On March 3rd, 2015, you are invited to celebrate your ears. They might stick out a bit or get waxy now and then; perhaps they aren’t working quite as well as they did when they were younger. However, they have made your life resonate, pop, sing, shout, whisper, groan, scream and listen. 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, oftentimes it cannot be reversed. Therefore, taking preventive measures is very important. Here are just a few ways you can care for your ears:
- Be careful when cleaning your ears. 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 ear wax has built up, have it removed by your doctor.
- If your ears hurt or itch or if they are discharging fluid, have them examined by a doctor. Also 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. With World War II came technology that enabled hearing aids to be miniaturized. Later advances included first the transistor and then digital models.
Now that hearing aids are more discreet, 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 International Ear Care Day on March 3rd 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 your local area for more details. You just might be amazed at all of the sounds you’ve been missing.
*This post was sponsored by Miracle-Ear, image via Shutterstock.