Too often we tend to think about hearing in terms of loss. Indeed, once hearing in certain frequency ranges at certain volumes has been lost, it will not come back without assistance. Yet, focusing on the preventative healthy practices you can incorporate into your everyday life will help preserve the healthy hearing you still have. Some simple habits can preserve your hearing into the future before hearing aids or other assistive technology become necessary.
One of the most important steps you can take to protect your hearing is to reduce volumes whenever possible. Many of the sounds we are exposed to in our lives are beyond our control, such as noisy trains, proximity to construction equipment, or the sound of a lawnmower, for example. Though we can’t eliminate loud sounds from our lives completely, we can take steps to reduce volumes when possible. Music volumes can be dangerous to our hearing, especially when they come through headphones or ear buds. Televisions are also a risk to hearing, and sometimes we don’t notice how loud they have become over time. Whenever possible, step outside a loud environment, such as a construction zone or a loud concert, in order to give your ears a break. Vary your activities if at all possible to reduce exposure to the same loud frequencies day after day.
In addition to reducing the volume of sounds you are exposed to, you can invest in hearing protection. Particularly those in professions that require exposure to loud sounds, such as some factory environments, construction workers, or musicians, ought to consider incorporating hearing protection into their everyday routines. Earplugs and hearing protection come in a variety of qualities at a range of prices. On the low end are cheap and simple disposable earplugs. At the higher end are digital noise reduction pieces that can be custom fitted to the shape of your outer ear. The most important part of investing in hearing protection is to remember to bring it along to loud environments and to put it into use.
Mounting evidence links smoking with hearing loss. Particularly among children and young people, exposure to second-hand smoke has been linked with hearing limitations, impairment, and loss. Smokers put themselves at risk, as well. Along with the many other health benefits that have been linked to smoking cessation, protecting your hearing may be yet another reason to quit.
Though keeping your ears clean is necessary for good hygiene, the way you clean your ears may be doing more damage than good. Be careful not to insert cotton swabs too far into the ear canal. Though they are helpful tools for cleaning the outer ear, they can cause problems if they force excess earwax further into the ear canal. Use only clean cloth or tissues to clean the ear, or you may be at risk for infection.
Water in the ear can be a risk to hearing and ear health more generally. Swimmers often experience water trapped in their ears, which can be annoying and can become a health risk when bacteria or other germs in the fluid become lodged in the ear canal. Snorkeling and deep sea diving can be even more problematic, particularly when water pressure is added to the risk of trapped water. Though swimming and diving specialists can offer the best advice for avoiding these risks to your hearing, carefully drying your ears after each submersion in water is quite important, and taking periodic breaks from the water can help reduce the risk, as well.
Hearing Checkups With Hearing Spa
Perhaps the most important way to protect your hearing is to have it checked. When you meet with us at Hearing Spa, our hearing specialist will ask you about your current hearing activity and identify risky business in which you may be engaged. Perhaps you aren’t even aware of the loud environments to which you are exposed in everyday life. If that is the case, our team at Hearing Spa may be able to help you change your behavior or invest in specific hearing protection that will preserve your current state of healthy hearing well into the future.