Many people seem to overlook the importance of their overall ear health. They tend to avoid protecting their ears when they’re at a concert, or they might listen to loud music on a regular basis. They might not be phased by a loud construction tool next to them, and they might skip out on hearing protection when they’re working in a busy area. As a result, many people actually suffer from hearing loss and they don’t even know it. It doesn’t take much until our ears can’t take loud sounds, and if we’re exposed to something for too long it can permanently damage our hearing.

So before you damage your ears for good, it’s important to look out for the early signs of hearing loss. Hearing loss can be prevented in some situations, especially if it’s caused by exposure to loud noises. So here are a couple of signs to keep an eye out for.

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1. You experience oddities with your hearing

There are actually a number of common oddities that people with hearing loss face. For example, you might hear a high-pitched whine every now and then. It could happen more often when you move your head in a specific way or if you’re sleeping. Conditions such as tinnitus are relatively common and could indicate early hearing loss, but it could just be earwax blockages in your ear or an ear infection. It’s never a bad idea to get a condition like tinnitus checked.

2. You ask people to repeat themselves quite often

If you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves more often than before, then it could be a sign that you’re developing some kind of hearing problem. You should be even more concerned if this happens in a quiet area without much background noise.

3. You’re not cleaning your ears properly

It’s difficult to tell if you have clean ears because they could be fine on the outside, but you might find that there’s a lot of wax stuck near the eardrum. There’s really no way to tell or remedy this until you visit a specialist that can suck the earwax out with a special tool. This could help clean up any hearing issues that you might have, or it could help you identify an infection or a more serious issue with your ear.

4. Turning up the volume louder than before

If anyone’s commented that you listen to things on a really loud setting then it could be because you’re experiencing some kind of hearing loss. For instance, if your main TV is really loud for some people, then it might mean that their hearing is more sensitive than yours.

While suffering from hearing damage isn’t the end of the world, it is completely preventable in many situations. Make sure you take better care of your ears and be more mindful about how you treat them. This will protect your ears and ensure that they function correctly for decades to come.

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