Did you know that around that world, one in three adults has some amount of hearing loss? In addition, 1.1 billion young children and young adults are at risk for hearing loss due to noise exposure. Noise exposure can include occupation noise or nonoccupational noise that can mechanically damage the sensory cells within the cochlea. For example, some occupational noises can come from working at a mine, construction site, or manufacturing warehouse. Nonoccupational noises include daily life sounds like power tools, lawnmowers, and concerts. Completely avoiding any daily noise is impossible, but you can find ways to promote good ear health and hygiene. Here are 10 remedies to help with your ear health:

  • Avoid loud noises: The inside of your ears mostly resemble the musical instrument tuba. Sound waves enter the ear and travel through passageways just to get to the eardrum. The vibrations from the eardrum then travel through the middle ear bones to arrive at the cochlea. Here is where the damage happens; continuous loud bursts of noises can affect your hearing in the long term. This is important to notice, as stated by the National Institute of Health (NIH), because of the small changes that it makes to your hearing, as in not being able to hear on the phone with a noisy background or not being able to understand someone when they talk.
  • Do not insert objects in the ear canal: Cleaning your ear with a q-tip, your finger, or other pointy objects is not the safest way to remove ear wax. The study by Eric Carniol proves that the misuse of q-tips can result in Tympanic membrane perforations (TMPs). Therefore, removing ear wax in any way can damage the eardrum by mistakenly applying too much pressure to the inside of the ear canal and ultimately pushing the ear wax further into the ear. Not to mention, if the cleaning object is not sterilized it can also lead to ear infections.
  • Healthy diet: You might be wondering how diet can promote your ear health. Well, a study showed that a diet with antioxidants and vitamins could help obtain a healthy hearing frequency by ingesting Vitamin A and E, folic acid, and beta-carotene in moderations. Of course, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor to make sure you can take these vitamins.
  • Give your ears a break: If you work at a construction site, it is essential to take 10 to 15-minute breaks to give your hearing a break from all the loud noise frequencies. A study revealed a strong correlation between tinnitus and time spent listening to music. Tinnitus is when an individual experiences ringing or other noises in the ears. Therefore, taking a walk in the opposite direction of the noise or eating lunch somewhere quiet helps prevent this symptom. This also applies to the regular use of earphones or headphones. Taking a break essentially helps the hair cells in your ear recover from the vibration stress caused within a loud environment. 
  • Have your ears checked and cleaned: Taking preventative measures by having your primary physician check your ears is a great way to learn if something is wrong with your hearing. It is important to notice the signs of hearing loss and take action before it becomes severe. This article recommends that adults without hearing loss get tested every 10 years until they turn 50 and every 3 years after that. Therefore, if you have drastic or even minor hearing loss you should consult a doctor yearly. In addition to getting a check-up, you should also keep your ears clean from excessive earwax. Keep in mind that not all of the earwax needs to be cleaned. The purpose of having some ear wax is to protect the inside of the ear from any infections or air particles from entering the ear canal. 
  • Keep your ears dry: Keeping your ears dry is just as important as keeping them clean. Your ears, like your mouth, eyes, and nose, can easily become infected with bacteria, therefore, proper care needs to be implemented when there is excessive moisture in the ear. A common condition is Swimmer’s ear; this happens when water goes into the ear canal and into the eardrum. Some symptoms of this are redness or swelling, irritation, or infection of the outer ear. This condition often happens to children and swimmers. Be sure to towel dry your ears after every swim or after sitting in a sauna. 
  • Manage stress levels: It has been revealed that emotional and psychological factors can induce temporary or permanent tinnitus, a ringing in the ears. Tinnitus affects 10-15% of the population according to this study. In addition, the study found that there is a close relationship between psychological disorders and the occurrence of tinnitus which causes an impact on the individual’s quality of life. Depending on the level of stress, it causes your body to release adrenaline and starts the fight or flight mode reaction. This puts a lot of pressure on your nervous system and blood flow ultimately leading to pressure in your ears. 
  • Exercise daily: Getting up and moving can benefit your mind and body in many ways (and ear health!) One of those ways is reducing the blood pressure and blood flow in your ears. The exercise can be walking, running, cycling, jogging, or doing yoga and meditation. Exercising allows for blood circulation and increases blood flow. It is a common thing to listen to music with headphones or earphones while exercising but it is recommended to avoid using headphones while working out. If you do decide to use headphones make sure they are on low volume or somewhat quiet and comfortable so that they do not harm your ear hair cells. An example of keeping your music on low would be, if people around you can hear what you are listening to then most likely your volume on the headphones are too loud and it can be damaging. 
  • Use earplugs or earmuffs around loud noises: When you are attending concerts, loud events, or are around loud noises daily it is recommended to use earplugs or earmuffs to prevent any damage to your hearing. They are accessible and even customizable to any individual’s ears by their physician. 
  • Focus and locate sounds: Try focusing on small noises around the office or at home to promote ear health. This is called fine-tuning your ears and it can help improve hearing in the long term. A more detailed example would be taking a walk in nature and closely listening to different sounds and identifying them. A report study concluded that auditory training, which is a process that helps your brain’s ability to hear, may benefit attention skills, improve your ability to multitask, and helps your brain locate specific sounds.

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