Effective Ways to Prevent Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can complicate one’s life on a number of fronts. Whether you’re trying to communicate with loved ones, engage in business transactions, or function effectively at work, diminished hearing is likely to cause problems in virtually every area of your life. Furthermore, while hearing loss is commonly associated with getting old, it can occur at any age, meaning younger people are also susceptible to its effects. So, regardless of what age bracket you fall into, putting the following measures to good use can help keep your hearing intact.

Stay on Top of Earwax Removal 

Earwax buildup is a common culprit of hearing loss. Fortunately, in many cases earwax-induced hearing loss is fixable. To prevent earwax buildup from impacting your hearing, you’ll need to stay on top of earwax removal. For one thing, this means cleaning out your ears on a consistent basis. Although many of us were taught to clean our ears with cotton swabs as children, this method of earwax removal has been shown to be ineffective in recent years. While cotton swabbed ears may appear to be clean, cotton swabs tend to push wax even deeper into ears, potentially facilitating buildup and eventual hearing loss. So, while cotton swabs are useful for a variety of purposes, cleaning your ears isn’t among them. 

As many doctors will attest, you shouldn’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ears, as such items stand to injure eardrums and use permanent hearing loss. So, instead of cotton swabs and other tiny objects, try using a washcloth or an at-home irrigation kit. However, if you suffer from a compromised immune system or diabetes – or have tubes in your ears or holes in your eardrums – you shouldn’t attempt to irrigate your ears. Should an earwax-based blockage occur, go to your doctor and have it extracted?  

Have Your Hearing Tested on a Regular Basis 

If you have a history of hearing issues or hearing loss runs in your family, you’d do well to have your hearing tested on a regular basis. You can either have this done at your doctor’s office or a specialized hearing clinic. The frequency of these exams will depend largely on your age, healthy history and family history, but even if you have no particular reason to worry about hearing loss, you should still make a point of having your hearing checked every three to five years. 

Look for High-Quality Hearing Aids 

If you’ve suffered some degree of hearing loss due to genetics or outside factors, you stand to benefit from high-quality hearing aids. Dependable Oticon hearing aids will effectively amplify sound, making it much easier for you to carry on conversations and identify various noises. Additionally, if your hearing loss stems from a disability or qualifies as a disability in and of itself, you should consider looking into long-term disability insurance

Consult Your Physician if experiencing Hearing Loss

If identified and treated early enough, some forms of hearing loss can be reversed. So, if it’s recently become harder for you to hear voices and noises, take care to arrange a consultation with your physician posthaste. This will help ensure that the cause of your hearing loss is discovered in a timely manner – and the sooner the problem is treated, the more likely it is to be successfully reversed. 

Avoid Loud Noises

If you live and/or work in an excessively noisy environment, there’s a good chance it will impact your hearing. For example, if you have to raise your voice to be heard over the various noises that surround you, your environment is too loud. In addition to taking steps to make your home and work environments less noisy, you should also make an effort to distance yourself from loud noises and wear protective headphones or earplugs whenever necessary.  

Living with hearing loss can be an uphill battle. Depending on the scope of your hearing loss, every area of your life is likely to be impacted. Furthermore, lest you think that hearing loss is strictly the domain of the elderly, this issue can occur at any age – and for a variety of reasons. As such, minimizing one’s chances of hearing loss should be among everyone’s foremost priorities. In the interest of preserving your hearing for years to come, make good use of the tips discussed above.  

Photo by Mark Paton