We have all accepted that as we age, things simply don’t work the same way they used to – including hearing.
Many of us just expect hearing to fade and simply believe there is nothing we can do about it. But hearing loss doesn’t have to be a normal part of aging. In fact, there are necessary steps that you can take in order to protect your precious hearing.
Even if you’re already noticing some buzzing or ringing in the ears, following these five essential tips can help prevent hearing loss from worsening and maintain the hearing you currently have.
10 Tips to Prevent Age-Related Hearing Loss
Get Your Hearing Checked
Every year, you probably get a physical examination from your doctor, and you may even get your vision checked as well. But many of us neglect another crucial test – a hearing test.
Just like getting other aspects of your health checked up, it’s important that you get your hearing checked as well in order to catch changes in hearing early on and prevent more damage from occurring. Furthermore, it allows your doctor to utilize early intervention methods to better maintain proper hearing. But if you don’t get your hearing checked, you could be slipping under the radar until it’s simply too late.
The next time you start booking your yearly appointments, ensure you include a hearing test as well.
Protect Your Hearing
Maybe you attended too many loud concerts in your younger years. Or, maybe, your work environment was very loud, and you neglected to wear protective hearing devices. Although you can’t go back in time to change the past, you can still protect your hearing now.
Be mindful of noisy settings and monitor your volume controls, be it your car radio or your TV. Being mindful of environmental and surrounding noises can better equip you to protect your hearing.
Speak Up for Those around You
Maybe you’re not the one with the fading hearing, but someone close to you is. You should voice your concerns to them about their hearing health and ensure they know the importance of maintaining proper hearing. Maybe, suggest that they have their hearing checked. Offering the proper information can allow them to take the necessary steps to protect their fading hearing.
Be Mindful of Others with Hearing Loss
Once again, if you know others with hearing loss, be mindful and patient with them, as it probably is very frustrating for them to get by. Speak slower or louder when you’re in their presence for them to better understand you. Also, don’t cover your mouth when speaking, as it helps to read lips when a person is talking.
Recognize That Your Hearing Does Change
As mentioned, some changes in life are inevitable, and hearing loss is expected to some degree. As long as you get regular hearing check-ups and work to protect your hearing, the damage doesn’t have to be life-changing, and you can still maintain adequate hearing levels no matter your age.
Paying close attention to your hearing, along with other aging changes, can help you become more aware of such and prompt you to take the necessary steps to slow down the progression. Lastly, speaking to your doctor about your concerns can help you get the proper treatment in order to improve your condition.
Limit Loud Sounds in Your Life
Loud noise can impact hearing loss and add to problems if you are around them for extended periods. It’s not always easy to avoid loud noises such as construction near your home or an ambulance passing by, but try to avoid them.
Remove Earwax Properly
A buildup of wax can be frustrating when it muffles sound, but a cotton swab should never be used to clean it out as it can push the wax in deeper. At-home irrigation kits are available at drug stores that can help to soften the wax and gently wash it out. If a buildup of wax does occur and a home kit does not help, it should only be removed by a health care professional.
Use Proper Hygiene
To help prevent age-related hearing loss, it is vital to practice proper hygiene. Cotton swabs or other objects should never be inserted into an ear to remove earwax. Also, when blowing your nose, always use both nostrils and blow gently. During air travel, try to yawn and frequently swallow when the plane takes off and lands.
Take Care When Listening to Music
When a good song comes on the radio, it can be tempting to turn up the sound and sing along. But this may not be the best idea, especially when wearing headphones, as it can damage hearing. To help avoid any hearing loss caused by loud music, only turn up the volume just enough so you can hear the music comfortably. Also, try to limit the time using headphones to no more than an hour at a time.
Take Precautions at Work
Many people don’t understand the risks they encounter at work for their hearing. If you are at risk from noises at work, speak to your human resources department. They are obligated to make changes to reduce your exposure to loud noise by switching to quieter equipment, making sure you get a break from loud noises and providing hearing protection.