It is normal that over time we lose faculties and, among them, hearing loss. This is inevitable, but what is in our hands is to introduce small changes in our daily habits that help us take care of our ears.
Having good hearing health allows us to relate and engage in conversations with our environment more easily. Therefore, it is important to give the importance it deserves to the care of our ears and in Optics & University Audiology we want to give you some auditory tips for ear care.
How should I clean my ears?
Properly cleaning your ears is one of the most important keys to ear care, as it is often done incorrectly and in the long term can be harmful to your hearing.
Surely more than once you have been told to use cotton buds to remove the wax from your ears and, nevertheless, it is one of the most common mistakes. Earwax is necessary for the good care of the ears, and it serves to protect them and prevent germs and bacteria from entering which your ears are exposed throughout the day and that can cause infections.
Cleaning your ears properly is much easier, since only with the water that falls when you clean your hair in the shower is enough for your ears to clean. The only thing you should try is not to dry them abruptly and avoid using products that have not been recommended by your doctor.
Ear Care Tips
Following a routine for ear care is a very simple task and that will not be an overexertion in your day to day. It is simply about introducing good new habits and avoiding others that are not so good.
- Surround yourself with sounds pleasant to the ears. Your ears will appreciate relaxing sounds, and even more so if in the day to day they are accustomed to dealing with sudden and loud sounds. Your ears need pleasant sounds such as rain falling on windows or the rustling of tree branches, which will help you reduce stress levels.
- Check your hearing health periodically. It is important to detect any abnormalities in your hearing health in time, so it is important that you go to your specialist to check your ears, especially from the age of 50.
- Follow a good routine of cleaning your ears. As we have indicated, avoid the use of swabs, since with the shower water it is enough for your ears.
- Don’t wear headphones for more than an hour a day. Specialists recommend that we do not use electronic devices for more than 60 minutes a day and that we do not have the volume at more than 60%, since that could lead to serious damage to your hearing health.
- Protect yourself if you work in noisy environments. Make sure you are wearing plugs or insulating helmets correctly if you work in very noisy places, as continued exposure to such loud noises will end up being harmful to your ears.
Tips for ear care in children
When we talk about the care of the ear of the smallest of the house, certain considerations must be taken into account and increase that care due to the fragility of their auditory system, which is still in full development. Therefore, it is recommended that children, and especially newborns, are not exposed to loud noises such as concerts or firecrackers. If it cannot be avoided, we should try to reduce the time of exposure to these sounds.
It is also very important that children’s ears are protected from the cold to avoid infections such as otitis, very common among children. For that, it is better to avoid sudden changes in temperature or you can put a hat to go outside. To check if you may have a tendency to catch otitis, it is advisable to have periodic annual reviews and to go to the specialist’s office in case of inflammation, pain or hearing discomfort, since if it is not treated properly it can lead to more serious problems such as hearing loss or chronic otitis media.
As we have said, the ears of young children are more fragile and that implies a more exhaustive care also when cleaning them, so we must avoid falling into the myth of cleaning the ears with cotton buds and only doing an external cleaning of the ear. Also, if your child is prone to otitis and you go to the pool, the best remedy in the water are custom bath tampons to prevent water from entering. Remember that, before any symptoms, you should go to the otolaryngologist so that he can check the child’s ear.
Tips for ear care in older people
On the other side of the coin, older people should also intensify the tasks of ear care, since it is normal that over time the hearing capacity wears out.
One of the best care you can offer your ears is to be aware of the possible symptoms of hearing loss that you notice on a day-to-day basis and that prevent you from continuing with your routine normally, such as difficulty following a conversation on the phone or in people when we are in noisy environments. In this way, presbycusis can be detected in time, that is, what we know as the gradual decrease in hearing related to age.
To avoid the appearance of presbycusis you should follow the advice for ear care that we have mentioned above, but it is especially important that, as far as possible, you do not expose yourself to loud noises, since precisely the daily exposure to noise is directly related to the risk of suffering hearing damage.
If you also notice that you have difficulty identifying high-pitched sounds and it is increasingly difficult for you to concentrate to follow a conversation or you lack understanding in environments with enough people, it may be other symptoms, so it is best to go to your specialist.
Generally, you will not realize that you turn the television very loud or that you raise your voice a lot when speaking or that you repeat things a lot so that they understand you. But if the people around you tell you about these episodes, you should go check the health of your ears and get a complete hearing check.
They may seem like insignificant gestures, but it is important that we pay attention to be able to treat it with the adaptation of the hearing aids.