Do you regularly pay attention to your sense of hearing? Do you do what it takes to make sure your ears are well taken care of? Not as much as you should, most likely. We tend to be highly confident about our ability to hear; we almost always think we’ll never lose it!
What most of us fail to realize is this: the risks are associated with ear problems and hearing impairment are real. Age and genetics or heredity may be among the most prominent factors for hearing loss, and these are essentially inescapable. However, there are actions and consequential situations that, while highly preventable, may otherwise result in possible deafness.
Did you know that there are certain routines that are harmful to your hearing? Here are some of the things you might be doing wrong:
Exposing yourself to loud music and occupational noise
A normal-voice conversation produces 60-decibel noise, which is just right to keep your eardrums healthy. Experts say you shouldn’t be exposing your ears to 85 decibels but did you know that the loud sounds and screams in your favorite rock concert can reach up to 120 decibels? Make sure you either keep away from extremely loud music or protect your ears by using earmuffs or earphones.
Similarly, very loud noise produced by vehicles, equipment or engines in certain facilities – such as in factories and construction sites – are unhealthy for your ears. Medically termed occupational hearing loss, it is a highly common illness in the United States caused by or related to work. In fact, there are an estimated 22 million American workers that can possibly experience hearing problems because of the hazardous level of noise that they are exposed to. Ensure you are wearing the right ear protection while at work.
Exposure to very high noise levels for a long period of time is never good for you. Similarly, being exposed to quick but loud blasts such as gunshot and explosion can be damaging to your inner ear.
Taking ear-harming medications.
Certain antibiotics, pain relievers, diuretics and chemotherapy medicines have adverse effects on your ears. Make sure you ask your doctor about these types of drugs and never shrug off hearing distractions and issues you experience upon taking them. Make sure you know and understand the possible side effects of these medicines — such as temporary hearing loss – and learn how to manage these.
Practicing harmful ear-cleaning habits
You may not realize it, but your ears are as delicate as any other organ in the body that gives you your basic senses. It secretes a substance called ear wax that essentially provides lubrication and cleansing while also trapping foreign microorganisms. Many of us, however, tend to clean our ears in a way that tends to completely strip the ear wax off our ears.
ENT experts also advise the careful and proper cleaning of your ear so you don’t cause abrasion in its delicate lining or worse, perforate your eardrums.
Ear care doesn’t mean simply keeping your ears clean; it’s paying attention to them. Does your ear hurt? Does it make suspicious discharges? Does it smell or feel odd? Are you experiencing some sign of hearing loss? No matter how subtle the symptoms may be, take the time to visit your ear specialist.
Embracing good habits is your first step to ensuring optimum health for your ears. Don’t ignore and immediately address the signs of impending ear infection or hearing problem.