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5 Easy Steps To Better Ear Health

Although hearing may worsen as we get older, there are also some external factors that put us at a greater risk for hearing loss. Obtaining better ear health isn’t rocket science either. Just take some logical precautions and pay attention to your hearing in general. Always consult your physician if you notice any pain or changes that don’t go away.

Get Your Hearing Tested Regularly

It is advisable that all adults get a hearing test on a regular basis. Here are the recommended timeframes:

18 to 45 years – Every 5 years

45 to 60 years – Every 3 years

60+ years – Every 2 years

This is even the case if you don’t experience any problems with your hearing. During the test, a specialist will examine your ears and will also test the pressure and your actual ability to hear at various frequencies. If they discover you have hearing loss or are at a higher risk for later hearing loss or other ear conditions, they can advise you further about what steps to take next.

Keep Your Ears Dry Whenever Possible

There are times when you can’t avoid getting water in your ears, such as while in the shower or going for a swim. However, if you get water in them and can’t expel it, the risk of infection increases. My son once had what they call Swimmer’s Ear so bad, putting Lidocaine in his ear was the only thing they could do to relieve the excruciating pain until the antibiotics worked.

Though hearing loss rarely happens if you treat ear conditions promptly, the risk does go up whenever inflammation is present in the ear. The best way to prevent water from hurting the ears is to dry them gently with a towel after being in the shower or a pool. Turning your head to each side also allows gravity to assist. If you are especially sensitive, I recommend wearing earplugs while you swim and shower. 

Use Ear Protection in Loud Environments

There are some obvious places that are loud and could cause temporary hearing loss or ringing in the ear. These include music concerts, nightclubs, and other places with crowds. Also consider the possible negative effects of being exposed to loud, continuous sounds such as from a lawn mower, boat, truck, or other machinery. If possible, do wear ear protection like headphones or earplugs in these situations.

If you work with heavy machinery or in a similarly loud environment every day, your employer should supply you some form of hearing protection. By law, they are also obligated to teach and post safety protocols and procedures. 

Don’t Stick Things in Your Ears

It’s important to try to keep your ears clean so that they are free from bacteria and germs, but you should refrain from using a cotton swab in the ear canal itself. The best way to safely clean your ears is to be gentle with a damp towel. Wax and water should naturally drain throughout the day. However, if you have excessive wax buildup, ask your doctor about doing an ear flush in the office. You can also purchase earwax flushing kits at your local pharmacy. Consult the pharmacist about which brand is best. 

Exercise Regularly

Did you know that getting plenty of exercise helps your ears stay healthy? It’s true! That’s because it increases blood flow to the entire body, including the ears. The motion can also help water and even wax drain more easily. Honestly, regular exercise brings up your level of general health, and you can’t go wrong with that!

 

 

About Madeline

Madeline is a mid-west mom of three who spends most of her time refilling ice trays and changing toilet paper...just kidding. She is a high school guidance counselor, all around funny gal, and a writer. Her first book, Be Happy Already!", is in the works.

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