Our ears are one of the most vulnerable areas of our body and it’s important that at any point within our lives, we’re doing the best that we can to protect them from harm. That’s easier said than done when there are a lot of dangers out there in the world that can cause damage to our hearing. For some, it only takes one occasion for permanent damage to happen.
But what if that damage has already occurred? There are certain signs that you can look out for when it comes to poor ear health, whether that’s you in particular or should you be worried about someone else. Here are seven signs that are linked to poor ear health.
Pain or Discomfort In the Ear
A major warning sign that something isn’t quite right with your hearing is when you experience any form of pain or discomfort within the ear or around it. This can be a sign that something has aggravated the ear and this could be caused by a foreign object in the ear or exposure to the ear that has resulted in hearing loss.
Ear infections can be common in children but not so much when you reach adulthood. It’s advised that you keep your ears dry and avoid any water or other substance sitting in your ear canal. This can cause infections and may lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss.
If you experience any form of pain or discomfort in the ear, it’s important to seek medical help as soon as you’re able to.
Frequent or Occasional Tinnitus
Tinnitus is a symptom of hearing loss and typically, it’s something that is only temporary. As long as you’re doing what you can to maintain the health of your ears and protect them from excessive noises, tinnitus should go away.
However, there are those that have to deal with tinnitus occasionally but also frequently. If you’re getting tinnitus frequently, then this is something to seek further help for. Tinnitus is a ringing of the ears but the sound itself can vary from person to person. Some refer to it as a hissing sound whereas others say it sounds like waves. Regardless of what it sounds like, it’s important to seek medical advice from hearing professionals for help with tinnitus.
Hearing professionals can help you when it comes to managing tinnitus but also providing solutions for those who are dealing with it all too often.
Asking To Repeat Conversations
A sign of hearing loss is often having to repeat conversations. It’s common for this to happen to some people when it comes to loud events that may seemingly muffle what you’re trying to communicate between you and another person. However, if you’re in quieter locations and you’re still struggling to hear conversations, then this could be a sign that links to poor ear health.
It can often feel embarrassing to have to ask others to repeat what they said but for some people with poor ear health, they’re not aware of it. It’s not until family members, friends or colleagues point it out, that they realize something isn’t right.
Sounds are all around us, so imagine not being able to hear the typical sounds of birds chirping or the doorbell going whilst you’re at home? These missing sounds will occur if you have poor ear health. Many of us will have age-related hearing loss as we get older but for the majority of your adulthood, you should be able to hear all the sounds, regardless of how faint or loud they are.
If you notice that sounds you once heard clearly, aren’t as clear or muffled, then this could be the warning signs that you’ve lost or you’re losing some of your hearing.
Withdrawal From And At Social Events
Many of us are social butterflies and being involved in social events can be a great opportunity to make memories, meet up with loved ones, and make new friends!
One of the difficulties that come with any poor ear health is that when you can’t hear like you used to, you may find yourself withdrawing from social events and conversations. You may have once been someone who enjoyed going to parties or group occasions but now avoid it. This may be because you don’t want to ask others to repeat themselves or that you’re worried about what people will think of you.
These are all rational fears but in reality, it’s better to get help than to shy away from things that make you happy and that you enjoy doing.
Tugging At the Ear
Tugging at the ear is a common physical sign that there’s something wrong with the ears. This physical tugging of the ear is done in the hopes that perhaps it helps alleviate some of the pain that you may be feeling.
It’s one that’s common with ear infections in children but this tugging can develop into a habit for those in their adulthood who’ve got hearing problems. A noticeable habit at that, it’s good to look out for it, whether it’s you that has poor ear health or that of a loved one.
A Loss of Balance
It’s surprising just how much our hearing can impact other parts of the body. With hearing, we often need it for balance and when we don’t have the usual hearing capabilities, it can throw our body off. Imagine one ear is muffled and the other is clear, just the thought is likely to make you feel unbalanced.
Stability is critical for the human body and so to have a loss of balance could potentially be dangerous. Whilst it may feel uncomfortable to ask for help, it’s always better to do so, rather than to let it become a problem for your health and wellbeing in general.
Looking after your ears is important so make sure you’re able to spot the signs of poor ear health. Hopefully, you can do something about it before it’s too late.
Photos by Rio Kuncoro and Sebastian Ervi
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