Do You Take Your Ears for Granted? It’s Time to Celebrate Them!

Ears are something we might not give much thought to unless they stop working as well as they once did, but those two little organs hanging off the side of our heads deserve a lot more attention – and certainly more kudos – than we might be giving them.

May is Hearing Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to pamper, protect, and appreciate the important job your ears do for you every day. Here are some ways you can give your ears a little extra love this month!

Learn how to protect your hearing. Sounds are harmful to your ears when they exceed 85 dB, which is similar to the loudness of heavy traffic. Wear ear protection like ear plugs or headphones in noisy environments, make sure you never exceed 60% of your device’s maximum volume for more than 60 minutes a day, and take regular breaks if you do have to be in a loud space.

Consider learning ASL. Being able to communicate with people experiencing hearing loss is important, and American Sign Language (ASL) is the language of most Deaf Canadians. Canadian Hearing Services offers ASL courses, or you could check out resources online and teach yourself.

Know the signs of hearing loss. Early signs of hearing loss include difficulty following conversations in person and on the phone, trouble locating the source of sounds, tinnitus (ringing or buzzing sounds in your ears), turning up music and your TV louder than others think is necessary, and asking people to repeat themselves because it always sounds like they’re mumbling. If you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, it’s time for a hearing test.

Discover the benefits of a hearing aid. Hearing loss can slowly begin to keep you from actively participating in everyday life. Wearing hearing aids can help you re-engage in the wonderful world around you by allowing you to hear conversations, music, and other beautiful sounds that you may have been missing. In fact, hearing aid wearers are three times more likely to be happier than those without them, and they also report feeling more connected to family.

Appreciate your ears. Go for a walk in nature and really listen to what’s happening around you. It’s amazing how beautiful the sounds of wind in the trees, a stream babbling nearby, and birds singing are when you really stop to notice them.

Support someone with hearing loss. Take time to learn more about their condition and how it impacts their everyday life so you can better understand how to support them. If you’re dating someone with hearing loss, think about what you might need to consider to help make connecting easier and more comfortable for both of you.

Become a better listener. Put your phone down, keep your mind open, and ask thoughtful questions so your friend or partner knows you’re really listening to what they’re saying. Being a good listener is a critical skill that helps us strengthen and improve our relationships with family and friends, and it’s an important reason to safeguard your hearing.

Be careful when you clean your ears. Did you know that ears are actually self-cleaning? Earwax is designed to collect bacteria and debris, and it normally works its way out of your ears naturally through chewing and other jaw motions.1 That’s why it’s recommended that you don’t insert a cotton swab into your ear canal, as this can cause damage to your ear and compact the wax. Just use the swab or a damp cloth to clean the outside of your ear. If you suspect you have too much wax buildup inside your ear because its aching, feeling full, ringing or you’re having trouble hearing, visit your doctor to have it looked at and cleaned out by a professional as soon as possible.

Finally, prioritize your hearing by making it part of your self-care. You can start loving your ears today by taking advantage of a free comprehensive hearing assessment at a HearingLife clinic near you.

HearingLife forms the largest network of hearing clinics with over 350 network clinics across Canada. Staffed by certified hearing healthcare professionals, HearingLife offers the most advanced hearing aid technology and up-to-date diagnostic equipment, as well as clinical support and exclusive 360-AfterCare. #LoveYourEars and visit HearingLife to book an appointment for your free test today.