Your hearing is precious and to make sure you don’t end up with hearing loss, or damaged or diseased ears there are number of things you can do to keep your ears healthy.
1. Use eardrops to dissolve impacted wax
Wax build-up often leads to mild hearing loss, as not surprisingly, sounds cannot travel through the ear canal because it becomes blocked. You can soften your impacted wax with ear drops, use a natural oil like almond or olive and apply like this:
- Lie on your side and use a dropper to put approx. 3 ml into your ear canal
- Massage the ear to ensure the oil gets into the ear canal
- Stay lying on your side for 10 minutes
- Use cotton wool or a tissue to catch any excess oil
- Repeat if necessary in the other ear
- Repeat in day or so.
2. Don’t use cotton buds
Constant use of cotton buds can damage the delicate skin in your ear canals, making them more susceptible to infections. In addition, the ear canals will start to fill up with cotton fibres.
3. Don’t put anything else in your ears
Don’t, like many people we come across, put anything else in your ears to clean them, whether hairpins, fingers or screwdrivers as all of these could well cause more damage than cotton buds. If it’s smaller than your elbow, don’t put it in your ear!
4. Flying is inadvisable when you have a cold or flu
This can be a particular problem for those who suffer badly with pressure during take-off and landings, as is common for many. If you have a cold, your Eustachian tube can become blocked and in these circumstances, the pain from pressure can be very painful indeed. Sometimes in extreme cases the eardrum can suffer a perforation or rupture which means that the middle ear is more vulnerable to infection until it heals, which can take some time. The best thing to do here is to use a decongestant, especially before landing, which helps to open up the tube and minimises such risks.
5. Loud noise is very bad for your hearing
Loud noise over 85 dB for sustained periods is very bad for your ears, whether from machinery at work or at home e.g. a chainsaw, or music at a concert or a disco. In addition, high-volume on headphones can result in permanent damage to your hearing. Use ear defenders if you can rather than earplugs. If you do use earplugs make sure they are clean and snug fitting but not too tight.
6. Dealing with Tinnitus
Tinnitus, where you suffer a noise in the head or ears either ringing or buzzing, results from a number of factors including sustained exposure to loud noise or damage to the inner ear. It always seems worse under stress or in a quiet environment. Unfortunately there is no absolute cure but seek advice about how this unpleasant condition can be alleviated. Certainly the first thing to do is to get your outer ears checked for wax, debris or skin blockage as these can also cause tinnitus.
What to Do
Always seek advice as soon as possible. The first step is to book an appointment with Ear Suction Hawke’s Bay for a free ear health assessment - we offer a no wax, no fee guarantee. However, micro suction may be required.