Preventing Hearing Loss
How can I prevent damage to my hearing in my everyday life?
Certain activities that you partake in every day can help to cause hearing loss, but there are easy steps you can take to minimize your risk. One example of an everyday threat to your hearing is the use of cotton swabs or other moderately hard objects such as bobby pins to deal with the build-up of excessive earwax. These pose a great risk to your middle ear, increasing the possibility of ear canal infections and perforated eardrums. Excessive earwax should be addressed either with medication that can act to soften it, or removed by your physician.
Another is the use of headphones on a regular basis, often at unnecessarily high volumes. One option to prevent hearing loss caused by this factor would be to lower the maximum volume on your device, ensuring that you will not be likely to exceed a safe level of sound. Another option would be to look into products that can help you to enjoy your music while not damaging your ears. For instance, some headphones are designed so as to make lower volumes satisfyingly clear so that they don’t encourage the need to turn the volume up. Sound-isolating features are also a bonus, muting background noises so that high volumes are not a necessity.
These are two common everyday activities that can easily cause damage to your hearing. Be aware of the consequences that certain activities can have, and act now to limit these as possibilities. Unfortunately, hearing loss can happen regardless - factors such as genetics and, most commonly, age will often be the determining and unavoidable cause. A visit to your nearest Sears Hearing Centre can help you learn more about hearing protection products in the meantime. We are happy to provide you with the tools to care for your hearing in every way possible.
What sort of specific activities can directly cause hearing loss, and what can I do to prevent this?
Beyond the aspects of everyday routines that can easily cause hearing loss, there are certain occupations, athletic and recreational activities that can make those who participate more susceptible to losing their hearing. Many of them have simple methods of prevention, or ways in which to limit the possibility of causing hearing loss. Some of them include:
- Swimming: Sensitivity to the water that gets in your ears while you swim can lead to ear infections that can cause hearing loss. An easy way to address this issue is with the use of waterproof swim plugs that will seal your ears from the water. You should also let your ears dry out after swimming, tilting your head slightly each way to allow any water to drain from the ear canal.
- Sports in Stadium Environments: Playing sports in loud stadiums, whether at a professional level or even in high school, can have an impact on hearing over the long term. Earplugs such as those recommended for musicians can be helpful for athletes who fall into this category.
- Motorsports: Racing vehicles can be extremely loud, and when undertaken on a regular basis can be damaging to your hearing. An option in this case is a style of earplug that nestles comfortably within a racing helmet, and allows for sound suppression while also not hindering any necessary communication with the driver. There are earplugs geared specifically toward those participating in motorsports.
- Industrial Work: This is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. Working a job at high volume levels on a day-to-day basis increases susceptibility to losing one’s hearing. Earplugs with acoustic filters can be used during industrial work. They decrease the volume of all incoming sounds to much safer levels.
- The Regular Use of Guns: The sound of gunfire can be harmful to both those using them for their occupation and those using them for recreational purposes. For both this and other situations involving frequent exposure to loud noise, a sonic valve function in an earplug is helpful in that it reduces high-level noises while allowing softer sounds to pass through. Additionally, earplug technology geared toward specific situations may be purchased. For example, some earplugs intended for use while hunting use digital technology to allow for quiet communication while softening the sound of a gunshot.
- Involvement in Music: Constant exposure to loud noises caused by instruments or sound systems can pose a significant threat to the ears. Musicians’ plugs that work specifically against instrumental noise, or noise from performance-oriented speakers, are available at each of our clinics.
Visit any Sears Hearing Centre to learn about the range of hearing protective products we can offer you, including earplugs, swim plugs, musicians’ plugs and many more.
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