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Our ears are frequently what carry the load of unintentional harm from neglect in our hectic daily lives. There are a few common but dangerous practices, like using cotton swabs and ear candling, that will put your hearing health at risk. What follows are a few practices you can use to help protect the health of your hearing.

Bid farewell to ear candling

Despite the total lack of scientific merit, the ancient practice of trying to eliminate earwax has recently achieved some popularity. It’s believed that a vacuum is created when a hollow ear candle is inserted into your ear canal and the wick at the other end is lit allegedly pulling impurities out. This practice, however, has been proven in several studies to not only be ineffective, but also rather risky.

Not only does ear candling fail to clear away earwax effectively, but it also poses substantial risks. Burns to the sensitive ear structures, perforated eardrums, and exacerbation of existing problems can all be consequences of this practice. Usually, if you notice any wax after ear candling, it will be from the candle itself rather than your ears.

Medical professionals always discourage ear candling because of these findings. Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Academy of Otolaryngology (AAO) warn against this practice, emphasizing safer alternatives for ear hygiene.

No more cotton swabs

The attraction of cotton swabs for ear cleaning is undeniable, with many individuals turning to these seemingly harmless tools for maintenance. But there are more risks than benefits to inserting a cotton swab into your ear canal. Rather than effectively eliminating earwax, swabs can unintentionally jam wax deeper into the ear canal, leading to impaction and potential injury.

The eardrum is sensitive and objects such as cotton swabs can cause substantial damage. Injuries, like perforations or abrasions can occur, creating pain, infection, and hearing loss. To avoid these complications, it is beneficial to refrain from inserting any objects into the ear canal and instead rely on the ear’s self-cleaning systems or seek professional help if necessary.

Keep volumes to a minimum

In an increasingly noisy world, our ears are continuously inundated by sounds of varying volumes. Exposure to loud sound is unavoidable, from going to sporting events and concerts to strolling down noisy city streets to mowing your lawn. However, prolonged or excessive exposure can have detrimental effects on auditory health, leading to noise-induced hearing loss or tinnitus.

It’s crucial to use ear protection and, if you can, avoid overly loud settings in order to avoid damage. Whenever you can’t steer clear of extremely loud noise, protection such as earplugs and earmuffs should be utilized.

In addition, when utilizing personal audio devices, like headphones or earbuds, maintaining a moderate volume and taking regular breaks can help maintain hearing health.

If you detect any symptoms, act quickly

Perhaps the most critical aspect of preserving optimal hearing health is being attentive to the signals your ears provide and taking quick action in response to any concerning symptoms. If you hold off on getting your hearing loss treated you will most likely exacerbate the problem.

If you have symptoms like ringing in the ears, trouble understanding speech, or pain or pressure in your ears, it’s essential that you acknowledge it. Make an appointment with us right away if you encounter any of these symptoms. Early diagnosis and intervention can significantly improve outcomes and improve your quality of life.

Your ability to effectively navigate the landscape of your life depends on you keeping your hearing as healthy as possible. By adopting these four strategies, avoiding ear candling and cotton swabs, protecting against loud noise, and understanding early warning signs, we can maintain our precious sense of hearing and cherish the symphony of sounds that enhance our existence.

If you think that you may be experiencing any symptoms of hearing loss, call us today for an appointment.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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