It’s a question we are asked every day: “do you have any tips on how I can protect future damage to my hearing?”
There are a number of issues that can lead to hearing loss, and although some of them may be inevitable, many can be avoided. The human ear is a highly complex and extremely fragile structure, and we should be doing all we can to protect it. Here are 5 useful tips to prevent hearing loss in the coming years.
1. Keep a close eye on that volume button
A night in front of the TV or some quality time listening to music is always a pleasure, but it’s important to keep the volume at a safe, sensible level. This is even more crucial in homes where young children are present, because their ears are more susceptible to long-term damage. If you hear a ringing sound after the equipment has been switched off, you may already be experiencing problems.
2. Use ear protection at work if it’s necessary
An estimated 20,000 people working during the last year suffered from Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) caused or made worse by work – HSE
People who work in loud environments are exposed to too much noise for extended periods of time, and over the years this can cause serious, long-term damage. Building sites, car repair garages and roadworks have all become synonymous with hearing problems, but it’s worth remembering that pubs, nightclubs, airport terminals and workshops can also cause concern. Using good quality earplugs or earmuffs is highly recommended.
3. Avoid the noise at loud events
There are so many ways to prevent hearing loss, but one of the most important involves closing out at least some of the noise when you attend particularly loud events. Motor races, music festivals, concerts and air shows are all extremely enjoyable occasions, of course, but they are also known for creating hearing issues. The use of ear plugs will provide protection without taking away any of the enjoyment.
4. Seek help at the first signs of any problems
It’s possible that potential problems can be nipped in the bud, especially if they are caught at an early stage. If you have even the slightest suspicion that your quality of hearing is starting to diminish, a visit to a GP or registered hearing care centre can be vital. If your medical professional finds an ear infection, it can be treated immediately. If there are signs of Meniere’s disease, medication can be prescribed to help. The symptoms of this condition include:
5. Avoid inserting anything into the ear
Too many people reach for cotton buds and other items to clean wax from deep inside their ears, but this should be avoided at all costs. A build-up of ear wax, also known as cerumen, is completely natural, and it’s easy to remove it via far safer methods. By having it removed regularly, you will enjoy improved hearing and at the same time reduce the risks of ear infection.
A Wax Check is available at all of our branches here in the South.
6. Wear swim plugs
Many swimmers pick up infections on holiday or from their local swimming pool when contaminated water is left in the ear after swimming. The use of swim plugs keeps water out of the inner ear which reduces the risk of ‘swimmers ear’. Symptoms of swimmers ear include:
- itchiness inside the ear
- redness or swelling
- pus draining from the ear
If you experience any of these symptoms seek medical advice straight away.