You may have found yourself turning up the volume on the television recently or asking loved ones to speak a little louder.
While you might not necessarily notice it, others certainly do.
If loved ones are wondering about the loud volume or being consistently asked to repeat themselves, it might signal that your hearing is impaired. And the faster you act, the better chance you have of preserving this valuable sense.
Hearing loss with age is completely normal. It’s the degree to which hearing degrades that you’d seek to control.
As you get older, the tiny hair cells in your inner ears slowly break down. They can no longer pick up sound vibrations the way they used to, leading to minor hearing impairment. This process can be accelerated if you’ve had a lot of exposure to loud sounds in your life.
You do have some power in slowing the effects of hearing loss. Some of the steps you can take include:
- Avoid noise: Wear earplugs or earmuffs when doing yard work or other activities that cause noise. Wear them for loud activities, like sporting events, movies, or concerts.
- Remove earwax: Sometimes, excess earwax can build up and impact your ear. Use an at-home irrigation kit to soften and wash it out. Don’t use cotton swabs, which can push wax deeper inside.
- Eat a balanced diet: Nutrition can also play a role in hearing and ear health. Nutrients that have been identified that might have particular benefits for your ears, including folate, magnesium, potassium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.
It’s never too late to start taking care of your ears. It’s unlikely you can reverse the damage that’s already done, but you can certainly take steps to delay further degradation.