“Would you mind speaking a little louder?”
If you find yourself repeating those phrases to friends and family, you’re probably starting to experience hearing loss.
Hearing loss can be a natural part of the aging process, but it doesn’t mean you have to sit back and let it happen. In fact, you can start to prevent hearing loss no matter how old you are; you just have to follow these simple tips.
But before we explain how to boost hearing, let’s discuss a little bit more about hearing loss.
There are three different types of hearing loss: conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss: Occurs when sound is not properly conducted through the outer ear canal into the eardrum and the middle ear. Possible causes for this type of hearing loss are ear infections, benign tumors, swimmer’s ear, infection from earwax in the ear canal and impacted earwax.
Sensorineural hearing loss: This type of hearing loss occurs when damage is done to the inner ear or to the nerves that lead into the inner ear. This type of hearing loss is permanent and cannot be corrected through surgery. This type of hearing loss can be caused by illness, aging, head trauma and genetics – hearing loss that runs in the family.
Mixed hearing: This is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Damage may be done to the outer or inner ear and middle ear.
As mentioned, there are things you can start doing today to prevent hearing loss or at least keep it from getting worse.
Health conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes are not just stand-alone conditions, they can wreak havoc on other aspects of your health as well – hearing included. To prevent the loss of hearing from a chronic health condition it’s recommended that you properly manage the condition, for example, lower your blood pressure, manage cholesterol and ensure your diabetes is under control.
Take care of earwax:
Sometimes our hearing may become fuzzy or we feel like we can’t hear ourselves. These situations have more to do with earwax build-up than anything else. Earwax is often overlooked as the cause of hearing problems but it’s a large factor. In fact, if earwax isn’t removed and maintained properly, it can lead to more serious types of
hearing loss, such as conductive hearing loss.
We are not suggesting you stick a cotton swab or your car keys into your ear because earwax goes through its own process to remove itself. Unless you’re sticking your fingers, or other objects, into your ears it shouldn’t be a problem. If you do have wax build-up you can see a doctor to have it removed, or pour a teaspoon of olive oil into your ear for a couple of nights to loosen it up, so it will come out on its own.
Allergies don’t just contribute to a runny nose and itchy eyes, they, too, can cause hearing loss. Allergies can cause serous otitis media – conductive hearing loss – which can make hearing quite difficult. All the congestion you feel can also work to block your ears due to swelling.
Over-the-counter allergy medication, or prescription if severe, should be able to relieve your allergy symptoms and improve your hearing.
Mind the noise:
One major cause of hearing loss is noise. The problem with this type of hearing loss is that it seems unavoidable because noise is all around us. The key is to prepare yourself and minimize noise as much as possible.
It may be a good idea to keep disposable earplugs in your car or purse as a safety precaution. Furthermore, keep volumes down to a minimum, especially when using headphones or earbuds. Instead of using hand dryers in the bathroom – which can reach well over 100 decibels – use paper towel or toilet paper to dry your hands. Lastly, many appliances have a low setting, so you may want to consider that as well.
Generally, to treat or cure the loss of hearing, surgery or devices such as hearing aids are needed – both are very costly options. Instead of dishing out the cash to fix what is gone, start working today to keep what you have and continue to enjoy healthy hearing.