Isn’t pizza cool? You can change the toppings, sauces, even the cheeses involved, but as long as it meets a few basic criteria, it’s still a pizza. That’s also like hearing loss. Symptoms and manifestations are a consequence of many different problems – loud noises, genetic factors, age, ear obstructions – but as long as you have trouble hearing sounds, it’s still hearing loss.
Normally, when you first notice hearing loss (regardless of the type), the first thing you should do is attempt to limit the damage. This is just one simple step you can take to safeguard your hearing from further harm.
Tip 1: Clean your Ears
Did you clean behind your ears? It’s one of those early hygiene lessons you learn (or should have learned), right? But when it comes to the health of your hearing, it’s the inner ear, not behind the ears, that we’re interested in.
Keeping your ears clear of wax accumulation can help your hearing in a few different ways:
- When wax accumulation becomes significant, it can block sound waves from getting into your inner ear. Because of this, your ability to hear becomes diminished.
- Over time, untreated hearing loss impacts your brain and your ability to interpret sounds.
- Your ability to hear can be impeded by swelling which is caused by severe ear infection as a result of unclean ears. Your normal hearing will typically come back when then the infection goes away.
- Earwax buildup also impedes the operation of your hearing aid if you have one. This could make it seem as though your hearing is worsening.
If you notice earwax accumulation, it’s absolutely not suggested that you dig around in there with a cotton swab. In most situations, a cotton swab will make things even worse or cause added damage. You can get earwax removal drops over-the-counter at your local pharmacy which work better and are safer than swabs.
Tip 2: Loud noise that could result in hearing loss should be avoided
This one is so intuitive it almost doesn’t need to be on the list. The challenge is that most people are hard-pressed to define what a “loud noise” really is. It’s not just blaring speakers or loud rock concerts that damage your hearing, freeway driving can be noisy enough to damage your ears over a long period of time. The motor on your lawnmower can be very straining on your ears too. And, be mindful to protect your hearing during those 4th of July fireworks!
Here are some useful ways to avoid noise damage:
- When decibel levels get too high, you can use an app on your phone to let you know.
- When you’re watching movies or listening to music, keep the headphone volume down. When you’re listening at harmful levels, most phones have built-in warnings.
- Wearing ear protection when loud conditions are inescapable. If you want to go to a loud rock concert or if you work in a noisy factory that’s fine but don’t forget your ear protection. Contemporary earmuffs and earplugs provide ample protection.
So if you go to a noisy event and your hearing feels fine after, that doesn’t mean it is, because hearing loss is often a slow progression. Your hearing can only be properly assessed by a hearing specialist.
Tip 3: If you have any hearing loss, get it treated
In general, hearing loss is accumulative. So you’ll be better able to prevent further damage if you catch it early. That’s why treatment is extremely essential when it comes to controlling hearing loss. Your hearing will be in the best possible condition when you observe the treatment plan we will lay out for you.
Here’s how treatments work:
- Mental strain, social isolation, and other hearing loss-associated health problems can be prevented by hearing aids.
- We will provide personalized instructions and guidance to help you avoid further damage to your hearing.
- Hearing aids can prevent some, but not all, damage. For example, hearing aids will stop you from turning your television volume up so loud it damages your ears. Because hearing aids prevent this damage, they can also prevent further degeneration of your hearing.
In the long run you will be benefited by using hearing aids
While it’s true that hearing loss can’t be cured, in many circumstances, hearing loss treatment is one of the main ways to prevent it. The appropriate treatment will help you maintain your current level of hearing and prevent it from becoming worse.
When you use hearing protection, practice quality hygiene, and engage in hearing loss treatment with a hearing specialist, you’re taking the best measures to control hearing loss while also giving yourself the best opportunity for healthy hearing in the years to come!