There’s nothing quite like the feeling of dancing around to your favorite song or hearing your kids laughing their heads off. Many of us take our hearing for granted, and it’s not until we start to notice that we can’t hear as well that the importance of sound becomes clear. It’s not always possible to prevent hearing loss, but there are some simple ways to protect your ears. Looking after your hearing now will have a positive impact in the future.
Protecting your ears at work
Some people have jobs that involve exposure to high levels of noise, and many more may encounter risks on their way to work. If you live in a big city, or you commute via train, metro or subway, it’s a great idea to invest in some earplugs to shield your ears during your daily travels. If your job carries a risk of hearing loss, your boss should provide you with the relevant personal protective equipment. If you’re worried that you don’t have sufficient protection, talk to your employer. Examples of jobs that require hearing protection include construction and manufacturing roles, music production and performance, DJing, working at clubs and live music venues, transport and logistics jobs and engineering positions. You might also benefit from wearing earplugs if you’re a dentist using a drill or a flight attendant.
Keeping the volume down
Many of us enjoy listening to music when we work, we clean the house, we exercise or we travel on a train, bus or plane. If you’ve got a playlist on, or you’re listening to a podcast or an audiobook, make sure the volume isn’t too high. If other people can hear music coming from your headphones, you could be doing serious, long-term damage to your ears. If you find that you have to turn the volume up to hear properly, this could be a sign of hearing loss, so it’s a good idea to book an assessment.
Seek advice if you have any problems
If you have any problems with your ears, or you’re worried that your hearing may be deteriorating, it’s crucial to seek advice as soon as possible. Ear pain can be a sign of infection or a build-up of wax, and it’s usually best to intervene early if you experience recurrent bouts of tinnitus or your hearing seems to be compromised. It may be possible to treat underlying causes of hearing loss or to find a solution for tinnitus or long-term hearing problems.
Keeping your ears a foreign object free zone
Many of us will have been tempted to stick something down our ears to remove wax or tend to an itch. Although this might seem like a good idea at the time, it can actually do more harm than good. If you’ve got excess wax inside the ear canal, inserting something like a cotton swab can push the wax further inside the ear, increasing the risk of the wax hardening and causing pain. Your ears are capable of cleaning themselves, but if you are concerned about a potential build-up of wax, it’s important to seek expert advice.
It might not be possible to maintain perfect hearing for the rest of your days, but there are ways you can reduce the risk of hearing loss.