May 31st is National Save Your Hearing Day. This serves as a great reminder of the importance of our hearing. Use this as an opportunity to learn about risk factors along with the steps you can take to protect your hearing.
Hearing loss can occur from damage to the inner ear, infection, a ruptured eardrum, and even earwax build up. Risk factors include age, heredity, exposure to noise, and illness.
Symptoms can include hearing muffled sounds along with an inability to block out background noise. You may find yourself asking others to repeat themselves or turning up the volume on your phone, TV, or radio. Some of those with advanced hearing loss withdrawal from social situations as communication becomes too difficult, which can result in isolation.
Mayo Clinic provides us with the following steps that can prevent noise-induced hearing loss and avoid worsening of age-related hearing loss:
- Protect your ears. Limiting the duration and intensity of your exposure to noise is the best protection. In the workplace, plastic earplugs or glycerin-filled earmuffs can help protect your ears from damaging noise.
- Have your hearing tested. Consider regular hearing tests if you work in a noisy environment. If you’ve lost some hearing, you can take steps to prevent further loss.
- Avoid recreational risks. Activities such as riding a snowmobile, hunting, using power tools or listening to rock concerts can damage your hearing over time. Wearing hearing protectors or taking breaks from the noise can protect your ears. Turning down the music volume is helpful too.
If hearing loss is affecting your everyday life, it may be time to reach out to your doctor to learn about your options. Visit Mayo Clinic’s hearing loss page to learn more.
Do you have hearing loss? If so, join the discussion with Mayo Connect’s hearing loss group.