In a world where we are being deluged with constant sensory overload, especially in relation to audio input, it may seem as if there isn’t much we can do to avoid hearing loss or deafness. Combined with the factors of aging and, for some, genetics, ambient noise seems to complete the trifecta of causes that leave some people feeling discouraged, helpless and resigned to the fact that hearing loss is simply inevitable.
However, our futures, particularly our quality of life, demand that we take preventive action to ensure our hearing remains intact for as long as possible. Otherwise, we won’t be able to share in the joy of hearing our grandchildren’s laughter, listen to our favorite songs or sports programs, or hear the pride in our adult children’s voices when they call us to share the news of a recent promotion. The benefits of hearing better are numerous, and luckily, there are also numerous steps you can take to prevent hearing loss and deafness now so you can continue the quality of life you deserve.
One of the most important steps you can take to prevent loss of hearing is to stay on top of it by having it regularly checked. In the same way that an eye exam helps you assess your vision, a doctor administered hearing test will allow you to gauge any hearing loss, and, when done regularly, the test will allow you to assess how gradually, or rapidly, your hearing may be deteriorating. Since you may not even be aware of the fact that you have been incrementally increasing the volume on the television over time, a hearing test will let you know once and for all where you stand, and whether or not you have experienced any hearing loss. That way, if the results show that your hearing has diminished, you will be empowered with the information, so you can take steps to prevent further loss of hearing, or even eventual deafness.
Protect Your Ears
Often, you may not even be aware that some of your daily activities may be negatively impacting your hearing, or that over time, continued exposure to the noises surrounding those events may cause permanent hearing loss. For example, motorcycle riding, hunting with rifles, snowmobiling, concerts, and, even things as seemingly mundane as listening to music in the car, or a television program, at a high volume, will cause hearing loss when you regularly expose yourself them it.
For situations that may be infrequent, such as hunting, attending a concert, or snowmobiling, make hearing protection a part of your preparation plan. Invest in good quality ear plugs or noise-canceling headphones, and make sure you take them with you each time you head out. Do the same thing every time you prepare for work if you work in an industry, such as construction, where the exposure to high levels of noise is unavoidable. Consider keeping a set of earplugs in your vehicle and one in your home so they are always accessible.
If you make it a habit of listening to music or television at a high volume, simply turn it down. Over time, your ears will adjust. However, if you just can’t hear your song or television program when it’s being played at a reasonable level, you’ll want to make an appointment for a hearing test, as you may be suffering from hearing loss already.
Take a Break
If you find yourself in a situation where the level of noise is just too high, but you aren’t prepared with ear plugs, be sure to step away as often as possible in order to separate yourself from the intrusive noise. When you do that, you will be allowing the inflammation that is created by free radicals, which are generated by loud noises (and can damage cells), to diminish.
Smoking and exposure to tobacco has been shown to increase the risk of hearing loss. So, if you smoke, speak with your doctor about the safest and most effective ways to quit. When you stop smoking it improves your quality of life in many other ways as well. If you are exposed to other people’s cigarette smoke, ask them to smoke away from you (outside, if it’s your own home), or simply excuse yourself when they light up.
Clean Ears Carefully
Do not use cotton swabs or any sharp or pointed objects to clean your ears. This pushes ear wax further into your ears, which can cause damage and lead to ear infections. Additionally, the instrument itself can cause permanent ear damage. Instead, use an ear flushing system (found in drug stores) to soften up the ear wax and gently remove it.
Prevention of hearing loss and deafness will depend, in part, on what you do now. By focusing on the ongoing health and condition of your ears, you can minimize the impact that hearing loss will have on your quality of life in the future. If you are interested in information on how you can improve your hearing now, take a look at this article on the MSA30x, which is a sound amplifier that can amplify up to 30 times the sound. It just may be the boost you need to get back to enjoying your favorite music or engaging with your grandchildren. You can check a review that I have written about this product as well as some customer reviews from people who have actually used it.