Ear care 101: our guide

Easy steps to care for and protect your ears

Knowing how to properly care for your ears will go a long way in protecting your hearing and the effectiveness of your hearing aids.

Here are a few steps you should take:

Believe it or not, your ears are self-cleaning. This means that you don’t actually need to clean them. Cotton swabs and ear candles can actually damage your eardrum, which can lead to conductive hearing loss. If you are experiencing excessive ear wax buildup, it is important to see your healthcare professional.

  1. Do you work or live in a noisy environment? Your ears are sensitive and anytime you experience sounds above 85 decibels, it can damage your hearing. Wear protective earmuffs or earplugs if you know you’re going to be exposed to loud noises.
  2. Diet has been found to play a crucial role in both your health and the way you hear. In fact, studies show a very strong relationship between the types of food we eat and our susceptibility to hearing loss as we age. While there’s no hard-set rules for which types of foods you should eat and the amount of calories you should be consuming, practicing sound dietary habits today may go a long way in preventing hearing loss.
  3. Frequently using pain relievers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can actually lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss. This is because these types of medication are classified as ototoxic, which means that over time they literally poison your ears. While using pain relievers when you’re feeling ill is fine, taking medication every day can cause your ears permanent damage. Consult your physician regarding any current medications you may be taking.
  4. As if there weren’t enough reasons to quit smoking, you can now add an increased risk of hearing loss to the list. The chemicals found in cigarettes may affect the way your ear processes sound. In fact, smokers have been found to be 15% more likely to have hearing loss than non-smokers.

 

Why it matters

Hearing loss may occur in a number of different ways. Conductive hearing loss occurs when there are problems with your outer or middle ear; sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage caused to the sensory cells of the inner ear or if you’re exposed to loud sounds for an extended period of time; and mixed hearing loss, which can occur in different parts of your ear, is a combination of the two.

While hearing loss is not life threatening, it can lead to a number of health-related issues down the line. Dementia and depression have been linked to untreated hearing loss, so be sure to have your ears checked regularly. After all, you’re not only improving your hearing by caring for your ears, you’re improving your overall health.

Contact your local National Hearing Care clinic today to book your FREE hearing test.

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