Health

Protecting the Health of Your Ears

Protecting Your Ear Health
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

For many people, ear health is not something they think about on a regular basis.  But if you want to maintain good levels of hearing into your old age and avoid the risk of needing to use hearing aids, there are a few proactive things that you can do to protect your ears. Here are five ways that you can get proactive about your ear health:

Avoid Cotton Buds

Cotton buds may be sold as a way to clean your ears but ENT surgeons strongly advise against using them to clean your inner ear. Aside from the fact that they can actually push wa further into your ear canal and cause blockages, jabbing at your eardrum is never a good idea. Opting for earwax removal through microsuction is a much healthier way to keep your ears clean and will protect the life of your hearing.

Watch Your Volumes

Spending time in very loud environments is one of the worst things that you can do your ears, but sometimes its unavoidable. Obviously, no-one epects you to wear ear-defenders to a nightclub or live gig, but if you also work in a loud envorinment then investing in some good sound blockers will go a long way to protecting your ears.

Limit Headphone Use

Listening to loud music through earphones and headphones is one of the biggest dangers to your hearing. To help avoid damaging your hearing, use noise-cancelling earphones or headphones – do not just turn the volume up to cover up outside noise and turn the volume up just enough so you can hear your music comfortably, but no higher. You should also try to never listen to music at more than 60% of the maximum volume – some devices have settings you can use to limit the volume automatically.

Get your Hearing Tested

Get a hearing test as soon as possible if you’re worried you might be losing your hearing. The earlier hearing loss is picked up, the earlier something can be done about it. You might also want to consider having regular hearing checks (once a year, say) if you’re at a higher risk of noise-induced hearing loss, for example, if you’re a musician or work in noisy environments.

Give Your Ears Time to Recover

If you are exposed to loud noises for a prolonged period of time, like at a concert or a bar, your ears need time to recover. If you can, step outside for five minutes every so often in order to let them rest. Research shows that your ears need an average of 16 hours of quiet to recover from one loud night out! Seems like a good excuse to stay in bed for the day!

Happiness · Health

Five Ways to Improve Your Hearing

Five Ways to Improve Your Hearing
Photo by Daniela Mota on Unsplash

Having had glasses since I was 11, my eyesight is something that I’m very conscious of taking care of. I have regular eye tests to make sure that I have the correct prescription and try to limit screen time to avoid eye strain. However, in recent years, it’s also occured to me that I probably need to think about my hearing.

I often put the subtitles on as I realise I’m struggling to catch every word and although I don’t think I’m quite ready for hearing aids yet, a youth spent at gigs and in noisy clubs has probably done me few favours! With this in mind, I thought I’d take a look at some ways that I can naturally improve my hearing, and ‘m sharing some of my ideas so that you can benefit too.

Ear Wax Microsuction

Many people ignore the fact that cotton buds are actually really bad for your ears, and far from helping to clean your ear canals, they can actually cause ear wax to become impacted, which really affects your hearing. One way to deal with this is with ear wax microsuction – it’s a gentle, clinical way to remove ear wax which will improve your hearing and your ear health.

Headphone Usage

You know those warnings that come up when you try to turn your volume up when you have headphones on, telling you that it can damage your hearing? Believe it or not, they’re true! (sarcasm intended…). Using headphones at high volumes for prolonged periods can have a profound affect on your hearing so try to listen without headphones when you can and limit your volume if headphones are a must.

Quit Smoking

I know it seems like everything is a reason to quit smoking (I mean, seriously though, how many more reasons do you need?!) but smoking can drastically increase your risk of hearing loss – by almost double.

“That’s because blood flow and oxygen are crucial to maintaining healthy cells in your inner ear, and both are hampered by nicotine and carbon monoxide. Smoking also irritates the lining of your middle ear and disturbs the normal function of your Eustachian tube.”[1]

Think About Vitamins

There are a number of vitamins and minerals which are linked to good ear health, such as folic acid, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins. Obviously, the best way to make sure you get these is through a balanced and healthy diet, but if you feel like you might be lacking something, adding a good multivitamin supplement to your diet could be really beneficial.

Have a Hearing Test

Just like eye tests, hearing tests help you to keep abreast of your health and will help to identify any early signs of hearing loss. Hearing tests are cheap, quick and painless and will let you know if you need a little help with your hearing. You might think you don’t need one, but as with everything else, prevention is better than cure, so get your ears looked at before you have a serious problem.