give you personalized guidance and advice to help you steer clear of additional damage to your ears.
- Hearing aids can prevent some, but not all, damage. If you’re wearing hearing aids, for example, you won’t always have to turn volumes up to damaging levels. This will counter further noise-related damage.
- Hearing loss-related health problems that are worsened by social isolation and brain strain can be avoided by using hearing aids.
Over the long haul, you will be benefited by using hearing aids
While it’s true that hearing loss can’t be cured, hearing specialists are working hard to limit further damage to your hearing. Treatment of hearing loss is usually one of the primary approaches to that. Your current level of hearing will be maintained and hearing loss will be prevented from getting worse with the proper treatment.
When you wear hearing protection, maintain good hygiene, and get hearing loss treatment with us, you’re taking the proper steps to minimize hearing loss while also giving yourself the best opportunity for healthy hearing in the future.