Safeguarding Your Sense of Hearing: 4 Practices to Protect Your Ears

person having hearing issues concept.

In the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, our ears frequently bear the brunt of neglect and inadvertent harm. There are a few common but dangerous practices, including making use of cotton swabs and ear candling, that will put your hearing health at risk. What follows are a few practices you can use to help safeguard the health of your hearing.

Say good by to ear candling

In spite of the complete lack of scientific merit, the ancient practice of trying to clear away earwax has recently achieved some popularity. It’s believed that a vacuum is created when a hollow ear candle is inserted into your ear canal and the wick at the other end is lit allegedly pulling impurities out. This practice, however, has been proven in a number of studies to not only be ineffective, but also quite risky.

You might be putting your hearing in jeopardy by employing a practice that won’t even eliminate any earwax. The application of heat near the sensitive structures of the ear can result in burns, perforated eardrums, and even aggravate existing issues. Moreover, the residue left behind after ear candling frequently is comprised of candle wax and debris rather than extracted earwax.

In light of these findings, medical experts universally discourage the use of ear candling. There are safer methods of cleaning your ears than cotton swabs and the FDA and the Academy of Otolaryngology (AAO) warn against using them.

No more cotton swabs

The attraction of cotton swabs for ear cleaning is indisputable, with many individuals turning to these apparently innocuous tools for maintenance. But there are more risks than benefits to inserting a cotton swab into your ear canal. Impaction and potential injury can be the outcome of using cotton swabs rather than actually cleaning out earwax.

The eardrum is delicate and objects such as cotton swabs can cause considerable damage. Injuries, like perforations or abrasions can occur, leading to pain, infection, and hearing impairment. To avoid these complications, it is beneficial to steer clear of inserting any objects into the ear canal and instead depend upon the ear’s self-cleaning systems or seek professional assistance if necessary.

Be mindful of the volume: safeguard against loud noise

In a progressively noisy world, our ears are continuously inundated by sounds of varying volumes. Exposure to loud sound is unavoidable, from going to sporting events and concerts to strolling down noisy city streets to mowing your lawn. Nonetheless, prolonged or excessive exposure can have harmful effects on hearing health, leading to noise-induced hearing loss or tinnitus.

It’s crucial to use hearing protection and, if possible, avoid excessively loud settings in order to avoid damage. This includes using hearing protection, such as earmuffs or earplugs, in noisy environments and limiting exposure to loud noises whenever you can.

Also, take frequent breaks and moderate the volume when you’re using personal listening devices such as headphones and earpods.

If you notice any symptoms, act quickly

Perhaps the most critical aspect of preserving optimal hearing health is being attentive to the signals your ears provide and taking prompt action in response to any concerning symptoms. Despite the availability of advanced treatments, such as hearing aids, holding off on intervention can exacerbate hearing loss and complicate treatment.

It is imperative to recognize common signs of hearing loss, such as difficulty understanding speech, ringing or buzzing in the ears (tinnitus), or a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ears. If any of these symptoms are encountered, seek evaluation from a qualified hearing specialist or otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) immediately. Your hearing results as well as your quality of life will be substantially increased by early detection and intervention.

Your ability to effectively navigate the landscape of your life depends on you keeping your hearing as healthy as you can. We can maintain our healthy hearing by avoiding cotton swabs and ear candles, safeguarding our ears against loud noise, and identifying early warning signs.

If you think that you may be experiencing any symptoms of hearing loss, call us today for an appointment.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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