Research has shown that taking care of your hearing is crucial to keeping you healthy overall. Yet hearing loss is still on the rise globally, even in younger populations. While there are many causes of hearing loss, most cases are preventable. Here are just a few simple ways you can protect your hearing.
1. Turn down the volume
You may be so used to hearing certain loud sounds every day that you fail to give a second thought about how they may be affecting your hearing. Everyday household items, such as vacuum cleaners, hairdryers, televisions, personal music players, blenders or food processors, emit sounds with dangerously high decibel levels. These will eventually harm your hearing if you are exposed to the sounds often enough.
2. Stay away from very loud noises
The exposure to extremely loud noise is one of the most prevalent causes of hearing loss. You can reduce your chances of experiencing hearing loss by avoiding loud noises. Different types of extremely loud noises that can impair your hearing may include power tools, explosives, lawnmowers, motorcycles, music concerts, gunfire, or large sporting events.
3. Wear the right hearing protection
Sometimes you are unable to avoid being around loud noises. For example, you may work in a shop that has very loud machinery, or you may use power tools that continuously emit loud sounds. In these cases, it is very important that you wear hearing protection gear to safeguard your hearing. Earmuffs or earplugs can protect the tiny, sensitive hair cells in your inner ear that can be damaged by loud sounds.
4. Treat ear infections right away
Ear infections, particularly those that occur frequently, can cause irreversible damage to your ear. The longer an ear infection remains untreated, the more damage it causes. If you believe that you are experiencing an ear infection, speak with your doctor about treatment as soon as you can.
5. Take care of your ears
Avoid placing foreign objects in your ear. This can result in damage to your inner ear and a higher chance that you may incur an ear infection. If you need your ears clear of excessive wax, the safest way to do so is to visit your doctor.
6. Verify the side effects of medication
There are many types of medications that are toxic to the ears. These ototoxic medications include chemotherapy drugs, diuretics, and some forms of antibiotics. Even over-the-counter aspirin taken at very high doses can damage the ear. You should ask your physician if any of the medications you take are classified as ototoxic drugs and if there are alternative medications that are just as effective. If there are no other drugs that can replace the ototoxic drug, ask if the drug could be taken at a lower dosage or if you should have more regular hearing screenings.
7. Get your hearing tested on a regular basis
It is recommended that you get your hearing tested at least once every year. You should consider your hearing test appointment to be as necessary as your annual wellness checkup. The state of your hearing health can be a factor in the state of your general health. Regular hearing tests and checkups can help you, and your physician, identify ways to maintain or improve your hearing health.
Safeguarding your hearing should be a priority for everyone. Make sure you take the necessary steps to avoid causing permanent hearing loss.