Your sense of hearing is one of the most important ways in which you interact with the world, and yet many people don't take the basic precautions necessary to protect it. Indeed, the ears remain some of the most poorly understood structures of the body, so it's important that you educate yourself about the proper steps you should take to preserve their vital functions.
Below, you'll find a guide to some questions you should be sure to ask your ear, nose, and throat doctor about caring for your ears. Having the answers to these questions can provide you with relief from intense discomfort, and can also help put you in a position to promote proper aural health for many years to come.
Ask About Traveling With Ear Infections
When most people get on an airplane, they aren't thinking about the potential damage they could be doing to their body. While the overwhelming majority of passengers have nothing to fear, flying with an ear infection is actually a potentially serious situation which could result in extreme pain or even a rupture of your ear drum in the heavily pressurized air.
If you're suffering from discomfort and believe you have an ear infection, you should be sure to ask your doctor about the precautions you can take before your trip. Often times, this will include an antibiotic regimen as well as fluid draining in order to relieve some of the pressure.
Ask About Ear Wax Removal
Many people seek to clean ear wax out of their ears without first considering that it serves some important purpose. Ear wax can provide a protective barrier that prevents particulate matter from damaging the ear's delicate structures, so it often shouldn't be removed at all.
If your wax build up is excessive and showing through to your outer ear, your doctor can work with you to develop a medically sound plan for removal that doesn't risk injury. Standard home methods may lead to a punctured ear drum or other problems, and should be avoided without a medical consultation.
Ask About Noise Protection
Modern society has expanded the influence and commonality of individual music, the use of headphones, and exposure to loud volume noises which may cause long term damage. If you frequently walk around with headphones in, it's important that you reveal that fact for your doctor and ask about the steps you can take in order to preserve your hearing. Otherwise, you may cause irreversible hearing loss that you'll struggle with for the rest of your life.