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This Is What Your Ears Need From You

Your ears are probably something you don’t give much thought to on a day-by-day basis. That is, until you get an ear infection. Or they start ringing. Or they start itching.

And suddenly, your ears and your hearing jump to the top of your concerns.

“It’s natural to take our hearing and our https://kamalinews.id/ ear health for granted,” says audiologist Julie Honaker, PhD. “But proactive ear care and hearing loss prevention can make a big difference in your well-being.”

That means cleaning your ears the right way. Using hearing protection properly. Preventing injury to your ears. And getting medical attention when you need it.

Dr. Honaker shares her top tips to properly care for your ears and save your hearing.

1. Clean your ears the right way

Proper ear hygiene is important. But it may not look like what you expect.

For starters: Step. Away. From. The. Cotton. Swab.

Earwax isn’t dirty or unhealthy. In fact, it’s the opposite. Earwax helps ward off fungal infections and bacteria. And it helps keep out tiny particles that can cause damage to your eardrum. That includes things like dust and hair.

“It’s a common misperception to think you should be removing earwax regularly,” Dr. Honaker shares. “But the truth is that earwax is your body’s built-in system for cleaning your ears and a natural moisturizer.”

2. Protect your ears from loud sounds

You know that ear ringing you get after walking out of a concert? It goes away eventually, but the reality is that ringing is a sign of hearing damage. And loud noises take a big toll on your hearing.

“Exposure to loud noises damages your inner ear and can lead to irreversible hearing loss,” Dr. Honaker says. “Even if you think your hearing has returned to normal after a loud event, the noises can still have done damage to the hair cells in your inner ear. And when enough of those hair cells are damaged, you can experience permanent hearing loss.”

3. Keep your ears safe from injury

Some activities can put your ears at risk for injury. Minimize your potential by:

  • Wearing a helmet when you bike, ski or participate in any other activity that puts you at risk for head and ear injuries.
  • Learning proper underwater techniques to avoid potentially damaging changes in pressure inside your ears when scuba diving.
  • Swallowing and yawning frequently when flying in an airplane, particularly when the plane is landing. That helps equalize pressure in your ears. Consider getting earplugs with special filters designed for air travel.
  • Always using sunscreen on your ears when outdoors, especially in sunny weather.

4. Recognize the signs of hearing loss

Getting prompt attention for changes in your hearing is important to preserving the hearing you have left. But too often, people don’t seek help until they’re experiencing more severe hearing loss.

“When hearing loss comes on gradually, people can easily overlook the signs that their hearing is deteriorating,” Dr. Honaker notes. “But it’s important to see a healthcare provider about hearing loss, as it can really affect your relationships and your satisfaction with your life. It can even put you at higher risk for dementia.”

5. Seek medical help for ear concerns

Your ears and your hearing deserve your attention. After all, your hearing impacts your life and your well-being in big ways.

Some reasons to get medical attention for your ears include:

  • Earwax buildup.
  • Itching or pain in your ears.
  • Injuries to your head or ears.
  • Unusual bumps or scaly areas on the outside of your ear.
  • Drainage from your ear. (This is typically a sign of infection.)
  • Symptoms of hearing loss, like those mentioned.
  • Pain in your teeth, jaws or neck.

Don’t hesitate to talk with a healthcare provider, like an audiologist, about ear troubles or hearing loss. They can examine you, advise you and help you get the treatment you need.

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