Hearing Health And How To Protect Your Hearing In All Stages Of Life

Posted on: 3 May 2019

Unless you are born deaf, hard of hearing, or with a medical condition that will slowly steal away your ability to hear, you are born with perfect hearing. If you are born with perfect hearing, you should have the desire to protect your hearing throughout your life. Your auditory nerves and hearing do more for you than just allow you to hear the birds in the morning and thunderstorms at night. Here is how to protect your hearing or your child's hearing, from birth to old age. 

Babies Should Have Their Ears Checked Often

In infancy and toddlerhood, babies have underdeveloped ear canals and Eustachian tubes. As a result, all fluid from their sinus cavities and all water that gets into their ears tends to stay there, rather than flow down into the backs of their throats and into their stomachs. (Yes, that is what the Eustachian tubes do; they help drain the ears and dispose of excess inner ear fluid by sending it into your digestive system.)

Because of these very normal inner ear developments, babies and toddlers should have their ears checked often to avoid ear infections. Constant ear infections cause them excruciating pain, and can cause hearing loss if left untreated. If your baby or toddler does have an ear infection, follow the course of antibiotics prescribed to help your child heal and retain his/her ability to hear. 

Tweens and Teens Should Not Be Exposed to Loud Noises

Yes, this is the age and stage where kids want to go to loud music concerts and loud, noisy, live events. It is sort of a rite of passage. However, you can provide foam ear plugs that block much of the ear-damaging decibels of concerts and shows while still allowing the kids to hear the music. If you are the chaperone, you can insist on it, thereby doing due diligence as the parent to protect their hearing. 

Adults Should Not Place Strange Objects in Their Ear Canals (with the Exception of Hearing Aids)

Audiologists will always tell patients, "Never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear." It is a rather tongue-in-cheek thing to say, since nobody has the flexibility to put their elbows even close to their ears, but it does get the point across that if you cannot put your elbows in your ears, nothing smaller than your elbows should go in your ears anyway. The purpose is to remind adults that using cotton swabs, keys, bobby pins, pen caps, etc. to clean excess ear wax out of the ears is extremely dangerous. It only takes one accidental, jarring motion to puncture your ear drum and damage your hearing permanently. If you suffer from excess ear wax as an adult, ask your doctor to help flush it out and remove it safely. 

For more information, reach out to clinics like the Wakefield Hearing Center.