Protect Your Hearing With These 4 Practices

person having hearing issues concept.

Our ears are often what carry the load of accidental harm from neglect in our hectic daily lives. There are some common but hazardous practices, like making use of cotton swabs and ear candling, that will put your hearing health in peril. Below, we explore four important ways to safeguard your sense of hearing and keep your ears protected.

Ear candling is a no-no

In spite of the complete lack of scientific merit, the ancient practice of trying to eliminate earwax has recently achieved some popularity. The process involves inserting a hollow candle into the ear canal and igniting the opposite end, with the idea that a vacuum is created, pulling out impurities. This practice, however, has been proven in a number of studies to not only be ineffective, but also quite risky.

Not only does ear candling fail to eliminate earwax effectively, but it also poses significant hazards. Burns to the sensitive ear structures, perforated eardrums, and exacerbation of existing problems can all be consequences of this practice. Normally, if you see any wax after ear candling, it will be from the candle itself rather than your ears.

In light of these findings, medical experts always 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) advise against using them.

Get rid of the cotton swabs

It’s true that many individuals turn to these apparently harmless tools to clean earwax out of their ears. But there are more risks than advantages to inserting a cotton swab into your ear canal. Instead of effectively removing earwax, swabs can accidentally jam wax deeper into the ear canal, leading to impaction and possible injury.

The eardrum is sensitive and objects like cotton swabs can cause substantial damage. Injuries, such as perforations or abrasions can happen, leading to pain, infection, and hearing impairment. It would be better to seek professional help if necessary or otherwise depend on your ear’s self-cleaning ability instead of putting any object in the ear.

Keep volumes to a minimum

In an increasingly noisy world, our ears are constantly inundated by sounds of varying intensities. From bustling city streets to recreational activities such as concerts and sporting events, exposure to loud sound is ubiquitous. Over-exposure to loud noises like these can have negative effects on your hearing health resulting in tinnitus and noise-related hearing loss.

It’s essential to use hearing protection and, if possible, avoid overly loud settings in order to prevent damage. Whenever you can’t avoid really loud noise, protection such as earplugs and earmuffs should be used.

In addition, when using personal audio devices, such as headphones or earbuds, retaining a moderate volume and taking regular breaks can help preserve hearing health.

If you detect any symptoms, act promptly

Taking fast action when your ears begin to tell you that you’re starting to experience some level of hearing loss is critical to protect your ears from harm. In spite of the availability of advanced treatments, such as hearing aids, delaying intervention can worsen hearing loss and complicate treatment.

If you have symptoms like ringing in the ears, difficulty understanding speech, or pain or pressure in your ears, it’s essential that you acknowledge it. If any of these symptoms are experienced, seek assessment from a qualified hearing specialist or otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) promptly. Early detection and intervention can substantially improve outcomes and enhance your quality of life.

In conclusion, the health and well-being of our ears are vital in navigating the sensory landscape of our lives. We can preserve our healthy hearing by avoiding cotton swabs and ear candles, protecting our ears against loud noise, and recognizing early warning symptoms.

If you suspect 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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