Say What? Hearing Loss Is On The Rise? 5 Ways To Protect Your Ears

by Brandon Topp

Here's a scary statistic we're all ears about: A new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore projects that by the year 2060, more than 70 million Americans will suffer from hearing loss. FYI, that’s nearly double today’s current number, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

While these projections are concerning, they are still just projections. As we're a television network focusing on health, wellness, and well-being (hey, check out our new original shows Altar’d and Finding Fido!) we're always looking for ways to improve our own and our viewers' health and general well-being today. As in, right now. 

That’s why, in light of this news that we can hardly believe we've heard (heh), we've rounded up 5 simple ways to reduce your chance of hearing loss: 

1. Turn Down The Volume!


Despite seeming like a real eye-roller of a tip, twisting the knob down a touch is also one of the most difficult rules to abide by. Who doesn’t love blasting their favorite song at a party or in the car? Unfortunately, there are some downsides. This piece from Live Science notes that, “listening to loud music for too long can damage sensitive structures in the inner ear and lead to permanent hearing loss.” So save the loud bangers for special occasions and make medium-to-low volume your standard. 

Also on Z Living: 5 Totally Easy Daily Practices Linked To Living A Longer, Healthier Life

2. Don’t Be Afraid Of Earplugs. 


There is a weird stigma in the concert world regarding earplugs. But, who cares? In addition to being a comfortable preventative of inner ear damage, earplugs can significantly improve a live-music experience— because sometimes the music is just too loud. Additionally, the noise-blocking quality of earplugs is quite calming and can make sleeping or traveling easier (while saving your ear drums, too). 

3. Take A Noise Detox. 


As health and wellness aficionados, we're fans of a good detox...and doing one for noise sounds, well, good. If you've ever spent a night at a loud show or in a noisy club experineced dulled hearing the day after, you're experiencing a form of hearing loss. In such cases, this study from the Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School says to allow around 16-48 hours to rest in a low-decibel environment to get back to normal. Yep, that's a "noise detox."

Also on Z living: Rejuvenate With These 5 Simple Detoxes

4. Avoid Q-Tips… Even If You Love Them.


Q-tips and cotton swabs are a popular ear wax-cleaning tool tucked away in the bathroom cabinets of millions of Americans. However, an article from hearing aid company EarQ points out that earwax stops dust and other harmful particles from getting in your ear canal. Also, cotton swabs entering too far into the ear canal could potentially cause hearing damage. EarQ suggests using a damp towel to clean excess ear wax instead. 

5. Schedule A Hearing Evaluation.


The best way to get ahead of a possible health issue is to see a professional. Look up a local otolaryngologist or otologist (that's an ear, nose, and throat doctor) and schedule a hearing evaluation. This way, you can get a professional opinion on if your hearing is good for your age, and what other measures you can take to preserve it. 

Catch Altar'd, only on Z Living. Find out where you can watch Altar'd. If you missed an episode, or don't yet get Z Living from your provider, watch it now by signing up for Z Living GO, where you can watch all the episodes plus live TV — you'll get a free 30-day trial.  

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