Hearing loss is a part of the natural ageing process but there are a few steps everyone can take to prevent it from worsening. Note that whatever hearing you have lost; you cannot recover it. However, each of us can take steps to keep hearing well for years to come. After all; hearing is important to communicate well with our loved ones and also to enjoy social activities, entertainment and so on. So let us take a look at some easy ways prevent further hearing loss naturally:
1. Protect your ears against loud noise
Wear protective noise canceling headphones to protect your ear drums against loud noise. You can also stay away from loud noise in the first place or at least limit your exposure to it. Avoid listening to loud music or at least limit the time you listen to it.
2. For workers
As a rule, workers should not be exposed to work that entails noise greater than 140 db. No worker should be exposed to noise greater than 85 db for more than 8 hours, and all noisy work should ideally be done in shifts.
3. Keep sound at moderate levels
If you are in the habit of listening to recreational music, make sure you avoid using headphones or earphones. These tend to direct the sound on the eardrums and prolonged exposure can lead to hearing loss. Also, headphones and ear phones trap in dirt and moisture in the ear canal and also increase wax production. So where possible, try not to use earphones. And always keep noise levels to a minimum/moderate level when listening to music or watching TV etc. When buying electronic goods, compare their db levels and know that the smaller level is always better.
4. Know your risks
This is an essential way of taking care of your ears. If you live in an area with constant noise due to heavy construction work, live band, recreational sports/vehicle etc, then take the measures to secure your home against it. You can install windows with tight seals to safeguard against external noise. Invest in good quality noise canceling muffs and ear plugs. Foam plugs are available at pharmacy and drug store outlets, whereas muffs and specialized ear protection is available at sporting good stores and safety equipment stores. Children are at a great risk from loud music and recreational activities. So educate and inform them about these dangers.
5. Take frequent breaks
This is true for when you listen to loud music or are exposed to loud recreational activities. After an hour of exposure, take a break. This is also true for motorcycling, target practice, snowballing, dance clubs and concerts.
6. Know the signs and dangers of hearing loss
Hearing loss usually begins as loud ringing in the ears. Infections can also lead to loss of natural hearing. Exposure to a sudden noise like explosion or gunshots can also trigger sudden and permanent loss. You can also see other signs like being unable to hear, or asking people to repeat themselves or turning the TV or radio volume higher etc. Understanding these signs can help you take measures and protect against further hearing loss.
7. Avoid using sharp objects to clean the ears
Our ears have a self cleaning system that can clean themselves out. Avoid using pins, pen or pencils etc to clean them. If wax buildup is a problem, use medically approved products, or visit a doctor to get your ears cleaned.
8. Explore treatment options
Today, thanks to modern research and advances in medical science, there are many treatment options available for people with hearing disability. Stem cell therapy, targeted neural stimulation, gene therapy etc can all restore natural hearing without the need for prosthesis. You can also always go for regular hearing aids.
9. Avoid medication that can impact your hearing
Many medicines are known to impact our sense of hearing. Speak to your physician about the possible effect of drugs that could do so.
Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss apart from genes and natural ageing. Take the precautions and use above easy ways to prevent hearing loss from worsening.