Protecting our hearing is a responsibility we should all embrace, not least because an estimated 14% of the population over the age of 12 experiences hearing loss of some kind. When combined with the fact that permanent hearing loss cannot be reversed, learning to take care of your hearing is crucial.

Unfortunately, it’s not something we are always taught to do, which makes it very easy to overlook key issues or make common mistakes. Here is a quick checklist, advocated by an audiologist, to help you retain control.

Avoid Noise Exposure Where Possible

The ears can be damaged by noises above 80 decibels (dBs). Therefore, it makes sense to avoid regular or extended exposure to loud noises. This could mean avoiding environments where explosions are likely to occur as even fireworks are 175dBs. Or it could be as simple as keeping your headphones set to a suitable level of no more than 70dBs.

Invest in Suitable Ear Defenders

Reducing your exposure to loud environments is important. However, it’s impossible to avoid them entirely. You can respond to this in an effective way by investing in ear defenders, earplugs or other noise-canceling equipment. They may be needed when working with heavy machinery and power tools or when attending gigs. They protect your ears and hearing.

Avoid Moisture

Swimmer’s ear is a particularly uncomfortable issue that can lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss. When water gets trapped in the ear, it can cause tinnitus symptoms while also allowing bacteria to cause infections. Wearing earplugs when swimming can help while tilting the head when leaving water also helps. Don’t let shampoo enter the ear either.

Stop Using Cotton Swabs

While preventing excessive wax is an important aspect of protecting your hearing health is vital, you must remember that a little wax is healthy. Trying to clean the ear with cotton swabs is arguably the most common mistakes committed by people of all ages. Sadly, this simply pushes wax further into the ear canal, which prevents the self-cleaning mechanism.

Don’t Get Too Stressed

Increased stress levels will harm your health in many ways, and hearing problems are very common due to the pressure it places on the nerves, as well as reduced blood flow. It is difficult to control your stress levels, but a good night’s sleep and regular exercise will help. It’ll help prevent tinnitus, progressive hearing loss and a host of other health issues.

Arrange Regular Hearing Tests

You should book appointments with your audiologist as required. Most young adults only need them once every five years if hearing loss has not been previously detected. However, you should book them annually if you already wear hearing aids. Alternatively, if you suspect that you have developed hearing loss, you should arrange hearing tests.

Be Consistent

Millions of people implement good routines in most aspects of their lives yet let themselves in just a few areas. If you truly want to protect your hearing health for many years to come, it’s vital that you stay consistent. Whether you already experience some hearing loss or not, you must make the right moves today.