How To Maintain A Healthy Hearing Habit

Hearing health is just as essential to a person’s overall wellness as any other aspect of health. In the United States, around one in eight people suffer from hearing loss, including one in three seniors. While the risk of developing hearing loss always increases with age, there are steps that people can take during any stage of their lives to maintain a healthy hearing habit.

How To Maintain A Healthy Hearing Habit
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1. Get Regular Screenings

People routinely go to the dentist for oral health exams and the doctor for yearly physicals, yet few consider taking the same step to protect their hearing. Scheduling an appointment with a specialized audiologist like the ones at Hearing Health Solutions is a great first step toward reducing the chances of developing hearing loss. Even if someone has no noticeable trouble, visiting a specialist for a full hearing test can set a baseline for later comparison should they develop hearing loss.

How To Maintain A Healthy Hearing Habit
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2. Wear Ear Protection

Exposure to loud noise is one of the top causes of hearing loss. Whether that exposure occurs in the workplace or during other activities doesn’t matter. Everyone should wear hearing protection in the form of ear plugs or ear muffs when exposed to loud sounds.

3. Keep the Volume Low

Maintaining reasonable volume levels on headphones and earphones can help to reduce the risk of hearing loss. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends limiting volume to 60% of the maximum setting, which makes sense given that personal audio devices can reach up to 100dB on their loudest settings. Investing in noise-canceling headphones can make it easier to follow this advice, as it can minimize the need for higher volumes to overcome background sounds.

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4. Take Listening Breaks

When listening to headphones or exposing themselves to loud noises in other contexts, people should take breaks at least once an hour. This gives the sensitive cells in the inner ear a chance to rest and recover. Given that most people are constantly navigating various levels of noise throughout their waking days, the value of these recovery periods should not be underestimated.

5. Practice Safe Listening at Live Events

Not all of the noise damage to people’s ears occurs at work. Concerts and live events can also be loud enough to cause hearing loss, so be sure to practice safe listening by either maintaining a healthy distance from the speakers and taking regular breaks in quieter areas or investing in musicians’ earplugs.

6. Clean Ears Properly

People consider it a normal practice to use cotton swabs to remove earwax. What they don’t realize is that this practice can push earwax further into their ear canals, increasing the potential for infections. Instead of using cotton swabs, people who are concerned about excessive earwax can drain their ears with a saline solution. Specialized ear drops are also available to soften the wax, making it easier to drain.

7. Dry Ears Thoroughly After Swimming

After swimming, people should make a point of allowing the water to drain from their ears. This process is particularly important when swimming in ponds, lakes, and other natural bodies of water, as allowing the water to remain inside the ear canal can cause infections. Again, though, avoid using cotton swabs to dry the inside of the ear canal.

Speak With an Audiologist

Have questions about hearing health? The best thing to do is to schedule an appointment with an audiologist who can answer them and perform a thorough screening.

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