Without proper hearing, it would be impossible to enjoy the comfort of sounds around you, protection from various dangers as well as the ability to learn and communicate with others. Inability to hear can be as a result of a disability or damage to the inner ear. It is estimated that approximately 1 out of 10 Americans have hearing loss problems with 65% of those affected being younger than 65 years. In fact, Better Hearing Institute figures show that at least 1.4 million children have hearing problems.
Causes of hearing problems
With these alarming figures, it is important that you know the factors that can lead to damaged inner ear. They include aging, loud noise, exposure to ototoxic drugs and the presence of certain medical conditions. The dangerous part of this is that the damage is often so slow and subtle that it is so hard to notice by those affected. Although hearing impairments can be treated medically or surgically, the use of hearing aids are meant to aid in hearing and do not restore the normal hearing.
How do you know you have hearing problems?
Hearing loss may be hard to notice because they happen overtime slowly and if you find yourself asking people to repeat what they have said, then it is time to see an audiologist for a complete hearing evaluation.
Prevention has and still is the best cure, and the following advice will help you maintain a healthy hearing.
Avoid the noise
The majority of the population especially the young people deliberately expose their ears to loud noises when listening to music on their stereo or mp3 players. It is not bad to enjoy the music but not at the expense of your hearing. If you are using earphones, switch to headphones as they have a better sound quality at low volumes. Sometimes, it is impossible to avoid the noise especially for those who work with or near heavy machinery, power tools or firearms and the best way to prevent ear damage is to use protection by wearing earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones which reduce the intensity of noise reaching your eardrum. You can also take a time-out of about five minutes every hour if you are working in noisy areas.
Improve blood flow to your ears
Improving the blood circulation to your ears is good for your hearing and will help reduce hearing loss that comes with old age. This can be achieved by regular cardio exercises like running.
Keep ears dry
Excess moisture in your ear allow bacteria to attack your ear canal, and you should ensure that you dry your ear well after swimming and bathing using a towel, tugging the ear lobe or tilting your head to the side.
Remove excess wax
Ears need wax for protection, but excess amounts can damage your inner ear. Use any of the wax removal kits to soften the earwax before it flows out.
Be careful with your medications
Certain drugs are ototoxic like certain diuretic, anti-inflammatory and chemotherapeutic medications that can cause hearing loss and should be taken as directed and unusual side effects reported immediately.
Avoid pleasures that can affect your hearing
Taking alcohol and caffeine in large amounts can cause ringing in your ears. Smoking is also associated with age-related hearing loss, and large intake of sodium can lead to swelling of the inner ear as a result of fluid retention.