The first thing to do, when you start to identify that you have hearing loss, is to avoid added damage. After all, you can take some basic actions to avoid additional damage and protect your ears.
Step 1: Keep Your Ears Clean
Did you clean behind your ears? It’s one of those early hygiene lessons you learn (or should have learned), right? But it’s actually the inner ear we’re worried about cleaning when it comes to hearing health, not behind the ears.
There are several ways that keeping your ears free of wax can help your hearing:
- Sound can be blocked from getting into the inner ear when there’s too much wax buildup. Consequently, your ability to hear becomes weakened.
- Your hearing can also be impeded if you get a severe ear infection which can also be a result of unclean ears. When your ear infection clears, your normal hearing will usually return.
- Your brain and ability to decipher sound will inevitably be affected by neglected hearing loss.
- Earwax buildup also inhibits the operation of your hearing aid if you have one. This could make it seem as though your hearing is getting worse.
If you notice earwax accumulation, it’s absolutely not suggested that you dig around in there with a cotton swab. Additional damage can be done by cotton swabs and they will frequently make it even harder to hear. Instead, use over-the-counter ear drops.
Step 2: Avoid Loud Noises
This one should almost be left off the list it’s so intuitive. The issue is that most people are hard-pressed to define what a “loud noise” actually is. Over an extended time period, for example, your hearing can be damaged by driving on a busy freeway. Your lawnmower motor can be fairly taxing on your ears, also. As you can tell, it’s not just blaring speakers or loud rock concerts that harm your ears.
Some practical ways to stay away from harmful noises include:
- Refraining from cranking the volume up on your headphones when you’re listening to music or watching videos. Most phones include built-in warnings when you’re nearing a dangerous threshold.
- When decibel levels get too high, an app on your phone can notify you of that.
- Wearing hearing protection when loud environments can’t be avoided. Do you work on a noisy factory floor? Going to see a rock concert? That’s fun. Just wear the correct ear protection. Modern earmuffs and earplugs offer abundant protection.
The damage to your hearing from loud sounds will build up slowly. So, even if your hearing “feels” fine after a noisy event, it may not be. You can only get a clean bill of health for your ears by a hearing professional.
Step #3: If You Have Any Hearing Loss – Get it Addressed
Generally speaking, hearing impairment is cumulative. So, the sooner you recognize the damage, the better you’ll be able to prevent additional damage. So in terms of stopping hearing loss, treatment is so important. Effective treatments (that you follow through with) will put your hearing in the best possible condition.
Here’s how treatments work:
- We can give individualized guidance and advice to help you prevent further damage to your hearing.
- Some, but not all damage can be prevented by using hearing aids. Hearing aids will, for instance, allow you to listen to the TV or music at a lower volume, avoiding damage. Because hearing aids prevent this damage, they can also prevent further deterioration of your hearing.
- Hearing aids minimize the brain strain and social isolation that exacerbate hearing loss-related health problems.
Decreasing Hearing Impairment Will Benefit You in The Long Run
Although we can’t cure hearing loss, further damage can be prevented with treatment. One of the principal ways to do that, in many instances, is hearing aids. The correct treatment will help you preserve your present level of hearing and prevent it from getting worse.
When you wear hearing protection, exercise good hygiene, and pursue hearing loss treatment, you’re taking the appropriate steps to limit hearing loss while also giving yourself the best chance for healthy hearing in the years to come.