Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

Professional carpenter workplace with protective headphones, personal protection for work at woodwork production workshop.

Isn’t pizza interesting? You can switch the toppings, sauces, even the cheeses on it, but as long as it satisfies a few general criteria, it’s still a pizza. Hearing loss is a lot like that. But as long as you have trouble hearing sound, it’s still hearing loss regardless of whether it’s caused by genetic factors, age, obstructions, or exposure to loud noise.

Normally, when you’re confronted with hearing loss (no matter the variety), the first thing you need to do is attempt to limit the damage. There are, after all, some simple steps you can take to safeguard your ears and limit further hearing loss.

Tip 1: Clean your ears

Did you wash behind your ears? It’s one of those early hygiene lessons you learn, or should have learned, right? But it’s your inner ears that we’re concerned with here, when it comes to hearing health, not behind your ears.

There are a number of ways that earwax buildup can affect your hearing:

  • When wax buildup becomes substantial, it can block soundwaves from reaching your inner ear. Consequently, your ability to hear becomes diminished.
  • If you use a hearing aid, earwax can also interfere with that. This may make it seem as if your hearing is getting worse.
  • Unclean ears increase your risk of developing an ear infection, which creates inflammation that when severe enough, disrupts your ability to hear. When your ear infection clears up, your regular hearing will normally come back (but that’s something you should talk to a doctor about).

A cotton swab is definitely not the correct tool to use to get any earwax that you may have noticed out and is strongly discouraged. Cotton swabs can lead to damage and will almost always make the problem worse. As an alternative, use over-the-counter ear drops.

Tip 2: Steer clear of loud noises that could cause hearing loss

This is so evident that it kind of goes without saying. But what exactly comprises a “loud sound”? A freeway, for example, can be noisy enough that over a long time period, it can damage your ears. The motor on your lawnmower can be very straining on your ears, as well. As you can see, it’s not only blaring speakers or loud rock concerts that harm your ears.

Here are a number of ways to steer clear of loud, harmful noises.:

  • Using an app on your phone to alert you when decibel levels reach dangerous thresholds.
  • Refraining from turning the volume up on your headphones when you’re watching videos or listening to tunes. When approaching dangerous levels, most headphones have a built-in warning.
  • Using hearing protection when noisy environments are necessary. Are you working on a noisy industrial floor? It’s fine if you want to attend that rock concert. But you should use the correct ear protection. Modern earmuffs and earplugs supply adequate protection.

There’s a gradual development to hearing loss that’s caused by loud sound. So, even if your hearing “feels” fine after a loud event, that doesn’t mean it is. Only if you come in and see us can we give your ears a clean bill of health.

Tip 3: If you have any hearing loss, get it treated

In general, hearing loss is cumulative. You’ll be in a better position to stop further damage if you identify your hearing loss early on. That’s why treatment is incredibly important when it comes to minimizing hearing loss. Your hearing will be in the best situation if you get treatment and implement it.

Here’s how treatments work:

  • When you come in for a consultation we will provide personalized guidance and advice to help you avoid additional damage to your ears.
  • Some, but not all damage can be prevented by using hearing aids. For instance, hearing aids will stop you from turning the volume of your television up so loud it becomes harmful. Because hearing aids counter this damage, they can also prevent further impairment of your hearing.
  • Hearing aids reduce the brain strain and social isolation that exacerbate hearing loss-related health conditions.

In the long run, you will be helped by wearing hearing aids

While it’s true that hearing loss has no cure, hearing specialists are focused on limiting further damage to your hearing. Treatment of hearing loss is typically one of the primary approaches to that. The correct treatment will help you protect your current level of hearing and stop it from worsening.

When you use ear protection, maintain good hygiene, and get hearing loss treatment with us, you’re taking the correct measures to prevent hearing loss while also giving yourself the best chance of healthy hearing in the years to come.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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