Looking after your hearing should start at a young age because when you start noticing a problem with your hearing it’s often too late to reverse the process. Age-related hearing loss is likely to occur at some point in another but other causes of hearing loss such as noise-induced hearing loss (NIT) are completely avoidable, so here are 5 ways you can look after your ears for better hearing.
If you work in a noisy environment wear ear protection
If you work in a noisy environment such as on a building site or near to loud machinery then your employer should provide you with suitable hearing protection – be sure to wear it at all times. Any noise higher than 85 decibels can cause tinnitus or irreversible hearing damage. If your employer isn’t providing you with hearing protection and you suspect that the noise level is too high then check it with a digital sound level meter.
Don’t turn the volume up too high
If constantly find yourself turning up the volume of your music or television to drown out background noise then invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to allow you to turn the volume down and save your hearing. Listening to music at a high volume can also cause permanent hearing damage, so if you want to still enjoy your favorite tunes in 20 years time then turn down the volume now.
Protect your ears from water
If you like to swim, dive or partake in other water sports then its advisable to protect your in order to avoid too much water from entering the ear canal. Prolonged exposure to water can increase your chance of contracting ear infections which can be very painful and if left untreated can damage your hearing. Try swimming with water protective earbuds or using a headband to keep water out of your ears.
Don’t clean your ears with cotton buds
Otolaryngologists will be able to tell you many horror stories about cotton buds including those about burst eardrums. Cotton buds can cause more harm than good if used to clean your ears so they’re best left in your bathroom cabinet. You may feel that they are helping to remove the wax but in reality, they are pushing it deeper down into the ear canal where it can become compacted. Leave ear wax removal to the professionals and keep cotton buds well away from your ears.
Get regular hearing check-ups
We visit the doctor regularly but most people don’t get their hearing checked until they suspect a problem, by which point, it’s often too late to do anything. It’s recommended to get your hearing checked at least once every 10 years until you reach 30 and then at least every 3 years thereon but an annual hearing check-up can’t hurt. The appointments are often free and you will be able to discuss any changes to your hearing and learn more about the options available to you, such as hearing aids should that time come.