Frequent ear checkups are vital for the early diagnosis of ear problems such as hearing loss. Don't wait until it's too late to start paying attention to your ears. Visit your hearing doctor for regular hearing screenings and start following these simple steps to protect your hearing health.
Avoid exposure to loud noises
Listening to music at high volume can put you at risk of noise-induced hearing loss. To prevent this, avoid plugging earbuds into your ears, as they place the noise directly next to your eardrum, which can damage your hearing. Alternatively, use over-the-ear headphones when listening to music on your laptop or phone, but be sure to keep the volume down to a comfortable level and limit the amount of time you spend with the devices.
If you are exposed to loud noises at a social event, give your ears time to recover by stepping outside to a quiet place for a few minutes. You can also protect your ears when in clubs, concerts or other extremely loud places by asking your hearing healthcare provider to prescribe a pair of custom-fitted earplugs that block most of the noise out and protect your eardrum from damage. Finally, give yourself a few hours of quiet to help your ears recover from a loud night out.
Keep your ears dry
Water that enters your ears as you bath or swim needs to be dried out as soon as possible so as to prevent creating damp conditions that can harbor bacteria inside the ear. Moisture in the ear canal can cause infections such as swimmer's ear that can be painful and expensive to treat.
Be sure to always towel-dry your ears after showering or taking a dip in the pool. You should also avoid swimming in areas with murky water and swim only in treated pools or beaches. To remove water in your ear after a swim, tilt your head to the side and tug the earlobe to force the water out.
Finally, consider getting swimmers' earplugs from your hearing doctor, such as Clarity & Comfort Hearing Center, if you are a regular swimmer so as to help keep your ears dry.
Be careful while cleaning your ears
Inserting cotton swabs or anything else in your ear canal can damage your hearing, as it increases the risk of puncturing the eardrum or transferring bacteria into the inner ear. Alternatively, use a clean, damp towel to gently wipe around the outer ear to remove dirt and excessive wax. To remove wax buildup inside the ear, pour a few drops of ear wax removal solution into the ear canal to allow the wax to soften and flow out naturally.