When someone cannot hear properly, they can be thought of by others as rude or standoffish if they don’t answer a question or provide a comment on the conversation. There are many reasons someone may suffer hearing loss, such as their age, having been in combat, or an illness when they were young. Fortunately, many mild hearing issues can be easily treated by the specialists of Iowa Head and Neck Clinic.
A Mother’s Solution
How many kids have heard their mom say to clean out their ears when their children are not paying attention to them? As it turns out, this remark may actually help someone with hearing loss.
Too much earwax can contribute to worsening hearing issues, and a good cleaning may ease the problem. Be very aware that we are in no way suggesting patients to use a Q-tip when trying to clean their ears. Doing so can damage the ears as well as make the problem worse by pushing the wax further into the ears.
As we age, earwax naturally becomes drier and it doesn’t flush itself out of the ear canals naturally, plus these canals can become more narrow over time. Dr. Brown or an Iowa Head and Neck Clinic audiologist can do an exam to see if there is wax buildup, and perform a simple procedure to ensure the excess earwax is removed safely.
There are also over-the-counter ear drops and some new earwax cleaning devices that might be recommended depending on the particular patient and their symptoms.
Treat Ear Infections Promptly
Kids and adults alike can both suffer from middle or outer ear infections. Bacteria and viruses can collect in these moist areas and become infected, leading to pain, fluid buildup, balance issues, and problems with hearing.
OTC medications from a local pharmacy can usually help with this if caught quickly enough. Outer ear infections may eventually lead to additional drainage from the ear(s) and sometimes severe pain. If the infection does not clear up within a week, see Dr. Brown, as you may need a prescription.
Walk or Exercise Regularly
Yes, walking can help with hearing loss. In 2013 the American Journal of Medicine reported a study which indicated that 2 hours of walking a week helped to reduce your risk of hearing loss. Exercise helps to increase blood flow to the ear and tiny hair cells in the inner ear. These cells cannot regenerate so if they become damaged, hearing loss can occur and become worse.
Avoid using headphones to listen to loud music as you exercise, as this may further irritate the ear canal or eardrums.
Moderate Use of Over-The-Counter Medications
Taking too much aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen can not only cause tinnitus but can also contribute to a person’s hearing loss. Avoid taking these medications several times a week or for long periods of time. Speak with Dr. Brown about your personal usage to determine if it is appropriate, and to determine if you may be able to lower your dosages.
Try Practicing Yoga
Certain yoga poses help to promote and increase blood circulation of the ear. This particular activity is also known to improve the nervous system while removing waste and toxins from the body, which can aid those that often experience symptoms of tinnitus.
Other Simple Solutions to Your Hearing Loss
- Stop smoking
- Schedule a hearing evaluation
- If you have hearing aids, wear them!
Make an appointment with Iowa Head and Neck Clinic if you are due for a hearing screening, or if your hearing abilities have suddenly changed.