Five easy ways to protect your ears

Isabella, left, and Annalisa Phelps, right, watch as Vicki White pours cooking oil into plastic beakers at the afternoon session of her spring break science camp at Old Orchard Park on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

1. Use hearing protection around loud noises. Exposure to loud noise is a leading cause of hearing loss. In fact, noise 85 decibels or louder can cause irreparable hearing damage. This means you should always wear hearing protection when attending a concert or sporting event, using power tools, or even mowing the lawn! There are many options for hearing protection including earplugs/earmuffs specially made for infants, children, concert goers, and athletes.

2. Turn the volume down. The volume levels of many devices like smartphones, tablets, televisions, and even children’s toys can reach dangerous decibel levels. The general rule for most devices is that they should not be turned up louder than 60 percent of their ability.

3. Stop using cotton swabs in your ears. This may be surprising because many people use cotton swabs to clean the wax out of their ears, but it is actually a dangerous practice. Inserting a cotton swab in your ear can push the wax in further, and even damage your eardrum! The ears are self-cleaning, but if you feel you have excess wax, it is recommended that you clean gently around the ears with a damp towel.

4. Exercise regularly. Exercise is great for your ears! Cardio exercises like walking, running, or cycling get the blood pumping to all parts of your body, including the ears. This helps the ears’ internal parts stay healthy and working to their maximum potential.

5. Get regular hearing screenings. Hearing loss develops gradually, so it is important that you go to a specialist regularly to get screened. This way, you can identify any hearing problems as soon as they start and begin the treatment you need to have healthy hearing!

To schedule a hearing evaluation today, call Audiology Associates at 661-284-1900.

Patrice Rifkind, Au.D. and Kevin Bolder, Au.D work with clients in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys. For more information, go online to, or stop by our office at 23838 Valencia Blvd, Ste. 100, Valencia.

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