The human ear is a vital organ. It serves two critical roles in the human body: hearing and maintaining balance. Healthy hearing translates to productive living.
Therefore, ear care requires that you are vigilant in your day to day activities, and avoid situations and things that could lead to ear damage. Here are five ways in which you can ensure that your ears are healthy.
Avoid Loud Noise
Exposure to loud sounds is a leading cause of hearing problems. This noise could be from your favorite music player, machines that you operate at work, firearms, speed boats among others.
Excess exposure to these noises damages the sensitive hair cells found in the inner ear, which can lead to a permanent hearing loss. It is, therefore, imperative that you protect your ears whenever you are exposed to excess noise.
If your work involves dealing with loud machines, speak to your supervisor or manager. Let them look for ways of reducing this exposure. They can consider minimizing the length of time that you spend with the noisy machinery. They can also look into getting other models that are less noisy, if possible. Ask for ear protection devices like ear plugs or ear muffs.
If you are the kind that listens to music from earphones and headphones, acquire the noise canceling models. Avoid having the sound at more than 60% of the volume. If someone seated next to you can hear what you are listening to, then that volume is too high and can cause ear damage. Do not increase the volume of your earphones in an attempt to block noise from your environment.
Whenever you attend events where they play loud music, keep away from the sources of excess noise like the speakers. Consider acquiring ear plugs that control the volume of music without muting it at such events.
Do Not Insert Objects in the Ear Canal
Resist the temptation to use earbuds or other sharp pointed objects to clean your ears. These objects are potentially dangerous as they can rupture your eardrums.
The use of earbuds, fingers and other objects also puts you at a higher risk of developing infections. These can damage the delicate skin in the ear, making you more prone to infections.
Do not be obsessed with having wax free ears. A little wax is beneficial to you as it stops foreign objects from flying, crawling or being blown into your ear canal. Tea tree oil is a better option for managing wax build up.
Do not use sharp object to attend to itching in the ears, lubricate your ears using olive oil. If the itching persists, consult a doctor.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
According to the National Campaign for Better Hearing, certain vitamins and minerals are essential for maintaining hearing health.
Research has continued to show a connection between good nutrition and positive hearing outcomes. A great summary of studies on vitamins and antioxidants connection to hearing was published at HHTM last year.
However, always avoid using any vitamin or mineral supplements without consulting your doctor.
Give Your Ears a Break
While working in a noisy environment, give yourself a 10 minutes break every so often. Consider walking away from excess sound every 15 minutes at a noisy event. Avoid using your earphones or headphones for more than an hour. Take a 5 minutes break every hour, even when you are using on low volume.
Give your ears a break from the noises of everyday life by visiting quiet places like secluded beaches and the woods regularly.
Have Your Ears Checked
If you are experiencing ear pain, deafness, dizziness, ringing or noises in the ear, it is advisable that you visit a doctor. A check-up will ensure that any problems are detected and addressed early enough.
The ability to hear is one of the ways through which you interact with the rest of the world. An inability to understand others can lock you out of the joys of life; therefore, take care of your ears.
- 10 Ways to Protect Your Hearing. Retrieved from Saga, March 2018
- Protecting your ears. Retrieved from Gun Safe Labs, March 2018
- Hearing loss prevention. Retrieved from Better Hearing Institute, March 2018
Imran Khan is a BSc Life Sciences student and fitness enthusiast. He blogs about issues in health, fitness and other topics. He can often be found at the gym or strolling through the woods when he’s not online.
*featured image courtesy wikimedia commons