Hearing Protection

Written by Amy Hall
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Generally, the ears do a pretty good job of taking care of themselves quite well. However, in some cases, ear protection is necessary to prevent damage to the eardrum that could potentially cause problems. For instance, exposure to extremely loud noise can cause permanent hearing loss. This is especially true among people who spend many hours at work in a noisy environment, such as in manufacturing or construction.

Ear protection may be necessary if you are prone to swimmer's ear, which is when the ear canal becomes infected with bacteria or fungi. Any breakage of the skin in the ear canal invites the invasion of bacteria or fungi that can cause painful swelling. A yellowish, pus-like discharge may be present, and hearing can be temporarily impaired.

If you are prone to swimmer's ear, you may want to take simple steps to keep your ear canals dry. Never use a cotton swab to clean your ears, and a hair dryer is much better at drying trapped water than drops. There are even some excellent devices that have been created to dry the ears completely in as little as one minute. You can use these "ear dryers" after showering, swimming, or taking a bath to completely dry the ear of any excess moisture.

The Importance of Ear Protection

Hearing is a gift, and one that can be preserved with the proper care. Keeping the ears dry can certainly help ward off external otitis. Refraining from using cotton swabs to remove wax is smart, as doing so can only exacerbate the problem. Using homeopathic ear drops to soften ear wax can be helpful, as can using homemade remedies such as olive oil. Getting yearly checkups from your doctor will ensure that all is well with your ears. If a problem arises, see your doctor immediately for testing.

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