Taking Care of Your EarsJun 26, 2023
Keeping your hearing sharp and healthy should be at the top of your to-do list. Our ears help us to connect with the world around us, so it is essential to take the time to ensure they are adequately cared for. By incorporating simple activities such as wearing ear protection in noisy environments and regularly cleaning your ears, you can do your part in caring for your ears.
Our sense of hearing is essential.
Our ears are one of the most essential parts of our body. We use them for hearing; without them, navigating around us will be more challenging if we can't hear anything, such as hearing what others say or the sounds of vehicles and machinery. That's why it's vital to incorporate some healthy habits in caring for our ears to ensure we can adequately hear for a long time. The following are some of the things we can do for our ears.
1. Clean your ears properly
Earwax eventually builds up in the ear canal over time, and dirt can accumulate too. For many people, cleaning your ears with a cotton swab is the most common method for ear cleaning. However, health experts do not recommend using cotton swabs for ear cleaning, as they can push wax deeper into the ear canal, leading to further hearing problems. If possible, try consulting with an otolaryngologist so that they can recommend and use some proper ear cleaning tools and methods for your ears.
2. Protect your ears from loud noise
Prolonged exposure to loud noises can cause hearing loss over time. A decibel is a unit used for measuring the intensity of sounds. The higher the decibel, the shorter the time one should be exposed to them to prevent permanent hearing loss. There are various charts one can research, so you can know how loud particular noises are coming from multiple things or events. As somebody conscious of your ear health, you should do your best to regulate the time or avoid exposure to loud noises.
3. Control the volume of your activities
Aside from loud noises generated by various things around us, some of our daily activities can produce significant amounts of noise that can also be damaging if we don't control them over time. Listening to music using earphones or headphones connected to our cell phones or MP3 players is one such activity, along with watching TV or listening to music from a loudspeaker. While hearing our favorite music from such activities is enjoyable, listening at a high volume can damage our hearing health. It can lead to noise-induced hearing loss over time, weakening our sense of hearing. As a precaution, we should avoid listening to loud music for an extended period. We should give our ears some break in between listening sessions. Toning the volume down can also help.
4. Wear protective gear for your ears
Some places we regularly get exposed to may have loud noises generated by various things. For example, if you work in a construction yard, you will periodically hear loud noises from heavy machinery and equipment like drills, hammers, and jackhammers. Proper ear care requires one to wear earplugs or over-the-ear headphones to protect one's ears from the loud sounds that can cause hearing loss if one gets exposed to them without ear protection. If possible, one may also opt to avoid or request the noise-producing machine be moved elsewhere if there is something like that causing a disturbance and producing a loud noise in whatever place you are settling for a long time.
5. Do not let water enter your ears
It can be risky to let water enter the ear canal as it may contain things that can harm our ears, such as bacteria. After bathing or swimming, one should wipe the ears using a clean and dry towel or cloth to wipe out excess water. Tilting one's head sideways can drain some water, so you can wipe them out and keep your ears dry. One may also consider using earplugs designed for swimming if one's profession involves regularly swimming in water for prolonged periods.
6. Keep yourself healthy
Some of our health practices can affect our hearing, even if they don't directly involve caring for our ears. Regular exercise results in optimal blood flow and circulation, which affects your ears since blood must be pumped into them. You may also want to avoid being stressed too much, as this can affect the release of hormones, some of which can affect hearing. One should also watch their medications, as some drugs have side effects that can lead to hearing loss. Also, try to avoid getting your ears hit with excessive physical force, such as in accidents, as this may damage the internal parts of the ear.
7. Get a regular checkup
We may not experience hearing or ear problems often, but it's not an excuse not to get yourself checked by a doctor regularly. If you can, checking your ears periodically should be a habit, so a doctor can monitor if there's anything wrong with your ears and hearing. It will be good to have yourself checked if you notice hearing deficiencies. An otolaryngologist can prescribe treatments or even suggest using hearing aids if the damage is too significant. What's essential is that you get yourself checked regularly before hearing problems pop up, so you can take some preventive measures to keep your hearing intact.
Keep your ears and hearing healthy.
We may usually associate hearing loss with aging, but it can happen earlier if we don't care for our ears. A significant loss of opportunities can occur if one becomes deaf, and it can be harder to understand what's happening around us if we can't hear the sounds we are supposed to hear. Most of the practices needed for ear care and protection are not challenging, and it's only a matter of being conscious about our ears and caring for them. Always see a doctor if you suspect something wrong with your hearing so corrective and preventive actions can be taken early and prevent hearing loss.