Hearing is one of our senses that seems to get less attention for most people than other senses. People are very concerned about eye health, but they don't think about their ears all that much. But the ability to hear well is very important and losing one's hearing can have devastating effects.
So, here are some tips for better hearing:
Keep your ears clean: Ear wax can be a major problem and can really reduce your ability to hear well. Make sure to keep your ears as free of wax as possible. You can get special drops to remove wax that can then be easily flushed out with water. More severe cases of buildup may require a visit to a doctors office for a simple procedure.
Don't stick things in your ears: People have used cotton swabs for generations to clean their ears, but these can be harmful. The swabs can push wax further down into the ear canal and can even cause physical damage to the ear itself if you are not careful.
Get your hearing tested: It's important to get your hearing tested, especially if you are over age 50. It's an easy test that should be done once a year. Many audiologists and hearing professionals will conduct the tests at no charge.
If you have hearing loss, don't put off having something done about it: Hearing is a use it or lose it sense. If you have some hearing loss, don't ignore it; the problem will just get worse over time. Many people are reluctant to get hearing aids because they feel that there is a stigma attached to them, but today's models are so small the odds of anyone knowing that you're even wearing Bluetooth hearing aids is very small.
Set volume limits on your electronic devices: MP3 and other music players can be very loud (as high as 110 decibels), which can be very harmful to your ears. Most devices like iPhones, iPods, and most smartphone brands have limiters to keep the sound at a reasonable levels.
Give your ears a rest from time to time: Hearing loss happens cumulatively as a result of prolonged exposure to high decibels over time. If you work in a field with loud machinery, make sure to wear protection and give your ears plenty of breaks. If you listen to a lot of music with headphones, keep the sound low and take frequent breaks from listening. Also, anytime you're around unusually loud sounds for an extended period (say, a rock concert) give your ears a break for a few days after.