In most cases, once you have damaged your hearing it’s irreversible, so it’s a good idea to look after your ears to avoid any damage or potential hearing loss. To find out how you can better protect yourself against any loss of hearing, take a look at our 10 tips to protect your hearing.
Have Your Hearing Checked
One of the best ways to protect your hearing is to make sure that you have regular hearing tests. Often, hearing loss isn’t noticeable as it occurs gradually and a hearing test will give you a good baseline for your hearing, which can then be used to monitor any hearing loss that may occur over time. Whether you are looking for a free hearing test in London, or further afield, there is really no excuse to not have one as there is no cost for the initial test.
Invest in Earplugs
From noisy concerts to loud work environments, your ears are often exposed to a level of noise far louder than is safe. In order to protect your hearing, invest in some earplugs. There are plenty of affordable options available on the high street, although if you are frequently in loud environments, you should consider a custom moulded pair of earplugs for the best protection.
Turn Down the Volume
We’re all guilty of listening to our music too loud, and over time we tend to gradually turn the volume up, rather than down, as our ears get accustomed to the noise level. The reality is, often you don’t realise just how loud your music is, and the effect this can have on your hearing. Thankfully, most devices now come with a volume limited, so make sure you enable this feature. Although it might take some getting used, your ears will thank you in the long run.
Be Careful with Cotton Buds
Cotton buds may have been designed to go in your hears, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to exercise some caution when using them. Being a bit too vigorous can irritate your ears – causing inflammation – while sticking the cotton buds in too far can actually perforate your eardrum if you aren’t careful.
Know Your Medication
Certain medications are ototoxic, meaning they are toxic to the ear. Although their effect is often temporary and reversible, this isn’t always the case, so it’s worth knowing checking if any of your regular medication is, and limiting any unnecessary exposure to ototoxic medications.
Keep Your Ears Dry
Excessive moisture can play havoc with your ears, and as any keen swimmer knows, lead to infections which can damage your hearing ability if not properly treated. To avoid the dreaded swimmer’s ear, make sure that you always gently dry out your ears after leaving the pool, and consider investing in some custom-made swimming earplugs to protect your hearing.
Give Your Ear a Break
With all the different sources of excessive noise your hearing is subjected to on a daily basis, it’s a good idea to give your ears a regular break, to protect your hearing. It can take some time to recover from exposure to loud noises, and after a noisy event like a concert it can take up to 16 hours for your hearing to return to normal (which is why you should wear earplugs).
Use Noise-Cancelling Headphones
The most common reason for turning up the volume when you’re listening to music is to drown out any distracting background noise. If you don’t already use them, then invest in noise-cancelling headphones. Because they block out background noise more efficiently than regular headphones or earbuds, you won’t have to turn the volume up as high in order to enjoy your music without any distractions.
Wrap up Warm in Winter
Surfer’s ear might sound like something you only need to worry about if you’re frequently hitting the waves on a sunny beach, but it’s a condition which can occur as a result of excessive exposure to cold and wet conditions. This can result in a bony growth, which can then lead to an increase in ear infections.
Treat Ear Infections Immediately
Many of us are guilty of dismissing ear infections as nothing more than an earache, especially when it’s the result of a cold or the flu. However, untreated ear infections can seriously affect your hearing, so if you suspect that you have one, make sure to get it checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.