According to NIH, ‘One in eight people in the United States aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations’. Hearing loss can be due to several factors including damage inside the ear, underlying health conditions, or age-related hearing loss. To help you to look after your hearing health, pay attention to these five steps.
#1: Consider Your Diet
To keep your ears healthy, consider the foods that you are eating. It’s important to remember that foods cannot cure hearing problems. Regardless, foods can protect the body from free radical damage. Consuming antioxidants can protect the health of your whole body, from your heart and lungs to your eyes and ears. High antioxidant foods include spinach, broccoli, carrots, and salmon. You can also try lettuce, beetroot, and avocados.
#2: Avoid Infections
Keep your ears nice and clean, to avoid a blockage of ear wax. When ear wax builds up, it can temporarily affect your hearing. It can also use irritation and pain. Clean your ears each day, using a cotton bud. You should also take steps to prevent an ear infection. Sometimes, infections can be caused by excess moisture. Ensure that you dry your ears properly after going swimming. Other ways to prevent an ear infection include:
- Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke.
- Keep up to date with your vaccines.
- Take allergy medications if you need to.
- Keep your distance from anyone who has a cold.
#3: Volume Control
To prevent damage to your hearing, it’s important to consider volume control. When you are using headphones, keep your volume at 60% or a lower volume. It’s best not to use headphones that fit directly inside the ear. Instead, choose larger headphones (that fit like ear-muffs). Hearing health guidelines advise that 85 decibels, or lower, is considered a safe level. The early symptoms of hearing loss can go unnoticed. With the right protection, you can keep your ears healthy.
#4: Use Earplugs
If you are regularly exposed to loud environments, you should use earplugs for protection. Musicians need a good set of earplugs, as do people who regularly attend gigs or festivals. Your typical music concert is approximately 110 decibels, this level is enough to damage your hearing, which is why protection is crucial. When you’re purchasing tickets to a concert, it’s a good idea to select seats that are further away from the speakers.
#5: Frequent Check-Ups
Schedule an appointment with an ENT doctor, at least every two-three years. If you have started to experience hearing loss symptoms, make an appointment as soon as possible. Early detection can help to improve hearing loss, and avoid further damage. When earring loss is left untreated, it can have an impact on your physical and mental health. ENT doctors understand how hearing loss impacts relationships and can help people to get the support they need. An ENT doctor can work with you to identify the cause of your hearing loss, and provide the best treatment plan.
Using these five simple steps, you can take better care of your hearing, and reduce your chances of experiencing hearing loss.