10 Ways to Take Care of Your Ear HealthPublished On: July 15, 2019
Approximately 466 million people worldwide have some type of disabling hearing loss. The prevalence of earbuds during the last two decades will likely cause this number to grow.
If you suffer from hearing loss or use a hearing aid, you may feel that taking care of your ears isn’t as important as it used to be. However, good ear health is critical for preserving the hearing you still have.
Regardless of your age and the reason for your hearing loss, you owe it to yourself to practice regular ear care. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they’re doing damage to their ears.
That’s why we’re going over ten tips on how to take care of your ears.
1. Ditch the Cotton Swabs
If you use a cotton swab to clean your ears, you need to stop right away. There’s a good chance you could damage your inner ear.
It turns out a small amount of wax buildup isn’t a bad thing. Your ear actually produces wax in order to protect it from dirt and any other tiny particles that could penetrate your ear canal.
If you feel you have too much ear wax, try using over the counter drops to break it up. Your doctor can also effectively remove wax if it’s a problem.
2. Keep Things Dry
Excess moisture in your ear could result in bacteria, which leads to infection. This is what’s typically referred to as swimmer’s ear.
To avoid this, make sure you gently dry your ears after a shower or a swim in the pool. If you swim on a regular basis, have earplugs custom designed.
If you feel water inside your ear, simply tug on the affected earlobe while tilting your head to the side.
3. Don’t Ignore Routine Checkups
If you already suffer from hearing loss, it’s critical you have annual checkups with your ear doctor. They’ll be able to check for signs of additional hearing loss and other conditions.
Your general physician can also perform an examination to make sure your ears are in good shape. If they notice a problem, they may have you see a specialist.
Early detection is important when preserving your remaining hearing, so make sure you don’t skip checkups.
4. Protect Your Ears from Loud Noises
Protecting your ears from loud noises is one of the most important steps in maintaining healthy ears. Even if you already have hearing loss, you can still do further damage.
The best solution is to wear earplugs or noise canceling headphones. This is extremely important if you work in a loud environment such as a factory.
Consult with your doctor about having custom earplugs made if you’re exposed to loud noises on a regular basis.
5. Watch out for Certain Medications
It’s important you speak to your doctor about any drugs you’re taking. Even things like ibuprofen and aspirin can contribute to hearing loss.
If you’re taking a new drug, check to see if it’s ototoxic, which means it can cause damage to the ear. Your doctor may need to prescribe a different medication.
6. Give Your Ears a Rest
It’s important to let your ears recover if you’re exposed to loud noises. For example, if you go to a concert and forget your earplugs, you’ll need to give your ears some quiet time the next day.
Giving your ears a break during the event can even help. If possible, take a break by finding a quiet place. Just five or ten minutes without loud noise can help protect your ears from further damage.
7. Maintain a Healthy Diet
As you age, your diet has a bigger impact on your overall health. This includes the health of your ears.
While there aren’t certain foods that actually help with hearing loss, eating well will boost your immune system and promote good ear health.
Try to maintain a balanced diet and stay away from processed foods, saturated fats, and sodium. Doing so can help the longevity of your ears.
8. Keep the Volume Low
Headphones and earbuds are commonplace now. Go to any gym and you’ll notice most people wearing them while they work out.
Unfortunately, what you may think is an acceptable volume could actually do damage. This is especially true with earbuds, as they fit inside the opening of your ear.
If you listen to music through headphones or earbuds, you need to observe the 60/60 rule. This means the volume shouldn’t exceed 60% and you should limit use to 60 minutes each day.
9. Protect Your Ears from Physical Injury
The ear is a delicate organ. It’s important you take measures to protect both the inside and out.
If you’re prone to scratching or rubbing the outer portion of your ear canal when it itches, try to stop. There’s a good chance you could do damage. You could also end up with an ear infection.
If you suspect you have a buildup of fluids, see your doctor immediately. This could lead to a ruptured eardrum, which could cause long-term damage.
10. Get Plenty of Exercise
A strict exercise routine is good for your entire body, including your ears. As you age, it’s important you stick to a regular workout schedule and make sure you’re getting lots of cardio exercise.
Good circulation helps keep your ears healthy and reduces the risk of further hearing issues. That’s why cardio workouts are so important.
Getting your blood pumping is also a great way to keep your overall blood pressure down. This is also good for maintaining ear health. Opt for exercises like jogging, walking, or the treadmill.
Maintain Good Ear Health to Avoid Further Hearing Loss
Even if you’ve suffered from hearing loss, you still have a chance to preserve the hearing you have left. The best way to do this is by maintaining good ear health.
Use the ten tips discussed above to increase the longevity of your ears. There’s a good chance you’ll notice a difference right away.
Read more articles on hearing loss and how to maintain healthy ears.