7 Ways to Look After Your Hearing Health
Everyday life is made up of millions of sounds that help create a full sensory experience. This experience is something that many of us take for granted, just like our hearing health. The truth is that looking after your hearing health is just as important as taking care of your body or mind. We all know that exercising for 30 minutes and getting your five a day can keep you looking and feeling good, but how do you look after your hearing health? Let’s look at the top seven ways to look after your hearing.
Over 5% of the world’s population (430 million people) already require rehabilitation to address hearing loss. With this number looking set to rise, it is important to raise awareness for hearing care. There are many solutions to hearing loss, but that doesn’t mean that you should pay attention to the little things you can do to preserve your hearing and continue enjoying the sounds around you.
Pay Attention to Harmful Noise Levels
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a widespread form of hearing loss, with roughly 17% of adults aged 20-69 having suffered permanent hearing damage due to exposure to excessive noise levels. Many people work and live in noisy environments and fail to care for their hearing health.
The best way to avoid NHIL is to use hearing protection. If you work on a construction site or in a noisy environment, ensure that the company you work for provides you with effective hearing protection. The same advice goes for those that enjoy attending clubs, concerts or playing a lot of music. Earplugs are convenient, effective, and a great way to prevent your favorite hobbies from damaging your hearing.
Give Your Ears Time to Recover
Okay, so you have been exposed to excessive noise levels for a prolonged period without adequate hearing protection. Maybe you step outside and hear a ringing in your ears. If you feel like you have been exposed to potentially damaging noise levels, it is important to step outside or take a minute to let them recover. We recommend that you let your hearing rest and recover in silence for around 16 hours after a loud day or night out.
Exercising is all part of keeping fit and healthy, but did you know that getting in your daily cardio can also help look after your hearing health? Exercises like walking, running and cycling, etc., all get the blood circulating around your body, including the ears. This healthy blood flow helps the auditory system stay healthy and continue working optimally.
Recent studies have also found links between heart disease and hearing loss. High blood pressure and heart disease can cause damage to the tiny mechanisms within your ear and increase the likelihood of you suffering from hearing loss. Therefore, by keeping your health in check with regular exercise, you can also look after your hearing health.
Don’t Put Anything in Your Ears
Many people believe that the best way to look after their hearing health is by cleaning your ear canal with a cotton swab. This is definitely not advisable! Small amounts of wax in your ears are totally normal and even beneficial to your hearing health. When you insert anything into your ear canal, you risk damaging delicate organs like your eardrum.
If you are worried about excess earwax or believe it is causing a blockage, you can use a wax removal kit or even get professional advice.
Stress and anxiety have a range of negative impacts on your health, including hearing health. High-stress levels put your body into fight or flight mode. This sends elevated levels of adrenaline coursing through your body, putting increased pressure on your blood flow, nerves, body heat, etc. This pressure can travel to your auditory canal and contribute to the common hearing disorder of tinnitus.
Bad habits can be hard to kick, and smoking is undoubtedly one of those indulgences you should be looking to give up as a new year’s resolution. Smoking isn’t just bad for your overall health, but it can lead to hearing loss. A study by The University of Manchester found that smokers have 15.1% higher odds of hearing loss than non-smokers.
The nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes tighten your blood vessels, which effectively starves your inner ear of the oxygen it needs to keep hair cells in the cochlea healthy and create a toxic environment within the ear.
Get Regular Checkups
Hearing loss develops gradually, and therefore, annual consultations with your local hearing specialist are the best way to keep on top of your hearing health. Your hearing specialist should be able to spot any early signs of hearing loss and advise on what actions to take. Pay more attention to your hearing health and always appreciate life to the fullest.