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Top Tips to Improve Your Hearing Safety

Damage to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear often causes hearing loss. You might underestimate the risk and harmful effects of noise on hearing because the damage takes place gradually. If untreated, it can result in tinnitus, or ringing of the ears, and hearing loss, which is usually irreversible.

Donna Tipping with Action on Hearing Loss conducted a study on the hearing of over 2,000 regular concert goers. She found that if you believe that you’ve adapted to loud noises and that they don’t bother you as much as they used to, it could be a sign of hearing loss or damage. “Once hearing is gone, it’s gone for good,” she stated. The best solution is to protect your hearing in the first place.

Here are some of the best ways to improve your hearing safety.

Protect Your Ears from Loud Noise

This might seem easy, but loud music from headphones, stereo or concerts aren’t the only way your ears may be subject to loud noises. Even everyday household items and tasks, such as loud coffee makers, vacuums, hair dryers and using the lawnmower, can have a negative impact on your hearing. If possible, limit the time length of exposure to these noisy items.

top-tips-to-improve-your-hearing-safetyWear Hearing Protection

If you know that you’re going to be exposed to loud noise for prolonged amounts of time, consider wearing ear protection, such as earplugs and earmuffs. The former, which are typically made of foam or rubber and go in your ear canal, can reduce noise by 15 to 30 decibels without muffling the actual sound. The latter cover your ears externally and also reduce sounds by 15 to 30 decibels. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/hearing-loss-prevention

Turn Down the Volume

Limit the level of noise of entertainment items, such as personal mp3 players, radios and television sets. Your hearing could suffer if you are listening to headphones with the volume turned up in an attempt to block out background noise. Try the 60:60 rule instead, which means listening to music at 60 percent volume for only 60 minutes at a time. If you need to raise your voice to be heard above the sound of your TV or radio, turn it down.

Remove Earwax Properly

A buildup of wax in your ears can muffle sound, but doctors don’t recommend using a cotton-tipped swab as they can push wax even deeper into your ear canal. Instead,Rick Friedman, MD, PhD, of the House Ear Clinic in Los Angeles recommends soaking a cotton ball in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and alcohol, tipping your head up, gently dabbing the ear, and then tilting it back down to drain. If wax gets compacted in your ear, a doctor or otolaryngologist may need to remove it.

Remember that damaged hearing is always much more difficult to repair than preventing damaged hearing in the first place.

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