It’s easy to take our ears for granted, but give them plenty of TLC and they’ll certainly thank you for it.
So how do ears work?
If you weren’t paying attention during school biology lessons, here’s a brief explanation.
When sound waves enter the ear canal, they vibrate the eardrum, the tympanic membrane. Located behind this fine membrane, within the middle ear, there is a chain of three fine bones, known as ossicles. The vibration carries through from the eardrum in a chain reaction into the last bone, the stapes, which then taps against the membrane window of the fluid filled cochlea. It is this fluid movement which effects a reaction in the auditory (or hearing) nerve.
There are a number of simple but highly effective ways of caring for your ears. Here are 10 useful tips to help you safeguard their long term health.
1. Use earplugs or earmuffs for loud music
At concerts, get away from the noise regularly. It can take up to 16 hours of quiet time to recover from one excessively loud night out. A regular 5 minute break will help your ears recover but wear earplugs or earmuffs for extra protection.
2. Don’t listen to your personal music player at very high volume
Not being able to hear external sounds when your headphones are on, or if the person next to you can hear it too, means it’s too loud. We recommend that for an MP3 player or equivalent device, 60% volume for 60 minutes a day is ample.
3. Keep the sound as low as possible on the TV and radio
Noise blaring out hour after hour is never good and if you have to shout to make yourself heard, the volume is too high. A subtle reduction can make all the difference.
4. Rail against workplace noise
If you work in, or close to, an environment where you are irritated by noise and your hearing is being affected (drills, machinery etc), speak to your HR Manager.
5. Loud music in the car
It’s tempting to have our favourite songs blasting out as we drive around. But don’t overdo it. Noise in a confined space puts undue pressure on your ears.
6. Don’t use cotton buds
Using buds is a common but inadvisable way to remove wax. Earwax is normal and self-cleans the ear, preventing dust and particles getting in. Inserting buds or tissues in the ear can also damage your ear drum.
7. Use ear wax solution
We can recommend a number of ear wax removal options that will soften the wax so it flows out under its own steam. Olive oil is also a readily available, easy to administer solution.
8. Keep stress under control
High levels of stress and anxiety puts pressure on your nerves, blood flow and body heat. These are all triggers for tinnitus (ringing in the ears). So try to stay calm.
9. Keep your ears dry
If you don’t dry your ears properly after washing or swimming, excess moisture can cause bacterial build up, compromising the ear canal. Drain your ear by tilting your head to one side, if you sense water residue and towel dry gently after bathing or swimming
10. Keep on the move
Regular exercise like walking, running or cycling keeps the blood pumping – including to the ears – helping their internal workings stays healthy and in good working order.
Should you need any further advice about ways to care for your ears then take a look at our great range of ear protecting equipment.
And if you are concerned about your hearing, then why not look in at your nearest SEHCC centre for an initial free ear check.
What our clients say
Two members of my family have just received excellent advice and treatment at the Chichester Centre.
My husband for ear plugs advice and my 12 year old son, who has been suffering with excessive ear wax building up for the past year or so and being told by GP that can do nothing except keep putting drops in.
Within 15 minutes he had his ears safely unblocked, using micro suction and washing, something the GP said was not available. My son is like a different child and can actually hear again.
Thank You!Mr J Llewellyn – Chichester patient