The COVID-19 (CoronaVirus Disease- 2019) pandemic has had a considerable impact on our lives. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a global health emergency and pandemic in March 2021, this year. Everyone needs to follow the necessary precautionary measures to prevent the infection. It is recommended to practice social distancing and stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus.
Despite the restrictions during this difficult time, it is important that you give proper care to your ears. Poor hearing not only affects your communication but can also complicate other health conditions such as Alzheimer’s (a progressive brain disorder that affects your memory), dementia (a condition that leads to memory loss and also affects your daily activities), anxiety (an emotional disorder due to stress), and depression (a mood disorder that can affect your everyday activities).
We can look into a few tips that will help you maintain your hearing health during the pandemic.
1. Keep your Ears Clean
Your ears can self cleanse and do not usually require additional cleaning. The ear wax produced by the glands in the ear canal helps in trapping dust and other particles from entering and damaging the ear.
Do not use earbuds or other sharp objects to clean your ears. It can push the ear wax further inside leading to irritation, pain, and even infections. The outside of the ear can be cleaned with a damp cloth, but do not insert it into your ear.
2. Keep Your Hearing Aids Clean
A hearing aid is a battery-powered electronic device that amplifies sound and transmits it into your ears. It is basically a small device that you wear behind your ear which is designed to improve your hearing.
A hearing aid can help you hear more in both quiet and noisy situations and allow you to participate fully in daily activities. You should make sure that your hearing aids are cleaned regularly.
They can be a source of ear infections if not cleaned well. You should examine your device for any dirt or debris and clean it with a soft brush or a wet wipe. Avoid wipes with alcohol or chemicals while cleaning your hearing aids as they could damage the devices.
3. Have a Backup Hearing Device
Always keep a back-up hearing device with you so that you can use it in case your hearing aids stop working. This will help avoid panic and tension in such situations. You can consult your ear specialist or an audiologist (hearing specialist) for an additional pair of hearing aids.
4. Keep A Record
If you are diagnosed with any kind of hearing disability, you should make sure you keep a record of the things that you would require during a pandemic.
If you are using any kind of hearing aids, you need to make sure that you have a stock of batteries with you to\keep the devices functioning properly for at least a few months.
5. Do Not Ignore Routine Hearing Checkups
Routine hearing check-ups help in identifying any hearing problems at an early stage before they worsen. If you are suffering from hearing loss, regular hearing tests help monitor your condition and alter your treatment if required.
So, it is advisable to pay a routine visit to your doctor/ENT specialist even during a pandemic to prevent further problems.
6. Stay Active and Eat Healthy
Staying active and having healthy food can contribute to your overall well-being. Regular exercises can help keep you fit and also improve your blood circulation which is in turn good for your ears. Healthy food can improve your immunity and helps prevent any infections.
The pandemic has indeed been difficult for all of us, and this has also thought us the importance of staying healthy. Hearing is one of our most important senses and enables us to communicate.
Therefore caring for your ears should be given utmost importance. If you experience any changes in your hearing ability, you can consult an ENT (ear nose and throat specialist). They are specialized in diagnosing and treating any problems concerning your ears.
1. Khan NB, Thaver S, Govender SM. Self-ear cleaning practices and the associated risk of ear injuries and ear-related symptoms in a group of university students. J Public Health Afr. 2017;8(2):555. Published 2017 Dec 31. doi:10.4081/jphia.2017.555
2. Swain SK, Pani SR. Hearing loss: A neglected and morbid clinical entity in Corona Virus Disease 2019 pandemic. Amrita J Med 2020;16:159-63
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