Plainsboro and Monroe, NJ

Plainsboro and Monroe, NJ

Protect Your Hearing With These 4 Practices

Princeton Otolaryngology Associates: Dr. Scott L. Kay | Hearing Loss Articles

person having hearing issues concept.

Our ears are often what carry the load of accidental harm from neglect in our busy day-to-day lives. There are a few common but hazardous practices, including using cotton swabs and ear candling, that will put your hearing health at risk. Below, we delve into four important methods to safeguard your sense of hearing and keep your ears healthy.

Ear candling is a no-no

In spite of the complete lack of scientific merit, the ancient practice of attempting to eliminate earwax has recently gained some popularity. The process involves inserting a hollow candle inside of the ear canal and lighting the opposite end, with the belief that a vacuum is created, drawing out impurities. This practice, however, has been proven in a number of studies to not only be ineffective, but also extremely risky.

You might be putting your hearing in peril by employing a practice that won’t even eliminate any earwax. The application of heat near the sensitive structures of the ear can result in burns, perforated eardrums, and even aggravate existing issues. Normally, if you notice any wax after ear candling, it will be from the candle itself rather than your ears.

In light of these findings, medical experts universally discourage the use of ear candling. Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Academy of Otolaryngology (AAO) warn against this practice, emphasizing safer options for ear hygiene.

Banish the cotton swabs

It’s true that lots of people turn to these apparently harmless tools to clean earwax out of their ears. But there are more dangers than benefits to inserting a cotton swab into your ear canal. Instead of effectively removing earwax, swabs can inadvertently pack wax deeper into the ear canal, leading to impaction and possible injury.

The eardrum is sensitive and objects like cotton swabs can cause significant damage. Injuries, like perforations or abrasions can occur, leading to pain, infection, and hearing loss. It would be better to seek professional help if necessary or otherwise rely on your ear’s self-cleaning ability rather than putting any object in the ear.

Be mindful of the volume: safeguard against loud noise

In a progressively noisy world, our ears are continuously bombarded by sounds of varying volumes. Exposure to loud sound is inevitable, from attending sporting events and concerts to walking down noisy city streets to mowing your lawn. Over-exposure to loud noises like these can have detrimental effects on your hearing health resulting in tinnitus and noise-related hearing loss.

To minimize the risk of hearing damage, it is critical to be mindful of noise levels and take proactive measures to protect your ears. This includes using hearing protection, like earmuffs or earplugs, in loud settings and limiting exposure to loud noises whenever you can.

Additionally, when utilizing personal audio devices, like headphones or earbuds, maintaining a moderate volume and taking regular rests can help maintain hearing health.

If you notice any symptoms, act quickly

Perhaps the most essential aspect of maintaining optimal hearing health is being alert to the signals your ears provide and taking quick action in response to any concerning symptoms. If you wait to get your hearing loss treated you will most likely worsen the problem.

It is imperative to identify common signs of hearing impairment, such as difficulty understanding speech, ringing or buzzing in the ears (tinnitus), or a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ears. If any of these symptoms are experienced, seek evaluation from a qualified hearing specialist or otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) promptly. Early diagnosis and intervention can substantially improve outcomes and enhance your quality of life.

In conclusion, the health and well-being of our ears are paramount in navigating the sensory landscape of our lives. We can maintain our healthy hearing by avoiding cotton swabs and ear candles, safeguarding our ears against loud noise, and recognizing early warning symptoms.

If you suspect that you may be experiencing any symptoms of hearing loss, call us today for an appointment.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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