If you are concerned about protecting your hearing from preventable damage, then you will be happy to know there are some simple and effective things that you can do.
Here are three tips to help you prevent unnecessary hearing damage:
Tip #1: Avoid Recurrent Ear Infections
While it is fairly common for young children to have occasional ear infections along with teething or illness, chronic and recurring ear infections can cause permanent damage to hearing. For this reason, you should always seek medical help if you believe that you might have an ear infection. Left untreated, ear infections permanently damage the internal structures of the ears.
One of the most common ways to treat recurrent ear infections is a small surgical procedure to place tubes into the Eustachian tubes. These tubes allow excess fluid to properly drain from your ears and not cause the pressure to build that can damage the tympanic membrane.
Tip #2: Avoid Loud Noises
The Better Hearing Institute reports that 10 million Americans have hearing damage from loud noises, and 30 million more are exposed to potentially hearing-damaging loud noises at work each day. In addition, loud noises cause a ringing in your ears that is known as tinnitus.
When you cannot avoid loud noises, such as when you attend a musical concert or car race, you should always wear proper ear protection. Inexpensive ear plugs from your local drug store are very effective for protecting your hearing in this type of scenario. If you are exposed to loud noises on your job site, then you should wear OSHA approved hearing protection.
Tip #3: Avoid Ototoxic Medications
You might be surprised to learn that there are many drugs that can permanently damage your hearing. These medications are known as "ototoxic" drugs. Some of the most common ototoxic medications include:
- aspirin (in high doses)
- chemotherapy medications
- loop diuretics
Whenever your doctor prescribes any medication it is important to speak with them about the possibility of hearing damage from the drug. If the medication they want to prescribe is a known ototoxic, then you should ask for a safer alternative.
By avoiding recurrent ear infections, loud noises, and ototoxic medications, you can help to preserve your hearing ability for many years to come. If you have additional questions about preventing hearing loss or treating your existing hearing loss with a listening device, then you should contact a hearing specialist in your local area.