Many of us damage our ears without knowing. This can lead to hearing loss later in life. To help protect your sense of hearing, here are just a few things that you can do.
Turn down the volume
Listening to music loudly on a regular basis can damage your hearing. This could particularly be the case if you listen to music too loudly on headphones. Many modern smartphones have in-built volume warnings to tell users when they’re listening to music too loudly. On top of using these warnings, you should make sure that your ears aren’t ringing after listening to music – if they are, it’s a clear sign you’re causing damage and should probably turn down the volume.
Wear earplugs in loud environments
It’s not just loud music that can damage your hearing. Other loud noises can also be hugely damaging. There are some workplaces such as construction sites and airport runways where earplugs or overhead ear protectors are mandatorily supplied (although wearing them is not always enforced). As for leisure situations, concerts and motorsports events are two occasions in which wearing earplugs can be advised – extended exposures to volumes above 85 decibels can cause hearing damage and both concerts and motorsports events regularly exceed 100 decibels.
Know when to get a hearing aid
If you notice your hearing starting to fade, you may want to consider seeing an audiology doctor. They will be able to run a hearing test and diagnose whether you need a hearing aid. Getting a hearing aid could help your to hear clearly again and prevent your ears from straining, which could reduce further hearing loss. Hearing aid technology has come a long way and there are some devices that can hide behind your ear and be practically invisible.
Don’t clean your ears with cotton buds
Many people use cotton buds to clear the wax out of their ears, however can often make things worse. Cotton buds often push wax further into the ear causing impactions. This can cause the ear to become blocked and in some cases can even damage the ear drum. When cleaning out your ears, you should never stick anything into the ear canal. Eardrops are much better suited for clearing out your ears if you’ve got a build-up of wax – you can buy these in most pharmacies.
Watch out for ear infections
Ear infections can also lead to hearing problems. In some cases, they can even lead to a ruptured ear drum. Ear infections are most common in young children but can occur frequently in adulthood too. Adults tend to get them when experiencing a cold or other sinus problems. Infections shouldn’t be ignored and you should see your doctor as soon as you start experiencing odd pain or discharge.