Did you know that almost 4 million Australians experience various forms of hearing loss? With this staggering number, it shows just how important it is to be aware of your ear health. While hearing loss is permanent, there are many things you can do to prevent hearing damage entirely.
This article will tackle the causes and signs of hearing loss, along with how you can prevent hearing damage and when to see home doctors in Brisbane for it.
Causes and Signs of Hearing Loss: When to See a Doctor
Here are the most common signs of hearing damage and loss:
- Old age, which is normal as almost everyone experiences hearing loss to an extent. Genetics may play a role in the extent of hearing loss.
- Ear infections
- Head injuries
- Long-term exposure to extremely loud noises
- Exposure to chemicals and medication that may cause hearing damage or loss
These are the signs you may be experiencing hearing damage or loss:
- There’s a ringing sensation in your ears
- You need to ask people to repeat what they said often
- People have noticed you talk louder than usual
- Difficulty in hearing conversations, especially when there’s background noise
- You need to turn up the television or radio even louder than others would
If ever you experience any of those signs, then it’s important to have your ears checked by a doctor to ensure there are no major issues causing the hearing loss and to also treat it if needed.
How to Prevent Hearing Damage
Now that you know what causes hearing damage and when you need to have it checked, how can you prevent it from happening? Here are ways to prevent hearing loss and damage:
Use Earplugs as Needed
Many Australians suffer from hearing damage or loss due to their work or leisure environments. It can come from the equipment used for work, going to clubs for work or fun, among other situations that have you exposed to loud noises for hours on end.
To keep you from losing your hearing from the prolonged loud noises, invest in earplugs, which are convenient and easy to find, being available in most local stores. You may get musician’s earplugs, which allow people to listen to music and conversations well while it reduces loud noise levels and maintaining the original sound quality.
Allow Your Ears to Recover
If you will be exposed to very loud noises for a prolonged period, such as going to a bar or concert, then your ears will need to recover from that. Every few hours or so, leave the area for 5 minutes to let your ears rest.
Studies prove it! Researchers found out that our ears require around 16 hours of quiet as a way to recover from a very loud event.
No Cotton Swabs
Using cotton swabs is normal, as many people use them to clean out earwax from their ear canals. However, did you know that you should NOT? Use cotton swabs?
A bit of earwax in the ear is normal and also important. Ears are self-cleaning, with wax stopping dust and particles from entering them. Besides this, when you insert things in your ear, like cotton swabs, you risk damaging any sensitive parts of the ear, such as the eardrum.
If you believe you have excess wax, gently clean around it using a damp towel. You may also invest in an earwax removal solution, which will soften the wax for it to go out by itself.
Take Medications Properly
There are medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) that may contribute to hearing damage or loss. If you are concerned with the medication you take and how it affects your hearing, speak with your doctor about it and take the right medication only as instructed.
Keep Ears Dry
Excess moisture attracts bacteria, allowing them to enter and attack ear canals. This would cause ear infections like a swimmer’s ear, which negatively affects hearing ability.
After bathing and swimming, towel dry your ears gently. If ever you feel the water in your ears, tile your head to one side, tugging lightly on your earlobe to get the water to come out. You may also keep your ears dry by purchasing swimmer’s earplugs.
Exercise will do wonders for your ears! When performing cardio exercises like running, cycling, or even just walking can get the blood pumping to different parts of the body, including your ears. By doing so, your ears’ internal parts remain healthy and performing to their full potential.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Research shows that stress and anxiety are linked to temporary and permanent tinnitus, which is phantom ringing in your ears. When stress levels are high, your body would go into fight or flight mode, putting a lot of pressure on the nerves, body temperature, blood flow, and a lot more.
The pressure and stress may travel up to the inner ears, contributing to the symptoms of tinnitus.
Get Checked Regularly
Ask your doctor to include hearing screenings when getting your regular checkups. Since hearing loss would develop gradually, it’s recommended to have annual hearing consultation with hearing healthcare professionals. This will help you recognize any signs of hearing damage or loss so you can take immediate action.
Wrapping It Up
Hopefully, this article informed you on how to prevent hearing loss, the causes behind it, and when you should see a healthcare professional for hearing damage. Take note of this advice and take better care of your ears today!