Most people start and end the day by brushing their teeth. When they head outside on a sunny day, UV-protective sunglasses or a hat are part of the uniform to battle harmful sun rays. But really, what do most people do for their ears?
Ears are often forgotten until a problem is recognized. Maybe it’s a constant ringing, difficulty hearing voices through the phone, or trouble following conversations with the people sitting right beside you. Hearing can degrade with age much like any other body part or organ. The more abuse and wear and tear, the harder it becomes to perform optimally. All the concerts, lawn mowing, and construction next door doesn’t come without a price.
But sometimes merely cleaning your ears, or improving ear hygiene, can help you hear a bit better. Here are a few strategies of what to do, and what to avoid, to maintain and promote healthy ears and improved hearing.
- One thing you should be doing is cleaning your ears. Wipe the outer portion with a washcloth or tissue, but do not put anything—including a Q-tip—into your ear canal. Small objects can damage your eardrum of the canal.
- Also, don’t be concerned about a little earwax; it is your body’s mechanism for self-cleaning. However, excessive earwax can cause hearing difficulty. The only way to know if you’ve got too much is by visiting your doctor. If you have too much earwax, it can be flushed out safely without inserting small objects into your ear. Don’t try to remove excess wax by yourself.
- Use earplugs if you’re going somewhere loud. It may feel a little goofy, but it’s worthwhile. Use them while cutting the grass, as well.
- Dry your ears after immersing them in water.
- Finally, physical activity promotes ear healthy by encouraging circulation.
It’s easy to overlook ear health. Issues with hearing are not a matter of life and death, so it’s no surprise most people toss it on the back burner. But when it goes, it takes a big chunk of you with it. Do your best to take care of your ears so you can enjoy your favorite sounds long into the future.