Taking care of our ears is an important process that many of us overlook. We all have forgot to give them the attention they need every now and then. Believe it or not, your ears are self-cleaning. That means you don’t actually need to clean them but there are a few things you can do to ensure they are in their best health. Here are 11 ways to protect your ears and their health.
Throw Away Your Cotton Swabs
It’s common for people to use cotton swabs to clean wax out of their ears, but this isn’t a good idea for ear care. A little bit of wax in your ears is normal, and it stops dust and other harmful particles from entering the canal. Also, inserting anything inside your ear canals risks damaging sensitive organs like your ear drum.
If you have wax buildup, you can clean around the canal with a damp towel—gently. You could also use ear wax removal solution over the course of a few nights. This will soften the wax so that it will eventually flow out on its own.
Protect The Outside of Your Ear
Wipe the outer ear with a washcloth or tissue. Do not put anything into your ear smaller than your elbow. Do not use Q-tips, bobby pins or sharp pointed objects to clean your ears. These objects may injure the ear canal or eardrum.
Keep Your Ears Dry
Too much moisture can allow bacteria to grow and enter the ear canal. This can cause swimmer’s ear or other types of ear infections, and that can be dangerous for your hearing. Always towel-dry your ears after bathing or swimming. If you feel water in the ear, tilt your head and lightly tug on the ear lobe to get the water out.
Get Your Ears Checked Regularly
Ask your doctor to add hearing screenings into your visits. Hearing loss develops gradually, so it’s important to keep an eye on it. That way, you’ll be more likely to recognize signs of hearing loss and take action as soon as you do.
Use Ear Plugs Around Loud Noises
Use ear plugs whenever noise is loud enough to cause damage. Clubs, concerts, lawnmowers, chainsaws, and any other noises that force you to shout so the person next to you can hear your voice all create dangerous levels of sound. Earplugs are convenient and easy to obtain.
Turn Down The Volume
According to the World Health Organization, 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults worldwide are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss from unsafe use of audio devices. If you like to enjoy music through headphones or earbuds, you can protect your ears by following the 60/60 rule. The suggestion is to listen with headphones at no more than 60% volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.
Exercise is really good for your ears. Cardio exercises like running gets the blood pumping to all parts of your body, including the ears. This helps the ears’ internal parts stay healthy and working to their maximum potential.
Avoid Bad Ear Habits
Scratching your ear canal for any reasons whatsoever is never a good idea. You could harm your ears and potentially damage your hearing health beyond restoring. Also, scratching your ears could cause an ear infection and these can potentially lead to some levels of hearing loss. Avoid putting sharp objects like pens in your ear.
Take Your Vitamins
A study was done that showed that high doses of magnesium along with vitamins A, and E can help prevent sudden sensorineural hearing loss . Based on another study from the American Society for Nutrition journal, carotenoids (such as carrots and apricots), vitamin A, and vitamin E may be associated with lower risk of hearing loss .
Keep Stress Levels Down
High levels of stress and anxiety puts pressure on your nerves, blood flow and body heat. These are all triggers for tinnitus (ringing in the ears). So try to stay calm.
Give Your Ears a Break
Do you work or live in a loud environment? There is no shame in taking breaks. If you are exposed to loud noises for a prolonged period of time, like near loud kids, at a concert or a bar, your ears need time to recover. If you can, step outside for five minutes to let them rest.