Do you ever struggle to follow conversations, especially in loud spaces, or hear complaints from loved ones that your television is just too loud? These are signs you could be suffering from hearing loss. Contrary to popular belief, this is a very common condition, which can affect anyone of any age. Although we mostly associate it with seniors, hearing loss in children is quite typical too. That being said, it isn’t inevitable for anyone. There are many cases in which it can be avoided. With that in mind, here are ten things that you can do to prevent hearing loss.
Avoid Too Much Noise
Excessive exposure to loud noises is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. Over long periods of time, those loud noises often begin to damage the hair cells found inside your ears. This makes it more difficult for them to pick up vibrations from sounds. Because of this, you should try to limit your exposure to loud noises. Any environment where you must shout to be heard, like concerts and clubs, are a no-go. You should turn down your headphones too.
Wear Some Hearing Protection
When it’s not possible to steer clear of loud noises, it is vital that you protect your ears. Earplugs and earmuffs both work well for this purpose. You can even wear them both together for greater overall protection. If you work on a building site, then they should provide such protections to you, but, if you like to attend concerts, then you should consider purchasing your own. Even when wearing this protection, you should still take breaks from the noise every fifteen minutes or so.
Clean Your Ears Properly
In many cases, hearing loudly and sharply requires you to do little more than clean out your ears. Although ear wax does offer protection to your ear canal, a build-up of it can muffle sounds, negatively impacting your hearing ability. That being said, if you intend to clean your ears, you must ensure that it is done properly. Using cotton swabs or buds for the task is not advised, as they can push wax further into the canal. This can worsen your hearing and cause other issues.
Get Regular Hearing Tests
The earlier you pick up on a medical problem, the better you can usually treat it. This is just as true for hearing loss as any other condition. For this reason, you must ensure that you schedule and stick to regular hearing tests. This can be done with an audiologist or your general practitioner. You may not think that anything is wrong with your hearing, but it is better to be safe than sorry. If a problem is discovered, they can suggest ways to prevent it from getting worse.
Wearing A Hearing Aid
Individuals already suffering from some degree of hearing loss, may be suggested a hearing aid to protect from any further damage. Rather than buying the first one you see, or, worse still, the cheapest one that you can find, you should opt for hearing aids with 60% more processing power. These will deliver more realistic sound quality, allowing you to hear almost like normal. You should choose hearing aids that fit comfortably too, so you’re not tempted to take them off.
Kick That Smoking Habit
Everyone knows that smoking is an incredibly unhealthy habit. In fact, it’s one of the worst things that you can do to your body, putting you at risk of developing numerous health problems, like cancer and heart disease. However, what many people don’t realize is that it can harm your hearing too. The combination of nicotine and carbon monoxide from cigarettes damage the hair cells in your ears and tighten their blood vessels. Quitting smoking, therefore, is a must.
Work Out Every Day
Regular exercise is necessary for good overall health. It helps to maintain a healthy weight, improves mood, fights stress, and prevents a number of serious health problems. It can also reduce your risk of developing hearing loss. This is because cardio exercises, like running, cycling, and even swimming, increase blood flow to all parts of your body, including your ears. This helps the internal parts of your ears stay healthy and working their very best.
Keep Your Ears Dry
Swimming may be a good form of cardio exercise, but it can be risky if you’re not careful. Too much moisture in the ears allows bacteria to enter the ear canal. This can cause ear infections and swimmer’s ear, which can damage your hearing ability. To prevent this, you should gently towel-dry your ears after swimming and bathing. You might also want to consider using custom-fit swimmers’ earplugs, to block water from entering the ear canal in the first place.
Maintain A Healthy Diet
The better the food that you eat, the less likely you are of developing hearing loss. With that in mind, you must make more of an effort to maintain a healthy diet. Avoid foods full of excessive fat and sugar and instead stick with ear-friendly products, like leafy green vegetables and potassium-rich foods. Vitamins C, D, and E are also essential to preventing hearing loss. Together they work to protect against ear damage and improve your immune system.
Ask About Your Medication
All medications come with a list of side effects in the box. The only problem is, most people don’t read through them all. There are many common medications which are known as ototoxic drugs. They are called this because they’re toxic to the ears and can cause damage that results in hearing loss. If you’re taking any medication, then you should speak to your doctor about the side effects. They may be able to switch you to another drug if your hearing begins to suffer.
Hearing loss can greatly impact your quality of life. Although it isn’t always possible to prevent it, you should give it a go, so follow the advice above.