Your ears play an important role in helping you to hear what is going on around you. They aren’t difficult to look after and just a little TLC will keep them working better for longer!
You might view it as a nuisance, but earwax is actually very helpful. It's produced by the ear canal and is there to protect the inside of the ear: it traps dust and other particles to help prevent infection. Most people produce manageable levels of ear wax and only experience problems if it builds up.
If you think you might have excessive ear wax there are some things you can do – but poking around in your ear is not one of them! Even using a cotton bud is a bad idea as you can push wax deeper into your ear or even damage the skin of your ear canal leading to infection.
The best idea is to get your ears checked out by your GP who’ll be able to tell you if you have a build-up of wax. And if you still suspect something isn’t right with your hearing, then get your hearing tested – you can book a free appointment at Boots Hearingcare online or call us on .
What does noise do to my hearing?
Noise is measured in decibels (dB). The higher the decibel level, the louder the noise. Prolonged exposure to loud noise is one of the main causes of hearing loss and happens when tiny sensory hair cells in our inner ears are damaged by sounds that are too loud or that last for too long.
How loud is too loud?
Any sound louder than 80 dB is considered potentially damaging. Take a look at this list of common noises: you might be surprised how often you are exposed to dangerous levels!
A simple way to tell if noise is too loud is if you have to shout to be heard when someone is less than two feet away.
How can I tell if my hearing’s been affected by noise?
You can’t always tell if you've been exposed to dangerous levels of noise, so it’s best not to take any chances. But if you do experience any of the following symptoms after being in a noisy environment, you should get your hearing checked!
- Ringing in your ears
- Dull hearing
How do I stop noise damaging my hearing?
Where possible, avoid noisy environments. At concerts, avoid standing right next to speakers, and take regular breaks when you can.
When using earphones or listening to music in a confined space like a car, turn down the volume. If a friend can hear the music from your earphones when standing three feet away, the volume is definitely too high!
Sometimes it’s impossible to cut noise out completely, but you can minimise damaging effects by wearing hearing protection when exposed to any loud or potentially damaging noise. Some examples are heavy traffic, rock concerts, shooting or in a working environment when using drilling or cutting machinery.
Did you know that we sell noise protection earplugs at Boots Hearingcare? Click here to have a browse of our selection!
Don't forget that at Boots Hearingcare, all our appointments are free! To book, click here or call us on .