Usually, when you’re first notice hearing loss (no matter the type), the first thing you should do is attempt to minimize the damage. After all, you can take some easy measures to avoid additional damage and safeguard your ears.
Step 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? When it comes to hearing health, however, we’re not worried about the space behind your ears, but rather your inner ears.
Keeping your ears free from wax buildup can help your hearing in a number of different ways:
- Your ability to hear can also be interfered with if you get a severe ear infection which can also be caused by unclean ears. Your hearing will go back to normal after the ear infection clears.
- If you have a hearing aid, earwax buildup can hinder its function also. You might end up thinking that your hearing is going downhill because of this.
- When wax accumulation becomes severe, it can block sound from reaching your inner ear. This diminishes your ability to hear.
- In the long run, untreated hearing loss can impact your brain and your ability to interpret sounds.
If you observe earwax buildup, it’s definitely not suggested that you dig around in there with a cotton swab. In most cases, a cotton swab will worsen the situation or cause additional damage. Instead, use over-the-counter ear drops.
Step 2: Avoid Loud Noises
This one is so intuitive it almost shouldn’t be listed. The problem is that most people are hard-pressed to define what a “loud noise” actually is. Over a long period of time, for example, your ears can be damaged by driving on a busy freeway. Your lawnmower motor can be rather taxing on your ears, also. Obviously, it’s more than rock concerts or loud speakers that cause hearing damage.
Here are a few ways to stay away from damaging noise:
- Staying away from cranking the volume up on your headphones when you’re watching videos or listening to music. When harmful levels are being approached, most phones have a built in warning.
- Using an app on your phone to alert you when decibel levels get to unsafe thresholds.
- When you can’t avoid noisy settings, use hearing protection. Do you work on a loud factory floor? Going to a rock concert? That’s fun. Just wear the necessary ear protection. Modern earmuffs and earplugs offer abundant protection.
Damage to the ears from noise doesn’t happen all of a sudden, it builds up slowly. So, even if your hearing “feels” good after a noisy event, it may not be. Only a hearing professional can give your hearing a clean bill of health.
Step #3: If You Have Any Hearing Loss – Get it Treated
Hearing impairment accumulates most of the time. So catching any damage early on will help prevent additional injury. That’s why getting treated is extremely important in terms of stopping hearing loss. Effective treatments (that you follow through with) will keep your hearing in the best possible condition.
Here’s how treatments work:
- The potential of developing hearing loss related health issues is reduced by using hearing aids because they minimize social isolation and brain strain.
- We can give individualized instructions and advice to help you avoid further damage to your hearing.
- Hearing aids can stop some, but not all, damage. For instance, hearing aids will prevent you from turning your television volume up so loud it harms your ears. Because hearing aids counter this damage, they can also stop further decline of your hearing.
Decreasing Hearing Impairment Will Benefit You in The Long Run
Even though we don’t have a cure for hearing loss, additional damage can be prevented with treatment. In many cases, hearing aids are one of the primary ways to achieve that. Getting the necessary treatment will not only prevent additional damage but also keep your current hearing level intact.
Your giving yourself the best opportunity for healthy hearing into the future by using ear protection, getting the appropriate treatment, and practicing good hearing hygiene.