8 Ways to Prevent Hearing Loss
5. Don't Smoke
Along with age and noise, research has shown that tobacco can increase a person's risk for hearing loss. If you smoke, preserving your hearing is one more good reason to quit. If you aren’t a smoker, avoid breathing secondhand smoke.
6. Remove Earwax Properly
A buildup of wax in your ears can muffle sound. But don't use a cotton swab to clean them out -- they can push wax even deeper into your ear canal. Instead, use an at-home irrigation kit to soften wax and gently wash it out. If wax gets compacted in your ear, your doctor may need to remove it.
7. Check Medications for Hearing Risks
About 200 medications can damage hearing, including some antibiotics and cancer-fighting drugs. Even high doses of aspirin can harm your ears. If you take a prescription medication, check with your doctor to make sure it won’t hurt your hearing. If you must take a medication that may harm your ears, make sure your doctor checks your hearing and balance before and during your treatment.
8. Have Your Hearing Tested
Make an appointment to get a hearing test if you:
- Have close relatives with hearing loss
- Have trouble hearing conversations
- Are around loud noises on a regular basis
- Often hear ringing in your ears
If you have some hearing loss, you can prevent more damage by steering clear of loud noises. If your problem is severe enough, you might think about getting a hearing aid or other treatment. Be sure to see your doctor if you have a sudden change in your hearing that you can’t explain. It could be a symptom of other serious medical problems.