6 Ear Care Mistakes We Make Everyday

Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D.Blog-post, Hearing Health, Hearing Loss

 6 Ear Care Mistakes We Make Everyday
Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D.
Latest posts by Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D. (see all)

6 Ear Care Mistakes We Make Everyday

Imagining a life without the sense of hearing can give you the chills. But, believe it or not, we take our ears for granted on daily basis, without even realizing it. This apparently innocuous negligence can pile up and lead to unhealthy ears. So, even a smallest gesture to protect your ears on daily basis makes a difference and you can prevent you against long term ear-related damage. This article will guide you about some unconscious ear care mistakes you may make in your daily life.

1) Blasting your ear with loud music

Pop culture has brought on us a curse of fast, rock music. People seem busy in blasting their ears with loud music without giving a second thought to what it might do to them. Such unhealthy exposure leads to desensitization of the ears and gradual hearing impairment. Besides loud music, scientists advise to avoid noisy environment because it damages hair cells in your ears. These hair cells are responsible for delivering audio signal to brain and their deterioration results in hearing loss.

So, avoid playing your ear buds at a level higher than 60% max volume. Stay at a distance from the speakers at party or concert and discuss hearing protection with your employer if your current job has a noisy environment.

2) Sticking cotton swabs in ears for cleaning wax

Earwax is a protective mechanism of body for lubrication of ears but an excess of it can be uncomfortable. The trouble caused by earwax is understandable but stuffing your ears with cotton swabs can make it worse. It pushes the wax further inside the canal and can even damage the ear canal.

That’s why a quality cotton swabs box comes with an instruction about not sticking it in your ears. So, go easy on them and wash the earwax with wet cloth, if it comes out.

3) Using inappropriate headphones

Have you been experiencing hissing or buzzing in your ears lately? Your headphones might be the reason for it. Using low quality headphones is the most common mistake people make. Level of our normal conversation is 60 decibels while most devices are set at 120 decibels, which is a hard limit for our ears.

Headphones that produce background noise or have excessively loud volume can lead to hearing loss. Keeping their volume down can help in minimizing the damage. So, set your devices on 60 decibels, cut back on your headphone volume and choose them wisely.

4) Piercing up the cartilage area

You might have never heard about it but piercing the cartilaginous area (curve of pinna) of your ear, isn’t a great choice for your hearing health. Your ear lobe has significant blood supply so it can fight infections effectively. Your ear curve has low blood supply so many doctors suggest keeping piercings limited to the lobe only. It keeps away the risk of infections. Moreover, if you have contact allergy problem with nickel or gold, be cautious while using metallic studs even for the ear lobe.

5) Depriving ears of sun block

Your ears need sun block for their protection. People often forget to apply sun block to ears and keep it limited to face and neck only. It can lead to burns and even skin cancer which appears as flaky red patches on top of the ears that bleed on scratching.

So, next time you apply sunscreen, consider your ears too.

6) Not keeping track of ototoxic medicines

Ototoxicity is damage of balance function or hearing ability of the ear by drugs or chemicals. Usually, such side effects are not expected while using common medicines like pain killers or antibiotics. Consequently, many people use such medicines without doctor’s advice or a prescription. However, many antibiotics, diuretics and NSAIDs cause hearing loss and their consumption should be tracked. Research shows antibiotics like aminoglycosides produce reactive oxygen species which cause hearing loss.

Self-medication of such medicines should be strictly avoided and ototoxicity should be kept in mind while using them.


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