Mind & Body
7 Ways To Prevent Hearing Loss
Do you have a hard time following conversations, especially in loud rooms, or hear constant complaints that your television or music is just too loud? If your answer is yes, then this could be a sign that you’re suffering from hearing loss. Despite what many of us believe, this is a fairly common condition, which can be caused by a myriad of factors. It can also affect people of any and all ages, from babies and young children right up to the elderly. That being said, it isn’t inevitable for any of us. With that in mind, here are seven ways you can prevent hearing loss.
- Avoid Excessive Noise Exposure
Over extended periods of time, loud noises can begin to damage the hair cells inside your ears, which makes it difficult for them to pick up sound vibrations. For this reason, it’s vital that you minimize your exposure to such noises as much as you can. Motorcycles, power tools, concerts, and even headphones can all be loud enough to cause significant damage. As a general rule, you should try to avoid any environments within which you need to shout for others to hear you.
- Clean Out Your Ears
For a large percentage of people, especially those quite young, hearing sharply and loudly requires nothing more than ensuring that the ear canal is clear of wax. This is because a build-up of earwax tends to muffle sounds, impacting your hearing ability. That being said, you’re best not using a cotton swab for the job. More often than not, this simply pushes wax further down into your ear, making the issue worse. Instead, irrigate your ears or visit the doctor for a clean out.
- Ditch The Smoking Habit
We all know that smoking is unhealthy and can some seriously negative effects on the mind and body, but few people realize that it is also damaging to the ears. The combination of carbon monoxide and nicotine from smoking tighten the blood vessels found in your ears, which means that they don’t get the oxygen that they need. This damages the hair cells, limiting their ability to pick up vibrations. Because of this, you should try to quit smoking and avoid other smokers too.
- Have Regular Hearing Tests
The earlier a medical issue is picked up on, the greater your chance of preventing it from getting any worse. This is just as true for hearing issues as any other medical problem. Because of this, it’s crucial that you schedule and stick to regular appointments with your general practitioner or an audiologist. Even if you don’t think that anything is wrong, it’s better to be safe than sorry. These appointments are especially vital for those often exposed to noisy environments.
- Wear A Hearing Aid
For individuals already suffering from some degree of hearing loss, wearing a hearing aid can be an effective way to prevent further damage. Thankfully, aids like Miracle-Ear come in a variety of solutions and styles, which means that there’s always an option suitable for you and your condition. However, this aid will only work if you use them when you need to. If you take your hearing aid off too much and wear it too little, then it won’t be able to help you or your hearing.
- Ask About Your Medication
Unbeknownst to many, there lots of different medications out there all of which can damage your hearing. From aspirin to viagra, these are called ototoxic drugs because they’re toxic to the ears. Keeping that in mind, you should speak to your doctor and ask if any of the medications that you take are ototoxic. If the answer is yes, and your hearing is suffering as a result, then they may be able to prescribe an alternative medication. Reducing your dosage can also be an option.
- Wear Some Ear Protection
Avoiding extended exposure to loud noises is incredibly important, but, if you work in a particularly noisy environment, like a building site, then it may not be possible. Because of this, you must remember to bring some ear protection along with you. Earmuffs and earplugs are just two of the options that you have. They can even be worn together for greater overall protection. Even with this protection, you should get a break from loud noises about every fifteen minutes.
Hearing loss, unfortunately, isn’t always preventable, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t try. Hopefully, with the advice above, you can keep your ears in a good working condition.