You probably don't think about your hearing as much as you should. The reality is, that it's one of those things that we almost don't notice until we experience problems with it or sustain significant hearing loss. Unfortunately, by then it's often too late to fix.
Most of the time, hearing damage is permanent. Once you lose it or it's damaged, there is a very real possibility that it will never come back. This makes preventative care very important.
If you ask anybody who's ever lost their hearing, they will all tell you the same thing- that they should have been more careful, and valued their hearing while they were still able to.
The mistake most people make when thinking about hearing damage is that it's something that happens all of a sudden. An explosion goes off, a loud whistle blast in your ear or you hit the shooting range with a fully automatic weapon. Those things can all cause damage to your inner ear, but most cases of hearing loss tell a different story.
These cases, aren't the result of explosive and sudden noise, but rather the slow accumulation of minor damages over time which eventually lead up to somebody almost wholly losing it all.
Constant exposure to noises that are over 80 decibels is enough to cause lasting damage. That's only as loud as your vacuum cleaner. That means that if you find yourself always surrounded by loud machinery, or even if you just like to vacuum your house every day, you could be hurting your hearing.
So what can you do about it? Fortunately there’s quite a bit of new technology out to prevent hearing damage, and when combined with some good habits, can set you straight and protect one of your most valuable senses.
With all of the advances made in the past twenty years, possibly one of the best is the noise canceling earplug. Today, our world is louder than ever, cars, music, television, trains, planes, and automobiles surround us at all times. Not only can all these noises cause unnecessary stress, but they can cause accumulated hearing damage.
Noise-canceling earplugs are one of the best ways that you can go about preventing hearing loss. All you need to do it put them in your ears and go about your day.
We're not talking about the ugly bright orange and pink ones that you stuff in your ear before bed either. The earplugs of today are sleek, attractive, hygienic, and for what they're worth, are relatively inexpensive.
Most of them also feature unique noise filtering technology. What this does is it allows low decibel sounds such as light conversation, your favorite tv show, or minor ambient noise to come through in high-fidelity.
However, upon exposure to noises exceeding 65 decibels (the level that begins to cause damage), a little flap within the earplug shuts, silencing the damaging noise.
We’re not trying to imply that you have bad hygiene, but the inside of your ear is often neglected in most people’s daily routines. Dirt, earwax, chemicals, and bacteria can accumulate and begin to thrive in this dark and damp location.
The inside of the ear canal is a very tender location and is especially susceptible to these foreign contaminants. If they are left to sit and fester within your ears, then they can easily cause an infection.
These ear infections can be devastating. They cause your inner ear to become inflamed, and your eardrum itself to swell up in size. If your eardrum swells so much that it bursts, then you can be sure of permanent damage. Many people have gone completely deaf in one ear because of a severe infection that went untreated.
While these infections can be treated, they also run their course very fast, and lasting damage can occur within a 24-hour period. This means that the best way to prevent this is to reduce your chances of getting an infection in the first place.
Keeping your ear clean is quite simple. Every night before you go to bed, soak the tip of a Q-tip in some isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or witch hazel. Take the wet end and swab in around your ear. This will help to lift the dirt and kill harmful bacteria. Just be sure not to poke it too far into your ear, because this can be quite painful.
Because these liquids can dry your skin out, make sure to put a small dab of moisturizer around the rim of your ear. Make sure it's safe for sensitive skin. One of the best moisturizers that you can use is Vitamin E oil. It's all natural and is also relatively inexpensive at most drug stores.
Whenever you go to your family doctor for your yearly physical exam, ask them to perform a basic hearing test on you. They will usually be happy to do this for free, or a small extra charge. The doctor will put a special set of headphones on you and give you extra little blips of sound at various frequencies and ask you if you can hear them.
This is important to do because it allows you to keep track of your hearing status, and lets you know when you should take preventative and protective action before it’s too late.
The best way to save your hearing is to stay away from loud noises altogether, however, in our world that is next to impossible. However, hearing loss prevention is still achievable if you're willing to take the necessary precautions.
Remember, don't wait until it's too late. Your hearing is one of your most valuable senses, and if you were to lose it or sustain significant damage, you would be devastated. So, check out some noise canceling earplugs and implement a proper cleaning regimen into your daily routine today. Your ears will thank you with lifelong clarity and service.