End of financial year sale now on! Enjoy 15% off all ACS Pros and IEMs. Use code EOFY24 at the checkout!

EOFY sale now on! Get 15% off all ACS Pros and IEMs. Use code EOFY24

5 ways you could be harming your ears

5 ways you could be harming your ears

Did you know that once you’ve lost your hearing, it’s usually gone forever? At most you can use tools to assist with your hearing, but you’ll most likely never get your hearing back to its former glory. That’s why it’s so important to protect your ears. In this guide, we’re listing 5 common ways you could be damaging your ears.

1. Earwax buildup

Cerumen impaction (better known as earwax blockage) can cause problems for your ear health. While earwax itself is useful for cleaning your ears and protecting them from dirt and infection, too much earwax can lead to potential issues. Some of these issues include ear pain, itchiness, hearing loss, constantly ringing ears and more. 

To prevent earwax buildup, it is recommended to get your ears cleaned every 6-12 months. There are multiple ear cleaning methods to choose from, but we recommend microsuction. It is the safest and most effective method available, and usually takes less than 20 minutes with almost instant results. 

2. Cotton Swabs/Q-Tips

Being able to clean earwax with cotton swabs is a common misconception. In fact, it is specifically listed on most boxes to NOT insert them into your ears. Rather than pulling the earwax out, it pushes it further inside your ears. In some cases this can even lead to punctured ear drums and deafness. 

People often think it’s okay to use cotton swabs as long as they don’t push it too far into their ear. But a small error can lead to disaster, so we would recommend against it. A simple analogy is that you wouldn’t use a knife instead of a fork, even if it can stab into food. The risk simply isn’t worth it.

3. Ear candling

Lots of people swear by ear candling, which is the process of putting a candle in your ear to remove earwax. Unfortunately, there isn’t any scientific benefits to backup the claims, and most professionals would recommend against it. In fact, the FDA hasn’t approved it for medical use and has sent warnings to manufacturers. What ear candling can do instead is harm your skin and ears. 

At best, ear candling is an ineffective way to remove earwax, and you only waste your money and time. At worst, you could burn yourself with the melted wax or the flame. The melted wax could also leak into your eardrums and cause temporary loss of hearing. You could even puncture your eardrums in a worst-case scenario.

4. Loud sounds

Loud environments such as construction sites and live concerts can actually cause long term damage to your ears. Without proper protection, loud sounds can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss. For example, the average concert is 100 dB, which unprotected ears can last 15 minutes before potential hearing damage. A construction site can be as high as 120 dB, which your ears could only last 7 seconds before permanent damage. And a gunshot is usually around 140 dB, which would cause immediate damage. 

With hearing protection such as custom earplugs, your ears can withstand these activities for a lot longer without the potential danger. Rather than being safe at a concert for only 15 minutes, you could listen to a concert for 8+ hours. You could even handle gunshots without repercussions. 

5. Wet ears

Wet ears might not sound bad, but since your ears are naturally warm, add in water and it becomes the optimal environment for bacteria, which can lead to ear infections. It can also cause earaches and buildup of earwax. This is a common issue for swimmers and surfers, but can occur even after showering.

It is recommended to keep your ears dry and drain your ears after prolonged exposure to water. Additionally, using custom-made earplugs designed for swimming can prevent water from entering your ears and ensure they avoid these issues altogether. 

If you’re concerned about hearing loss or your ear health, book in a hearing test with one of our audiologists or call us on (03) 9428 2485.