Hearing is a complex process that involves your ears, the auditory nerve and your brain. Loud sounds, trauma and infection can all damage key parts of this system, which can lead to irreversible hearing loss if not treated early.
Below are four ways you can keep your ears safe and practice good ear health.
Avoid or Protect Your Ears from Loud Noises
Noise induced hearing loss occurs when you are exposed to loud noises over an extended period of time or to one intensely loud sound, such as an explosion. Sounds are measured in decibels (dB), and anything over 85 dB can cause damage to the delicate hairs within the inner ear.
Most are exposed to sounds while on the job, at an event, using power tools or out to dinner at a crowded restaurant. The best thing you can do for the health of your ears is avoid exposure to these loud noises. If you must be around them, make sure to wear hearing protection.
Disposable earplugs are available at any pharmacy, and custom-fit earplugs can be obtained directly from an audiologist. Custom-fit earplugs provide superior protection and are more comfortable for long-term wear.
Turn Down the Volume
Listening to music, movies and podcasts through headphones can put your ears at risk if you are listening at an unsafe audio level.
When listening through headphones, you should always practice the 60/60 rule. This rule suggests you set your headphones to no more than 60% of their maximum volume and listen for no more than 60 minutes at a time.
Don’t Use Cotton Swabs
Many people use cotton swabs to clean earwax out of their ear canal after a shower. This is both not recommended and not needed. Your ears are self-cleaning, as old earwax will fall out of your ears all on its own.
Sticking a cotton swab in your ear puts you at risk of damaging your eardrum.
Dry Your Ears
Excess moisture can become a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to an infection known as swimmer’s ear. In order to prevent this, gently towel dry your ears after swimming, bathing or participating in other water activities.
To learn about how to protect your ears or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, contact Waco Ear, Nose & Throat today.