This May, you’re invited to celebrate your ears! Perhaps they aren’t working quite as well as they did when they were younger, but they have made your life resonate, pop, sing, shout, whisper, groan, and scream. They enrich your world each and every day, and it’s time they were properly recognized.
Because hearing is so crucial to our quality of life, it is important to do all we can to protect it. Once hearing loss occurs, it cannot be reversed. Therefore, taking preventive measures is critical. Here are just a few ways you can care for your ears:
- Be careful when cleaning them. Don’t use cotton swabs or sharp objects, since they can damage your eardrum or ear canal. Your mother wasn’t kidding when she told you not to put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.
- If excessive ear wax has built up, consult your physician.
- If your ears hurt or itch, or if they are discharging fluid, have them examined by a doctor.
- Consult a professional if you suddenly develop ringing in your ears or a drastic change in your hearing.
- Wear hearing protection during exposure to loud noise at home, work, or at a concert, night club or loud sporting event.
A Look at How Hearing Devices Have Changed
Devices to help amplify sounds have come a long way in a relatively short period of time. The ear trumpet came into general use in the early 1800s to help assist those with hearing loss. Later in that century, those bulky objects were replaced by the acoustic horn, which consisted of a cone-shaped tube, one end of which fit into the ear. Over the years, inventors came up with hearing aids that were cleverly hidden in a person’s hair, their clothing, or even nearby furniture.
Electronic hearing aids gained popularity after the invention of the telephone and used electricity to amplify a sound. Shortly after World War II came technology that enabled hearing aids to be more discreet. Later advances included first the transistor and then digital models.
Now that hearing aids are more discrete, easy-to-use and effective, their use is increasing. In fact, 90 percent of the people who try them find them to be helpful. Sadly, it takes the average person seven years between recognizing they have hearing loss and seeking help.
Don’t let yourself become a similar statistic. Why not commemorate Better Hearing and Speech Month by getting your hearing checked? Companies like Miracle-Ear offer free hearing tests and regular hearing aid check-ups and cleanings. Plus they have over 1,200 locations nationwide, so it’s convenient wherever you go. Check with a nearby location for more details. You just might be amazed at all of the sounds you’ve been missing.