Your body has an incredible capacity to repair itself. Break a bone and it heals. Cut your finger and skin grows back. But some parts of our bodies, once damaged, can’t perform the same trick.
Your ears can take a lot of the rough and tumble that life throws at them. But they need a little extra love and care, because unlike other parts of our bodies, you can do your ears harm without even realising.
Here’s our tips for keeping your hearing in peak condition.
1. DON’T turn it up to 11
We all know it’s bad for our hearing, yet we all do it. Listening to loud music is a surefire way to damage your hearing, especially if done repeatedly over many years. It’s no surprise that musicians like Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend suffer from hearing loss, more accurately known as Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). Around 20% of the UK population suffers from some form of NIHL.
Even pop’s young guns are suffering. Twenty-six-year-old Canadian indie star Grimes has tinnitus and hearing loss.
But it is preventable. Simply turn the music down and use ear plugs when at live music events. Why? Frequent or prolonged exposure to loud noises is one of the most common causes of hearing loss.
The ACS ear protection range, featuring ACS In-Ear Monitors and ACS Custom Ear Plugs, is a great way to protect your ears. ACS Ear Plugs reduce ambient noise levels while letting you hear everything with the same clarity and quality – but at a safer volume.
ACS In-Ear Monitors are ultra-high quality earphones. They use clever noise-cancelling technology to reduce sounds from the outside world by 35 decibels, letting you keep your music to a sensible, ear-friendly level. They’re also custom-moulded to your ear, making them both super-comfortable and highly effective at sealing off ambient noise.
2. Give your ears time to recover
We all know that fuzzy feeling in our ears after a night out at a concert or nightclub. It might also be accompanied by a ringing tone or temporary tinnitus. This is only temporary damage, and in most cases, your hearing will recover within in a day (it’s recommended you give your ears 18 hours of quiet to recover).
Don’t use earphones or headphones for more than an hour at a time – take a break for at least 5 minutes every hour.
3. Stop using cotton swabs to clean your ears
They might seem like harmless little batons of plastic and cotton, but cotton buds can be highly destructive when used to clean your ears.
Left to their own devices, your ears will naturally rid themselves of dirt and wax. In fact, earwax has an important function: it traps dirt and has antibacterial properties.
When used to clean your ears, cotton buds damage the tiny hairs in your ear canal – tiny hairs that are already designed to do precisely what your cotton buds are doing: keep your ears clean.
In 5% of cases, wax can build up beyond normal levels, but cotton buds aren’t the answer. Visit your GP or Leightons Hearing Care expert to have the wax removed safely and professionally.
4. Keep your ears dry
Yes, we get water in our ears every day, but prolonged exposure without time to air-dry naturally can lead to ear infections. Custom-fit swimming earplugs block water from entering your ear canal, so they’re perfect for regular swimmers.
Book an appointment with your local Leightons Hearing Care specialist to have ear plugs custom-fitted and moulded to the shape of your ear.
5. Quit smoking and get moving
Yet another reason to give up smoking. The more cigarette smoke you’re exposed to, the higher your chances of developing age-related hearing loss.
Equally, exercise is a great way to promote good circulation. Better blood flow means better all-round health – including your hearing.
6. Have regular hearing tests
Even more so than your eyes, your hearing can fade over many years, making it difficult to discern long-term changes. Regular check-ups are vital for good ear care, helping us spot long-term changes to your hearing and take action before it’s too late.
If you think it’s about time you had your hearing checked by a professional, book an appointment online or call us on 0800 40 20 20 and speak to one of our hearing specialists.