Do you think you might be experiencing hearing loss?
It is becoming hard for you to follow a conversation in a noisy place, such as an indoor play centre or a sports hall? Do your kids complain you are shouting at them, even when you didn't mean to? Or you find you're turning up the volume button on the TV more often than you used to?
If these aspects describe your situation, you could be experiencing a degree of hearing loss. Because of your age, you might think that you can suffer from such a problem. Many people associate hearing loss with old age. While there is some relationship, you can have this issue at any age. A newborn, teenager, or adult can lose their hearing abilities.
But the good thing is that you can save yourself from suffering a hearing loss to some degree. Here are some simple habits that can save you from losing your hearing ability.
Further reading: How to boost your mood with the power of sound.
Limit sounds within your control
At times, it is impossible to avoid loud noise. You can’t escape the noise of the motorbike while on the road. Also, avoiding the ambulance siren can be beyond your limit. In such situations, the only option is to limit the exposure time. Hearing loss from noise depends on the time you expose yourself to the high noise.
In other situations, you have the power over the amount of sound you can listen to. For instance, you can determine the loudness of the music on your radio or phone. When you can limit the sounds you are listening to, ensure they are within the safe range and save your hearing ability.
Refrain from a noisy environment
No doubt, noise is the major cause of hearing loss. The exposure to extensive noise damages your eardrum. When this happens, you automatically lose your hearing ability. But how can you know whether the noise is putting at the hearing loss risk?
When you find yourself in a place where you have to shout for one to hear you, the noise is beyond what your ears can handle. Some noisy environments include music concerts, loud earphone sounds, motorcycles, drills, and a power saw. So, if you can avoid areas with these loud and noisy elements, you will enhance your chances of retaining your hearing ability for a long.
Always put on hearing protection accessories
Do you work in noisy areas? Maybe you are a mechanical engineer or technician in a factory where noise is a norm. You have to get your daily bread and pay bills for your household. As a single mum, you can’t give up this opportunity and must continue grinding despite prevailing conditions.
However, keeping your ears safe is your responsibility too. While you cannot avoid the high noise in your working space, you can get some hearing protection accessories. Some of these accessories can reduce any type of noise by 15-30 decibels making it suitable and safe for your ears. As such, consider getting a pair of earmuffs or earplugs if you are going or work in a very noisy environment.
Go for low noise rated devices
No one will take care of your ears but yourself. In this regard, you have the responsibility of minimising noise levels that threaten your hearing ability. When buying appliances and devices for use at home, always go for ones with low noise ratings. Do not get a blender or electric kettle that wakes up everyone in your neighbourhood when running.
Such a noise will eventually damage your ears. For this reason, always check the noise ratings of each device and appliances before making a purchase decision. It is better to miss the appliance in your home than lose your hearing ability.
Avoid smoking and smoke
If you didn’t know, you can suffer hearing loss due to smoke. Research indicates that tobacco smoking is a contributor to hearing issues. Smoking cigarettes or exposure to any smoke directly or indirectly raises your chances of hearing loss. If you are a smoker, you need to reconsider your habit.
For those who are not smokers, you need to avoid exposure to smoke from any source where possible. Any secondhand smoke will have an impact on your hearing. As such, you can be safe by avoiding breathing smoke from any source.
Prioritise effective earwax removal
As you know, ears produce some wax. The wax is crucial as it traps debris and foreign objects trying to access your inner ear. With time, the wax accumulates and begins blocking your ears. The wax buildup muffles sound making it hard for you to hear. This problem is temporary and you can resolve it by removing the accumulated wax.
However, your option of removing the wax can pose an additional risk and result in hearing loss. For instance, some people use a sharp object to remove the earwax. The objects can temper with your eardrum or other inner parts.
If you need to remove the earwax, you should consider using substances such as irrigation kits. Avoid cotton swabs as it can hurt your deep ear parts.
Consider a check-up
Most of the time, hearing loss does not happen overnight. We wouldn't notice the creeping changes unless we pay attention to signs, such as the slowly rising volume to which we need to turn our devices to hear audio clearly.
This is why it's always a good idea to include visits to the otolaryngologist and the audiologist in our annual check-up routine. A check-up will offer you factual information about your ears' health, such as earwax consistency (your earwax can tell a lot!) and your level of sound perception ability.
Dropping by the doctor's office will also help you to prevent any possible existing hearing-related issues from getting worse.
Taking care of your ears and hearing requires more than just cleaning your ears with a cotton bud. To ensure that you enjoy life with perfect hearing, it's important to incorporate habits that will protect your ears from damage. Noise management has a lot to do with this.
Avoid exposing yourself to loud sounds. If noise is unavoidable, such as in the workplace, use protective gear to protect your eardrums. Keep your devices to the lowest volume of sound that you can enjoy.
Remember that smoking can directly affect your ear health and quitting it will help you maintain your clear sense of hearing until you're old and grey.
Don't hesitate to visit the doctor when you need help to identify and treat possible hearing loss-related issues.