Listen up! Protect your hearing.

By Cindy Aldrige, F.N.P., Provider for Lee’s Summit Physicians Group.

Hearing LossDid you know that 5 in 10 people listen to their music or audio at volumes that are too loud? 4 in 10 young people are around dangerously loud noises during events like concerts and sports games. And 48 million people in the US have trouble hearing with one or both of their ears.

YOU CAN PROTECT YOUR EARS!!!!

When you have difficulty hearing, it can be classified as conductive (like earwax build up) or sensorineural (damage to tiny hair cells in the inner ear). Conductive can often be improved with treatment such as removing the earwax, repairing the eardrum, and reducing fluid on the ear. Sensorineural is more difficult… and often permanent hearing loss and is largely preventable.

How do you know if you’re causing hearing damage?

Hearing Loss

If you must talk louder to be heard over the sound, then it can be damaging your ears. Your ears don’t get used to noise, they get damaged from noise. Once hearing is damaged, it can’t be repaired, and you have hearing deficits for a LIFETIME.

How do you protect your hearing? I’m glad you asked!

  1. Turn the volume down
  2. Walk away from loud noise
  3. Take breaks from the noise
  4. Avoid loud, noisy activities and places
  5. Use hearing protection when in a loud environment you can’t avoid

There are different types of hearing protection.

Hearing LossSome are inserted into the ear like earplugs (premolded, formable, custom fitted) and canal caps. There are also over the ear types such as earmuffs or headphones that protect the ear and specialty made devices like noise cancelling headphones.

There are other things that can help improve hearing or prevent difficulties. I always recommend NOT using Q-Tips, at least not deep into the ear canal. Using these on the external/outer ear is okay. I also recommend you treat seasonal allergies if you’ve noticed that your hearing is muffled when you’re congested or feeling drainage down your throat.

Pain is never normal, so if you have ear pain, see your health care provider.

Protect your hearing, protect your health!

Resources used for this article:
https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss/infographic/

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