Be Sense-Able: Protect Yourself From Hearing Loss

Matti obeyed with alacrity.

(image: flickr)

Listen, hearing loss can come with old age and some prevailing health issues. It sucks, but it can’t always be avoided. However, if you’re blessed with good hearing now, you can take steps to ensure your ears work fine for many more years to come.

Wear hearing protection

If you can avoid loud noises, then do so. Taking a different route when you know there are going to be loud sounds from roadworks is one example, as is avoiding those bars and clubs where you can barely hear anybody when they are speaking to you. However, when you can’t avoid loud noise, wear hearing protection. Having earplugs or earmuffs with you when you’re out and about is useful, as you can put them on should you find yourself in a particularly noisy area. And wearing them when you’re engaged in a noisy activity, such as using machinery or mowing the law, is a good way to protect your hearing.

Turn down the volume

There’s a reason why the neighbours keep banging on the walls! It’s probably because your tv or music system is too loud. If you didn’t realise the volume was so high, you might already be suffering from one of the signs of hearing loss. However, if you have turned up the volume purposefully to immerse yourself in the song or film you are engaged with, then you are putting your hearing at risk. Do yourself, and your neighbours a favour, and turn down the volume to an acceptable level.

Use a smartphone app

If you’re in any way unsure when loud is too loud, use a decibel meter app to measure sound levels. The app will let you know when decibel levels are too high, and you can then take protective measures, such as using hearing protection, turning down the tv, or moving to a quieter and safer place.

Don’t stick anything in your ear

It sounds obvious, but how many of us still stick our fingers in our ear, or any other foreign object when trying to clean out ear wax? Even cotton swabs are unsafe, as they can cause damage to our ear canal if we push them in too deeply, and that will subsequently cause hearing loss. There are safer ways to clean your ears, such as using a damp cloth around the surface of your ear, or using an ear wax softener that is sold by your local pharmacist. You might want to see your doctor too, as they can irrigate your ears with a syringe. These are all safer methods than poking around with a finger or other object.

Avoid bad habits

Sticking your fingers in your ear is one bad habit you need to avoid, but there are others. Eating junk food is one, as studies have shown that a poor diet can affect your hearing. Instead, add these foods to your shopping list, as research suggests they will actually boost your ear health. And then give up smoking, if you haven’t already done so. Not only is this filthy habit bad for your lungs and heart, but studies have shown that tobacco smoke can be attributed to hearing loss. Try vaping instead!

You will miss your hearing when it’s gone, so be sense-able, and do all you can to protect yourself from hearing loss today.

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