6 Ways to Prevent Hearing Loss
Do you catch yourself increasing the television volume more often, or do you sometimes have difficulty understanding what people say? This may be a result of hearing loss. With the growing popularity of smartphones, people are more prone to noise-induced hearing loss than ever before. However, this affliction is preventable. If you want to know how you can avoid hearing loss, then keep reading:
1. Avoid Loud Noises
Being exposed to loud noises over time can seriously damage your hearing. In fact, anything over 70 decibels can prove detrimental. Concerts, motorcycles, earphones, and lawnmowers are all potential threats. If the noise is so loud that you have to shout over it to communicate, then you are potentially risking your hearing. Try to avoid loud noises or places where you will be exposed to them.
2. Wear Hearing Protection
If you know ahead of time that you are going to be around loud noises for an extended period, then you should wear ear protection. Earplugs are made of foam or rubber and have the ability to reduce noise by 18 decibels. They lower noise levels at all frequencies, making the sound quieter without distorting it. Earmuffs are bigger in size, will cover your ears completely, and reduce noise by 15 to 30 decibels. You can also find noise-canceling headphones and white noise machines on the market to drown persistent background noises.
3. Remove Your Earwax Properly and Regularly
Sometimes, people struggle with hearing due to the accumulation of wax in their ears, as it muffles sound, so keeping your ears clean is necessary. Using a cotton swab to clean your ear can push the ear wax deeper into the ear canal. There are many at-home methods, such as soaking a cotton ball in simple saline or an at-home irrigation kit. They soften the wash and then gently wash it out. In case of earwax impaction, you should go to the doctor so they can remove it.
4. Get Your Hearing Tested Regularly
You should get your hearing regularly tested to stay on top of everything. If you think that your regular doctor would have informed you that your hearing is damaged, you have fallen prey to one of the many hearing loss myths. Most doctors don’t conduct hearing tests until specifically asked to.
You need to make an active effort to get your hearing checked often. If you have hearing loss in the family, struggle with hearing conversations, are regularly exposed to loud noises, often hear a ringing sound in your ears, or just simply have not had a hearing test before, you should make an appointment as soon as possible. This can catch hearing loss early, and you can avoid additional damage.
5. Stop Smoking, Vaping, and Drinking
Studies clearly show that cigarette smoke, whether it is directly, secondhand, or even in utero, can significantly impact a person’s hearing. Similarly, consuming alcohol regularly can create a toxic environment in a person’s ear. There is not enough research to conclusively find a connection between hearing loss and vaping, but many reports suggest a link.
6. Exercise and Practice Stress Reduction
A lack of exercise and excessive stress have detrimental effects on a person’s overall well-being. Regular exercise, eating well, and stress management can tremendously improve a person’s health, including their hearing. Exercise improves blood flow which is crucial for the tiny hair cells in your ears. Chronic stress can cause adrenaline in your body, reducing the blood flow to your ears. Stress reduction exercises can help improve your hearing.
Simple preventive measures, such as avoiding noise-induced damage, wearing ear protection, regularly cleaning your ears, getting your hearing tested, and adopting a healthier lifestyle, can help mitigate hearing loss risk. However, genetics plays a huge role in hearing loss, so it might not be completely preventable. However, you can use medications and hearing aids to mitigate the issue. You should still be careful to avoid any additional damage by staying on top of the problem and taking care of your health.