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Fireworks, concerts, loud music, lawn mowers, chain saws, construction, and car races (like Nascar), air travel, air shows, and even water-clogged ears can all have a significant impact on ear health and can cause hearing issues.
In addition to the normal aging process, exposure to excessive noise (which is preventable, unlike aging) can cause damage to one’s ability to hear. Unfortunately 10% of American’s have some form of hearing loss that impedes their ability to understand normal speech and conversations. According to Jyoti Bhayani, a certified audiologist at GottliebMemorialHospital in Melrose Park, Ill., part of Loyola University Health System, “once hearing is damaged, it cannot be repaired.”
While there isn’t much that can be done to stop the aging process (which is the main cause of hearing loss for many Americans). Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the effects of some environmental factors that tend to impact one’s hearing.
In addition to simply avoiding situations involving loud noises, low-cost earplugs can also provide significant protection for our hearing. In fact, earplugs are so effective that many experts actually recommend buying a pair to keep in your purse, briefcase, car, first-aid kits, etc; this way they will always be handy when you need them. You never know when you might come across loud situations. In addition, wearing waterproof earplugs that mold to the shape of the ear and create a waterproof seal can also help protect hearing by preventing moisture exposure. Also, remember that using q-tips in the ears can do more damage than good! Instead of using q-tips, the Bionix AfterSwim is a much safer and more effective option.
A little effort can go a long way when it comes to protecting our hearing. Turn the volume down in those ear buds, use ear plugs when around loud noises, and try to keep water out of the ears (and don’t stick q-tips in the ears!).