Monday, July 06, 2009

Health Tips for July 6

Health Tip: Wax Buildup May Cause Hearing Loss

Inside your ear, there are glands that produce a waxy oil called cerumen. This helps protect your ear from dust, germs and other foreign substances, but too much wax buildup can trigger hearing loss.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers these warning signs of wax buildup in the ear:

  • Pain in the ear.
  • Hearing loss that tends to worsen over time.
  • Ringing in the ear.
  • A feeling that the ear is plugged or clogged.
  • A feeling of fullness or pressure inside the ear.

Contact your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. A blockage caused by ear wax generally is easy to treat, and full hearing usually is restored once the blockage is removed.

Health Tip: Protect Your Hearing

Ears are very sensitive to loud noises, and too much noise or prolonged exposure to loud noise can damage your hearing.

Before you crank up the mp3 player, read these suggestions to prevent hearing loss, provided by the American Academy of Family Physicians:

  • Wear protective ear coverings when working in a noisy area, such as around traffic or loud machinery.
  • Wear earplugs when you know you'll be around loud noise for prolonged periods, especially when operating noisy tools and equipment.
  • Use rubber mats under noisy electronics and appliances.
  • Avoid too much noise at once, such as the TV and noisy appliances going at the same time.
  • Don't use more noise to block out another noise. For example, don't turn up the music to drown out the sound of traffic or the vacuum cleaner.

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