It’s easy to take our ears for granted, but give them plenty of TLC and they’ll certainly thank you for it.
So how do ears work?
If you weren’t paying attention during school biology lessons, here’s a brief explanation.
When sound waves enter the ear canal, they vibrate the eardrum, the tympanic membrane. 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.
There are a number of simple but highly effective ways of caring for your ears. Here are 10 useful tips to help you safeguard their long term health.
- Don’t listen to music at a high volume
Not being able to hear external sounds when your headphones are on, or if the person next to you can hear it too, means it’s too loud. We recommend that for an MP3 player or equivalent device, 60% volume for 60 minutes a day is ample.
- Keep the sound as low as possible
Noise blaring out hour after hour is never good and if you have to shout to make yourself heard, the volume is too high. A subtle reduction can make all the difference.
- Rail against railway noise
If you work in, or close to, an environment where you are irritated by noise and your hearing is being affected (drills, machinery etc), speak to your HR Manager.
- Loud music in the car
It’s tempting to have our favourite songs blasting out as we drive around. But don’t overdo it. Noise in a confined space puts undue pressure on your ears.
- Don’t use cotton buds
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.