When we’re young it can be hard to think about and remember to take the measures we need in order to protect our ears and our future hearing, but without a little caution we could end up causing some serious permanent damage and potentially early-onset hearing loss. So here are 4 simple things you can do to protect your ears now in order to help your future hearing.
1. Turn Down the Volume
It may seem obvious but listening to any sound at a high volume, more than 85 decibels, can cause permanent damage to your ears, or lead to tinnitus. If you turn your music up to drown out background noise, then consider investing in some noise-cancelling headphones so that you can keep the volume a little lower. It’s also recommended to give your ears a break for five minutes in every hour of solid listening so that they can recover. If you’re a big fan of night clubs and music gigs theyn try to stay away from the speakers or consider using some disposable earplugs, they won’t drown out the music altogether but will help to protect your ears from the persistent loud noise. If you find your volume creeping up then it can also be useful to use a volume limiter app.
2. Stop Using Cotton Swabs
Using cotton buds or cotton swabs in your ears can cause severe wax compaction and when used carelessly can even burst your eardrum. The ear canal is a very delicate area and if you’re concerned about ear wax build-up then consult a professional rather than attempting the removal yourself as this could actually make the problem worse and lead to hearing loss. Most places that provide hearing aid services also offer ear wax removal.
3. Wear Ear Protection
When we think of protecting our ears from loud noises the first thing that often comes to mind is music, but in fact, any noise above 85 decibels can be harmful, which includes the lawnmower, DIY tools and guns and power tools etc. If you spend any significant amount of time around loud noises then consider getting a pair of ear defenders. If you happen to work around loud noises then your employer is legally obliged to provide you with hearing safety equipment, so be sure to use it. If you fail to protect your ears from loud noises now then you may need hearing aids in the future.
4. Get Regular Check-ups
Our ears and hearing are often neglected when it comes to regular health check-ups, but the best way to protect your hearing for the future is to make sure you get one. If you haven’t had a hearing check-up since school then it’s time to get one. It’s recommended that you have one at least every 10 years until you turn 50 and then every 3 years from then on. Hearing tests are often free and if any problems arise, your practitioner will be able to help you learn more about the treatment options available to you.
Do you have hearing issues? How do you protect your hearing? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!