In a recent article, the World Health Organization projected that 2.5 billion people will have, or at least experience, hearing problems by 2050. The number seems farfetched until you realize that there are already 37.5 million adults in the United States who already have hearing issues.
Here are a few ear and hearing care tips that hearing consultants would love for you to know and follow.
Don’t Insert Foreign Objects in Your Ear Canal
It may seem like a perfect idea to insert a pencil or a pen in your ear canal to relieve a little itch inside. But it may not be as harmless as you think.
Doing this will introduce bacteria and other harmful germs inside your ear canal that may cause an infection. In worst-case scenarios, you can damage your eardrums as well.
If you want to relieve an itch or irritation inside your ear canal, you can use cotton swabs to clean the skin around your ears. But do not insert the cotton-tipped swabs inside your ear canal.
Clean Your Ears Regularly
You don’t have to worry about cleaning your inner ear. Your ear has a self-cleaning feature that slowly moves the debris out while you open and close your mouth. In essence, you’re cleaning your ears when you eat, drink, speak, and yawn. It’s your outer ear that needs the extra attention.
The outer ear canal serves as a trap for dirt, dead skin cells, and bacteria. These elements can cause infections or serious ear-related problems like ear wax build-up or even ear bone infections.
When cleaning your outer ear, remember to remove excess water and dry your ear completely. If you tend to have a lot of dirt and grime in your outer ear canal, use a soft, warm washcloth and gently wipe them clean using downward motions. You can use a cotton swab to get the nooks and crannies, but it should not enter the canal.
Turn the Volume Down
If you want to keep your hearing at its best, then you should probably stop listening to music on loud volumes. Listening to loud music can damage your ears in two ways.
The first is that you can damage the cilia in your inner ear. The cilia are small, hair-like structures that pick up vibrations and send them to the brain. The louder the volume, the more damaged the cilia becomes. This can then lead to hearing loss and even bigger ear-related problems. The second way is that you can damage your eardrums. This will create a lot of pain and discomfort and may even lead to hearing loss.
The best way to protect your hearing is to avoid loud noises. But if you like going to concerts, don’t worry because there are concert earplugs that can give you the full music experience without the hearing damage.
Schedule a Hearing Test Regularly
Early detection is the best way to deal with any ear-related problems. Because of this, you should regularly schedule hearing exams to make sure you’re on the right path to healthy hearing.
Regardless of your age, you should schedule a hearing exam at least once a year. A hearing test can detect any minor hearing issues and early issues that may lead to bigger problems down the road.
But you may want to see a hearing specialist as soon as you can if you experience any of the following:
- Difficulty hearing sounds in one or both ears
- Need for louder TV volume
- Ringing in your ears
- Trouble hearing after waking
Maintaining your ear and hearing health is easy. Just remember to not put anything in your ear canal, clean them regularly, turn down the volume, and schedule hearing exams regularly.
If you’re having any ear or hearing issues, don’t wait for them to get worse. Go see an ear and hearing specialist as soon as you can.
Hear More Associates is a BBB-accredited hearing clinic in Massachusetts that offers top-notch hearing care solutions. Regardless of whether you need a hearing exam or a new hearing aid, we can help you. Contact us today!