Sensorineural hearing loss stems from damage to the inner ear and the auditory nerve. Once this damage takes place, it is irreversible. Some causes of the damage, including heredity and degeneration over time, are inevitable. However, it is possible to avoid many of the things that can damage your ears and either avoid hearing loss or at least delay it significantly. Here are some things you can do to protect your hearing.
1. Reduce Exposure to Loud Noises
Sudden exposure to extremely loud noise, as well as prolonged exposure to an elevated decibel level, can damage the hairs in the middle and inner ear and the nerve cells that connect to them. You can prevent the damage by reducing your exposure. Sometimes this means adopting a noise reducing caster or investing in noise-canceling headphones. It can also mean changing your habits, such as turning down the volume when you listen to music or watch television.
2. Wear Earplugs
Sometimes it is not possible to prevent exposure to loud noises. For example, you may work around heavy machinery that is loud by its very nature, or your employer may be unwilling or unable to invest in noise-reducing casters. If you cannot change the noise level of your environment, you can reduce the impact that it has on your hearing by wearing earplugs that muffle some of the noises, obstructing the highest and most damaging decibels.
3. Keep Ears Dry
Excess moisture in your ears can promote bacterial infection. Chronic moisture in the ears can cause a long-term infection as well as other complications. Not only are ear infections painful, but they pose a risk for hearing health. You can help prevent infections by wearing earplugs when swimming or by draining water from the ear when present by tugging on your earlobe while tilting your head to the side.
Regular check-ups with a primary care physician help to identify hearing problems as well as promote general health.