Updated: Dec 24, 2020
Did you know that over 5% of the world’s population struggles from some type of hearing loss? That includes everything from partial loss to those who are completely deaf.
While some factors associated with hearing loss can’t be helped, there are a few common reasons for hearing loss that have a lot to do with lifestyle choices. Everything from continuous loud noises to obesity can have an impact on your ears.
Unfortunately, hearing loss can make life more difficult, from everyday things like being able to enjoy your favorite television program, to suffering at work if you aren’t able to hear what you should. If you have a hearing disability, you might have a harder time doing an effective job.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to protect your ears and reduce your risk of developing hearing loss. Let’s take a look at some of those actions so you can take care of your ears in the best way possible.
1. Use Earplugs
Sometimes, loud noises can’t be helped. Maybe you work at noisy construction sites or in a factory. Or, maybe you’re around loud music all day long. While avoiding sounds that are too loud is recommended, if you can’t do that, the next best thing is to wear earplugs.
Wearing earplugs when things get too loud can protect your ear drum and reduce your risk of eventual hearing loss. They’re inexpensive, easy to put in, and comfortable.
2. Let Your Ears Rest
Like any other part of your body, your ears need time to rest and recover after they have been exposed to loud, jarring noises. After attending a loud event or working in a loud place all day, try to spend some time in a quiet spot outside at least once an hour. Or, sit in the quiet of your home and try to relax. Your ears could take up to 16 hours to get back to “normal”
3. Get Physical
While you might already know that physical activity has many benefits for other parts of the body, did you know it can help your ears, too? Diet and exercise play a part in almost everything you do, including eye health and ear health. So, how can staying active have a positive impact on your ears?
When you participate in a cardiovascular activity like running or cycling, your body has to work harder to pump more blood throughout your body. That includes getting it to the ears. As a result, your ears will work more efficiently and you should be able to hear more.
4. Don’t Use Cotton Swabs
For some reason, people have used cotton swabs for years to clean their ears, but most people end up doing it the wrong way. Cotton swabs were never meant to go “inside” your ear. In fact, doing so to clean out wax or dirt can actually be quite dangerous.
When you stick a cotton swab in your ear, you’re really just jamming the wax further into the canal and compacting it. Not only can that make it harder to hear but it can become painful very quickly. In some cases, you may need a doctor to get rid of the excess wax and expose your earlobe.
5. Reduce Your Stress
Everyone has some type of stress in their life, no matter how “perfect” it may seem. Some of it can even be good. But, many people really struggle with the stress of everyday life. If that sounds like you and you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t forget to pay attention to the health of your ears.
Yes, stress can exacerbate issues with hearing. Because stress uts your body into a sort of “fight or flight” mode, adrenaline is pumped throughout your body which can influence your nerves and blood flow. You may not be able to get rid of stress from your life completely. But, do what you can to find a few moments of relaxation each day. Getting rid of as much stress as possible will have other health benefits, of course, but it’s always important to consider your horse.
As you can see, it doesn’t have to be difficult to protect your ears from some of the everyday dangers that can contribute to hearing loss. Keep these ideas in mind to protect yourself and your ears. It may not seem like you’re doing much now, but in a few years when people around you start complaining about hearing loss, you’ll be smiling, knowing you invested in your ear health when it counted the most.