AVOID LOUD NOISES
How often do you think about the volume of the music you listen to or the traffic you sit? Probably not that often. The reason is that we tend to take our hearing health for granted until it is damaged and starts to affect our lifestyle and livelihoods.
One of the biggest threats to your hearing health is loud noises. Loud noise that goes above 80 decibels can damage the eardrum, the ossicles, or the cochlea resulting in permanent hearing issues. These issues can also lead to cognitive decline. Try to identify the types of damaging noise in your life.
PROTECT YOUR EARS
Eighty decibels isn’t a very useful indicator if you don’t know what that sounds like. Imagine the sound of heavy traffic whizzing past you as you stand at the side of a busy motorway, or the noise of fireworks going off at new year. These sounds are around the eight decade level. Anything above is dangerous.
Always protect your ears if you go to loud places like restaurants and concerts. The best way to protect them discreetly is by wearing ear plugs. These are available in a range of styles but wax ones are very effective and discrete. You will be able to enjoy your evening normally and still protect your ears wearing these.
VISIT AN AUDIOLOGIST
Often, we take our hearing for granted until it deteriorates and impacts our life. Unfortunately, by that time it may be too late. The damage might already be done. Try to think of your hearing health as somewhat similar to your dental health or your eye health. Have it checked regularly.
How often do you go to the dentist for a check up? Most people go once or twice a year for maintenance. Perhaps the teeth get more attention because they’re visible, but your hearing health is just as important to your wellbeing. Damage to your hearing can lead to cognitive decline in later years.
MIND THE VOLUME
Even if you’re in your middle years you might still be inclined to turn up the volume and play some air guitar; or maybe you sometimes go to a loud music concert to see a band that’s still releasing albums. Whatever the reason for your auditory indulgence don’t forget to moderate the volume and protect your ears.
Like a high decibel level, a volume of over 60% can damage the ossicles – the small bones in the middle of your ears – or the cochlea – the snail shaped structure at the back. Damage to these areas will result in reduced hearing ability and lead to cognitive decline.
Many people now know that it’s bad practice to put cotton buds into their ears for cleaning. The reason for cotton buds is to remove the buildup of wax in the ear that can be unhygienic and also cause hearing difficulties. Using cotton buds, however, tends to push the wax back into the ear canal and can damage the eardrum.
Wax in the ear canal is there for a reason. It protects the eardrum, helps with cleaning and protects against diseases of the ear, it actually dies up and falls out on its own anyways. If you want to remove it in a healthy way apply a few drops of olive oil twice a day.