Pizza is an interesting thing. You can switch up the toppings, sauces, even the cheeses concerned, but as long as it meets some basic criteria, it’s still a pizza. Hearing loss is similar. Symptoms and presentations are due to many different issues – loud noises, genetic factors, age, ear blockages – but as long as you have difficulty hearing sounds, it’s still hearing loss.
Typically, when you first notice hearing loss (regardless of the type), the first thing you need to do is attempt to stop the damage. There are, after all, some simple steps you can take to protect your ears and control further hearing loss.
Tip 1: Keep your ears clean
Remember when your parents used to constantly ask “did you wash behind your ears”? When it involves hearing health, we’re not worried about the space behind your ears, but instead your inner ears.
Your hearing can be benefited in a number of ways by keeping your ears clear of earwax:
- Your ability to hear can be hampered by inflammation which is caused by severe ear infection as a result of dirty ears. Your normal hearing will usually come back when then the infection clears up.
- Over time, untreated hearing loss impacts your brain and your ability to decipher sounds.
- Sound waves will have a harder time getting into your inner ear if you have significant buildup. Your hearing becomes jeopardized as a result.
- If you wear hearing aids, earwax will also interfere with their operation. If this occurs you might think that your hearing is getting even worse.
You should not ever attempt to use a cotton swab to dig out earwax. Cotton swabs can push the earwax further up into the ear canal and can trigger even more harm. Instead, use over-the-counter ear drops.
Tip 2: Avoid loud noises that could cause hearing loss
This one should be fairly obvious. But defining what comprises “loud sound” is not very easy for most individuals. It’s not just blaring speakers or loud rock concerts that damage your hearing, freeway driving can be loud enough to damage your ears over a long period of time. The motor on your lawnmower can be pretty taxing on your ears as well. And when you’re out remembering the 4th of July, be mindful to protect your ears!
Here are some practical ways to avoid noise damage:
- Wearing hearing protection when loud conditions are not avoidable. Do you work on a noisy factory floor? Do you really want to go to that rock concert? That’s fine. Just use the correct hearing protection. Modern earmuffs and earplugs provide ample protection.
- When decibel levels get too high, you can use an app on your phone to let you know.
- Avoid turning up the volume on your headphones when you’re watching videos or listening to tunes. When you’re listening at unsafe volumes, most phones have built-in warnings.
The damage to your ears from loud sounds will build up slowly. So, even if your hearing “seems” good after a loud event, that doesn’t mean it is. Your hearing can only be properly assessed by a hearing specialist.
Tip 3: Treat any hearing loss you might have
Hearing loss typically accumulates over time. So you’ll be in a better position to avoid further harm if you catch it early. That’s why treatment is extremely important when it comes to limiting hearing loss. Your hearing will be in the best possible condition when you follow the treatment plan we will provide for you.
Here’s how treatments work:
- Hearing aids prevent the mental strain and social isolation that exacerbate hearing loss-related health problems.
- Some, but not all damage can be prevented by hearing aids. With a hearing aid, you’re not likely to crank up the tv to harmful volumes. Because hearing aids stop this damage, they can also prevent further degeneration of your hearing.
- We will give you individualized instructions and guidance to help you avoid further damage to your hearing.
Limit hearing loss – it will help you in the long run
While it’s true that hearing loss can’t be cured, in many situations, hearing loss treatment is one of the main ways to prevent it. Treating your hearing loss correctly will prevent additional damage while protecting your present level of hearing.
When you wear hearing protection, practice quality hygiene, and pursue hearing loss treatment with a hearing specialist, you’re taking the correct steps to limit hearing loss while also giving yourself the best chance for healthy hearing in the years to come!