People often take the quality of their hearing for granted until they begin to lose it. Over time, several factors can cause one’s hearing to worsen. While some causes of hearing loss are unavoidable—such as genetics—others are entirely preventable. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Follow these practical tips for protecting your hearing.
Block Out Loud Noises
One of the most obvious ways to protect your hearing is by blocking out loud noises. Sounds louder than 120dB—for example, a siren—can cause immediate harm to your ears. If you work in a noisy environment or frequently attend concerts or other loud events, take measures to block out noises, such as wearing earplugs.
While significantly loud noises can cause immediate damage, milder noises can also harm your hearing. Over a prolonged period, noises above 70dB—such as a washing machine or dishwasher—can cause hearing damage. As such, making an effort to soundproof your home as much as possible by upgrading insulation or installing acoustic panels can reduce constant exposure to loud pipes or outside traffic noises.
Let Your Ears Rest
If you encounter a situation where prolonged exposure to loud noises is unavoidable, take some time to let your ears rest afterward. Doing so will allow your ears to recover from any damage they sustained. Even just five minutes of rest between exposure to loud sounds can minimize any potential damage.
The louder the noise, the more the hair cells in your ears will bend, and the more time they will need to recover. Over time, the cells will typically start to straighten out again unless the noise was so loud that it caused the cell to die.
Regular exercise is necessary to facilitate full-body health—including that of your ears. Cardio exercises, such as running or cycling, improves circulation and increases oxygen-rich blood flow to one’s ears. In doing so, exercise can contribute to better neural functioning in the auditory portion of the ear, such as the sensory outer hair cells.
Avoid Using Cotton Swabs
Many people have gotten in the habit of using cotton swabs to scoop wax out of their ears. However, doing so can damage one’s hearing in several ways. For one, you could accidentally puncture your sensitive inner ear by poking it with the swab, or you could accidentally pushing ear wax farther inside the ear cavity.
Additionally, getting rid of all the ear wax can cause damage in itself. Ear wax serves the purpose of cleaning the ear and preventing harmful particles from entering the canal. By completely clearing out ear wax in your ear canal, you eliminate its natural protective layer and expose it to potential damage.
Authored by Inspire Your Journey