You can prevent some types of hearing loss.
Preventing noise-related hearing loss
Being exposed to loud noise over and over is one of the most common causes of permanent hearing loss. It usually develops slowly and without pain or other symptoms, and you may not notice that you have hearing loss until it is severe.
Be sure your child has regular Reference hearing exams and follows the suggestions below to prevent hearing loss.
Steps you can take to lower your risk of Reference noise-induced hearing loss include the following:
- Be aware of and avoid harmful noise. You can be exposed to harmful noise at work, at home, and in many other settings. Know what kinds of situations can cause Reference harmful noise levels. To learn more about hearing protection in workplaces in the United States, contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Use hearing protectors. If you know you are going to be around harmful noise, wear Reference hearing protectors, such as earplugs or earmuffs.
- Control the volume when you can. Reduce the noise in your life by turning down the volume on the stereo, TV, or car radio, and especially on personal listening devices with earphones or ear buds.
- Don't wait to protect yourself. After noise-related damage to the ear is done, it cannot be reversed. But if you already have some noise-related hearing loss, it is not too late to prevent further damage and preserve the hearing that you still have.
Preventing other causes of hearing loss
To lower your risk of other types of hearing loss:
- Never stick a cotton swab, hairpin, or other object in your ear to try to remove earwax or to scratch your ear. The best way to prevent earwax problems is to leave earwax alone. For information on how to remove hardened wax, see the topic Reference Earwax.
- Always blow your nose gently and through both nostrils.
- During air travel, swallow and yawn frequently when the plane is landing. If you have an Reference upper respiratory problem Opens New Window (such as a cold, the flu, or a sinus infection), take a Reference decongestant a few hours before landing or use a decongestant spray just before landing.
- Stop smoking. You are more likely to have hearing loss if you smoke.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 25, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Steven T. Kmucha, MD - Otolaryngology