World Hearing Day is a campaign held each year by Office of Prevention of Blindness and Deafness of the World Health Organization (WHO). Activities take place across the globe and an event is hosted at the World Health Organization on March 3. The campaign’s objectives are to share information and promote actions towards the prevention of hearing loss and improved hearing care.
When sound waves enter the ear canal, they vibrate the eardrum, the tympanic membrane which is located behind this fine membrane, within the middle ear, there is a chain of three fine bones, known as ossicles. The vibration carries through from the eardrum in a chain reaction into the last bone, the stapes, which then taps against the membrane window of the fluid filled cochlea. It is this fluid movement which effects a reaction in the auditory (or hearing) nerve.
As a we celebrate the day, here are a few tips on how to care for the ears.
- Exercise regularly
Regular exercise like walking, running or cycling keeps the blood pumping – including to the ears – helping their internal workings stays healthy and in good working order.
- Don’t use cotton buds; Use ear wax solution
Using buds is a common but inadvisable way to remove wax. Earwax is normal and self-cleans the ear, preventing dust and particles getting in. Inserting buds or tissues in the ear can also damage your ear drum. We can recommend using ear wax remover. Olive oil is also a readily available, easy to administer solution.
- Use earplugs or earmuffs for loud music or listening to your personal music player
At concerts, get away from the noise regularly. It can take up to 16 hours of quiet time to recover from one excessively loud night out. A regular 5 minute break will help your ears recover but wear earplugs or earmuffs for extra protection. We recommend that for an MP3 player or equivalent device, 60% volume for 60 minutes a day is ample.
- Get them checked
If you have difficulty hearing conversations, misunderstand what others say, or frequently ask others to repeat what they said, you may be experiencing gradual hearing loss. Have your primary care provider (PCP) check your ears during your annual wellness exam.